Brazil vs Serbia: World Cup 2022 – live | WC 2022

Key events

35 min: Chance for Raphinha! Brazil should be in front. Raphinha swings onto the pitch from the right, plays a nice one-two with Paqueta, but then tamely side-foots Milinkovic-Savic from around 15 yards.

34 min Serbia’s formation is theoretically 3-4-2-1, but at the moment it is more of a 5-4-0-1. Still, it works.

31 min Raphinha takes a corner to Paqueta, who returns it with a stylish backheel. Raphinha crosses low to the near post and Milinkovic-Savic grabs the ball in front of Thiago.

30 minutes Casemiro darts a great pass towards Raphinha on the right side of the area. He heads it across the area and Milenkovic heads behind. Casemiro’s demise is a farce.

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27 min: Great goalkeeping from Milinkovic-Savic! Thiago Silva, the old rogue, steps forward unchallenged and cuts a forensic pass to put Vinicius through on goal, but Milinkovic-Savic is so quick off his line and bravely dives at Vinicius’ feet.

26 min “The most annoying aspect of the Brazilian national team in the last three decades or so is their constant tactical pollution,” says Kári Tulinius. “For example, they seem to take it in turns to kick the Serbian player who has the ball close to the halfway line, stopping the attacks before they develop. It’s effective but deeply annoying and why I’ve never warmed to them.”

Yes, it is interesting that for the last 30 years Brazil has been the world’s biggest exporter of defensive midfielders. I don’t think they even acknowledged their existence until the late 1980s.

Gilberto Silva's balletic flash in the 2002 final.
Gilberto Silva’s balletic flash in the 2002 final. Photo: Patrick Hertzog/EPA

25 minutes It’s a little better from Serbia. Tadic moves down the right and angles a deep cross towards Mitrovic. Alisson comes from his line to assert with authority.

24 min Serbia look quite comfortable defensively, but they have yet to give Alexsandar Mitrovic anything to eat. It is an exciting game rather than an exciting one.

23 min “Hey Rob,” says Kevin Dwyer. “As a young apprentice electrician in 1966, I was inspired, along with several of my fellow apprentices, by England’s victory in the World Cup final. Six of us decided to save £4 a week from our meager wages to attend the 1970 World Cup. Two of us stuck with it despite the siren call of music, drink and women. As a 21-year-old I watched every England game plus the final at the Azteca stadium. I’ve seen the greats of that era in the flesh, and the laissez-faire attitude made us mingle with the players in their hotels.

“The years went by and the doctors told me that the last WC would also almost certainly be my last. Here I am, still enjoying the Guardian’s coverage of the game and waiting for the updates to appear on the timeline.”

It’s my favorite WC email so far.

21 min Casemiro hits a curler from distance that is comfortably saved by Milinkovic-Savic.

Casemiro has saved an effort on goal.
Casemiro has saved an effort on goal. Photo: Molly Darlington/Reuters

21 min Neymar hits a stick from 30 yards that is blocked by Veljkovic. It was beautifully struck.

20 minutes Paqueta loses the ball to Sergej Milinkovic-Savic, who tries to start a break but is immediately denied by Casemiro.

19 minutes “As it’s Thanksgiving here in the US, I’d like to thank Richarlison for more or less single-handedly keeping Everton up last season,” says Matt Burtz. “And I want to thank Brazil for having some of the best uniforms in all sports.”

17 minutes Serbia enjoy their first extended period of possession. They don’t look overwhelmed, although they haven’t troubled Alisson yet.

I'm Aleksandar Mitrovic, hear me roar.
I’m Aleksandar Mitrovic, hear me roar. Photo: Themba Hadebe/AP

14 min: Neymar almost scores from the corner! And I’m pretty sure he meant it. He saw Milinkovic-Savic wandering towards the six-yard line and curling a wicked in-swinger under the crossbar. Milinkovic-Savic ran backwards to knock it over.

13 minutes The first exciting race from Vinicius Jr. He sweated past Zivkovic, who recovered well to collect a corner assisted by Veljkovic (I think).

12 minutes Danilo loses the ball close to the halfway line, Casemiro wins it back with a minimum of fuss. He is truly a majestic player.

10 minutes “Really grateful for Guardian MBM,” says none, ever Rachel Clifton. “Fox coverage here has been terrible – terrible analysis, complete slip on Qatar (definitely nothing with the national airline sponsoring the coverage / giving them free flights)… wish my Spanish was better so I could see Telemundo instead.”

9 minutes Casemiro lends the ball to a couple of people in quick succession and then sends a superbly disguised pass to Neymar in the area. He manages it deftly but doesn’t have time to get a shot off and then runs into trouble. It was a hell of a pass from Casemiro.

8 minutes Sergey Milinkovic-Savic makes a beeline for the Brazil area and is stopped on the edge by Marquinhos.

8 minutes “I’m just wondering if it’s true that we ‘all love Brazil’?” says Ed Rostron. “They still feed on the jogo bonito reputation, but there’s been an awful lot of cynics, cloggers, cheaters and clowns in their pages over the last 30 years. I don’t know if they’re the favorites of the neutrals these days: remember how we all laughed when Germany, usually the pantomime villains, wiped them out in their own backyard?

The greatest trick the devil ever played…

6 minutes Pavlovic is cautioned, perhaps a bit harshly, for a foul on Neymar.

