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Jon Riley 14th Jun 2010 - 9:23

Brazil have no fear over Korea

The five-time champions Brazil (1/12) couldn't have asked for a better start to their campaign as they take on rank outsiders North Korea (25/1, the draw 9/1).

Korea DPR are making their first appearance at the World Cup finals since 1966. The North Korean squad enchanted fans back home and throughout England as well during their fairytale run to the quarter-finals. They were the first Asian team to progress past the first round of the finals, only exiting via a thrilling defeat at the hands of Eusebio's Portugal.

Their run to the quarter finals is embedded in the sporting history of the nation, but I can't quite see Kim Jong-Hun's team getting that far this time, in fact they'll do well just avoiding getting beat in every game.

They will take heart from an impressive friendly display against Euro 2004 champions Greece, where they twice came from behind to draw 2-2, Jong Tae-Se (12/1 to score the opener) scoring both goals.

The Kawasaki Frontale man has now hit 15 goals in 22 international appearances so will be key if North Korea are to cause an almighty shock in South Africa.

Of course they'll need more than just their front men to be on form to defeat the mighty Brazil though.

North Korea's selections are usually surrounded in mystery. Using the bulk of players that helped them through qualifying, they will line-up in a 4-5-1 formation. Mirroring the Communist state's values, the team is highly secretive, hateful of the media and fiercely patriotic.

Dunga's squad doesn't contain arguably their most famous face, Ronaldinho, the AC Milan forward has featured fleetingly during qualifying and the coach has decided to stick with the group of players that performed so well in topping the South American group.

There are still some very familiar names though, including Ronnie's former colleague Kaka (7/2 for the opener in this game) who of course now dons the world famous Real Madrid shirt and will be linking up with Jose Mourinho from next season.

The 2007 Ballon d'Or winner is likely to play with Robinho (7/2) just behind the lone striker Luis Fabiano (5/2), the Sevilla man has an outstanding record for his country and should be there or thereabouts with the top scorers come 11 July.

While this Brazilian squad is not quite as swashbuckling as ones from World Cups gone by, Dunga's team still contains the likes of the aforementioned Robinho and Kaka, who are more than capable of playing the beautiful game.

This time round though it is the Brazil defence that is the envy of world football. Julio Cesar, Maicon and Lucio were all part of Inter Milan's all conquering team this season, providing Mourinho's team with a solid base in which to attack. Added to that trio the Barcelona attacking full back Dani Alves, Benfica's impressive Luisao and Roma's defensive lynchpin Juan, then you have a pretty decent defence!

More inclined now to counter attack than all out attack the Brazilian beast has been modified but is nonetheless still the most feared in world football.

A Selecao should run riot in their opening group game, Brazil -3 goals could be a good shout at 5/2, and for an outside bet, you could go for one of Brazil's many attack minded defenders to score first, Maicon is available at 14/1.



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