Neymar leads Brazil in World Cup opener, Mitrovic starts for Serbia


Brazilian soccer fans wait for the start of the World Cup group G soccer match between Brazil and Serbia at the Lusail Stadium in Lusail in Qatar on Thursday. AP

Neymar leads an attack-minded Brazil side in their opening Group G game at the World Cup against Serbia at Doha’s Lusail Stadium on Thursday.

The Paris Saint-Germain superstar, the world’s most expensive player, comes into his third World Cup needing just two more goals to equal Pele’s all-time record tally of 77 for the Selecao.

He will play in the number 10 role for the tournament favourites in support of Richarlison, with Raphinha and Vinicius Junior on the wings.

Juventus duo Dusan Vlahovic and Filip Kostic are only named as substitutes for Serbia after carrying injuries into the tournament.

However, Fulham striker Aleksandar Mitrovic has recovered from his own fitness worries to lead the attack for Dragan Stojkovic’s dangerous outfit, who topped their qualifying group ahead of Portugal.

Switzerland got off to a winning start in the same group earlier on Thursday, beating Cameroon 1-0 thanks to a solitary goal by Breel Embolo.

Starting line-ups:

Brazil (4-2-1-3)

Alisson Becker; Danilo, Thiago Silva (capt), Marquinhos, Alex Sandro; Lucas Paqueta, Casemiro; Neymar; Raphinha, Richarlison, Vinicius Junior

Coach: Tite (BRA)

Serbia (3-4-2-1)

Vanja Milinkovic-Savic; Nikola Milenkovic, Milos Veljkovic, Strahinja Pavlovic; Andrija Zivkovic, Sasa Lukic, Nemanja Gudelj, Filip Mladenovic; Sergej Milinkovic-Savic, Dusan Tadic (capt); Aleksandar Mitrovic

Coach: Dragan Stojkovic (SRB)

Referee: Alireza Faghani (IRI)

Agence France-Presse


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