Strahinja Pavlovic goes in the book early doors.
Strahinja Pavlovic goes in the book early doors. Photo: Anne-Christine Poujoulat/AFP/Getty Images

5 minutes “Dream of a World Cup final?” muses Simon McMahon. “Scotland v England, obvs. But it can’t happen, at least not this time. Then USA v Iran. Failing that, India v Pakistan.”

4 minutes The first bit of excitement. Raphinha loses Pavlovic on the right and drives a low cross that is kicked away at the near post.

Raphinha moves past Strahinja Pavlovic.
Raphinha moves past Strahinja Pavlovic. Photo: Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images

3 minutes A slow start, nothing much to report. Brazil appear to play with a 6 (Casemiro), an 8 (Paqueta) and a 10 (Neymar) – an increasingly popular system used by the likes of Arsenal Men and England Women.

1 min Peeeeeeep peeeeeeeep! Brazil start from left to right as we watch.

Apparently, Filip Kostic is only fit enough for the benchwhich explains what would have been a peculiar omission.

“We may all love Brazil,” writes Richard Hirst, “but tonight there is a certain part of west London that will forever be Serbia: because Mitro is on fire!”

And he will be up against another hero from west London: Thiago Silva.

The players are on the field, ready for business. There are thousands of Brazil fans, most of them wearing the famous yellow shirt.

Almost there.
Almost there. Photo: Giuseppe Cacace/AFP/Getty Images

“What is your dream World Cup final?” asks Kurt Perleberg. “Mine is Brazil vs USMNT.”

Portugal v Argentina would be lively for obvious reasons but I really wanted to see Brazil v Spain.

Serbia’s manager is Dragan Stojkovic, the man who produced one of the more delicious first-hand features in World Cup history. It’s after 2m22s, but you might as well watch the whole video.

Twenty minutes to start

It’s time for a reminder of why we all love Brazilian football

It’s a decent team that can leave this guy on the bench

“Hey guy and welcome, Ringo!” writes Aaron Roston. “Do you know how the attendance at the games has been? I’ve seen quite a few empty seats. Of course there are the real attendance figures and then there are the FIFA figures… And Brazil would have won in ’66 if Pele hadn’t been viciously felled and knocked out of the tournament.”

Hmm, I’m not sure about that last point – weren’t they between major generations? Garrincha was unfortunately past it, Djamla Santos was 37, Jairzinho and Tostao were bairns.

As for the attendances, the empty seats are an optical illusion caused by your subconscious biases.

The first match in Group G was played earlier today. Switzerland, an awkward bunch whose presence makes it a difficult group to predict, beat Cameroon 1-0.

Jonathan Liew’s preview

Keep news

Tite has chosen to attack and has chosen Vinicius Jr ahead of Fred. That means Neymar moves onto the field to play as a No.10 and Lucas Paqueta drops back alongside Casemiro.

Dragan Stojkovic has left Juventus pair Filip Kostic and Dusan Vlahovic on the bench with Aleksandar Mitrovic up front.

Brazil (4-2-3-1) Alisson; Danilo, Marquinhos, Thiago Silva, Alex Sandro; Casemiro, Lucas Paqueta; Raphinha, Neymar, Vinicius Jr; Richarlison.
Subs: Weverton, Ederson, Fred, Dani Alves, Eder Militao, Fabinho, Alex Telles, Bruno Guimaraes, Gabriel Jesus, Antony, Rodrygo, Everton Ribeiro, Bremer, Pedro, Martinelli.

Serbia (3-4-2-1) V Milinkovic-Savic; Veljkovic, Milenkovic, Pavlovic; Zivkovic, Lukic, Gudelj, Mladenovic; Tadic, S Milinkovic-Savic; A Mitrovic.
Subs: Dmitrovic, Rajkovic, Erakovic, Maksimovic, Radonjic, Jovic, S Mitrovic, Babic, Kostic, Vlahovic, Racic, Djuricic, Lazovic, Ilic, Grujic.

Judging Alireza Faghani (Iran).


What comes next in this order: 4, 8, 24, 8, ?

It is 4, right? No, of course it isn’t. Roberto Carlos pulled up his socks at the wrong time and Brazil didn’t win the World Cup in 2006. We don’t know what comes next, but everyone associated with the Seleção will hope it is 20. The sequence – as I’m sure you knew anyway, you heritage fan of you – is the number of years between Brazilian World Cup victories since their first triumph in 1958.

They also won it in 1962, 1970, 1994 and 2002. Since then: nada. Zilch. Nonsense everyone. Not even a final. They are late.

This is the last chance for Thiago Silva to win a world cup, probably also Casemiro and Neymar. Tite’s side are favorites to win Qatar 2022 – but they were also favorites in 1982, 1986, 1994, 1998, 2006, 2010 and 2014, so I’m not sure what the moral of this particular story is.

Their attacking options are such that the magnificent Vinicius Jr is not a guaranteed starter. Tite has to choose between him or Fred, which isn’t the obvious decision you might expect. If he picks Vinicius, Casemiro will be City’s only watercraft, and Brazil have generally preferred pragmatism since Tele Santana’s idealists failed to win the World Cup in 1982 and 1986.

Brazil have been banging on goals of late, even with a relatively pragmatic system – but so has Serbia, who cross most of the dark horses. This is a really awkward first game for Brazil. Serbia qualified ahead of Portugal and also have serious options in attack, including Dusan Vlahovic and Aleksandar Mitrovic. They will not fear Brazil; they fear no one.

It’s the last match of the first round of matches and it could be a cracker.

Kick off 19:00 GMT, 16:00 in Rio de Janeiro, 20:00 in Belgrade.

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