Five-time World Cup champions Brazil embark on the first of two friendlies on North American soil on Saturday with a match against Honduras in Miami.
Neymar-led Brazil have enjoyed an easy go of things as of late, able to forego qualification matches as the World Cup host for this upcoming summer. After winning the Confederations Cup in dominating fashion, they've taken four of five friendlies since.
Although overmatched on paper, Honduras are no flukes. The Central American nation, coached by Luis Fernando Suarez, qualified for the World Cup for the second straight time. Before 2010, it had been nearly 30 years since the Hondurans made the cut.
Here's a breakdown of Brazil's upcoming bout against Honduras.
When: Saturday, Nov. 16
Where: Sun Life Stadium; Miami, Fla.
Start Time: 7:30 p.m. ET
TV: beIN Sport (U.S.)
Live Stream: beIN Sport Play
Top Storyline: Could Distractions Spur Upset?
On one hand, there's Brazil—arguably the world's most entertaining team with a loyal fanbase. On the other, there's Miami—an American city ripe with soccer intrigue, as noted by David Beckham's interest in organizing a MLS team there.
The product is a "carnival atmosphere," as put by Miami Herald's Michelle Kaufman, that could inevitably distract Brazil's players from the task at hand.
Here's an excerpt from Kaufman's story, which encapsulates what Neymar and his fellow stars are experiencing this week in the States:
But it was 21-year-old Brazilian star Neymar and his team — the most major of the world’s major teams — that had fans climbing fences in the rain at the FIU soccer field, attempting to roam the lobby at the J.W. Marriott Marquis hotel (security guards politely asked them to stay outside), and camping along S.E. 3rd Ave. to watch their one-named soccer heroes board and disembark their team bus.
Certainly, an endless amount of fame and attention is nothing new to these players. But they also have a grasp on how massive their fanbase in America is, and how important it is for the fans and themselves that they make the most of this short trip to the U.S.
Expecting Brazil to not be prepared for Saturday's match is unintelligent at best, considering their reputation. But they aren't playing just anyone.
Even though Honduras' name doesn't jump off the page, they have advanced to the World Cup, which is more than many talented national teams can say. It won't be a walkover for Brazil in this match, and if they aren't careful, they could let down the heap of fans expecting another dominating performance.
Whether they're distracted or not, there are very few teams that can hang with Brazil for a full 90 minutes.
The overwhelming fan support along with stellar scoring ability from Neymar, Fred, Oscar and more will catapult the Brazilians to an easy victory in Miami.
Brazil 4, Honduras 1