Brazil vs. Croatia: Time, Live Stream and TV Schedule

Matt JonesFeatured ColumnistJune 3, 2018

(L-R) Brazil's striker Douglas Costa, Brazil's striker Neymar, Brazil's midfielder Willian, Brazil's midfielder Paulinho and Brazil's defender Marcelo take part in a training session at Tottenham Hotspur's Enfield Training Centre, north-east of London, on May 30, 2018 ahead their international friendly football match against Croatia. (Photo by Ben STANSALL / AFP)        (Photo credit should read BEN STANSALL/AFP/Getty Images)
BEN STANSALL/Getty Images

Brazil and Croatia will step up their preparations for the 2018 FIFA World Cup on Sunday, when they meet in what should be a fascinating friendly at Anfield.

The Selecao are one of the favourites for glory for this summer's tournament in Russia, having put together a fantastic run of form in qualifying under manager Tite. All eyes will be on the meeting on Merseyside to see whether Paris Saint-Germain forward Neymar makes his long-awaited return from injury.

Croatia are often considered a dark horse in major competitions, and there are numerous high-class players available to manager Zlatko Dalic.

Although these friendlies will do little to replicate the intense atmosphere of the World Cup, a bumper crowd is expected at Liverpool's ground.

            

Date: Sunday, June 3

Time: 3 p.m. (BST), 10 a.m. (ET)

TV Info: LFC TV (UK), beIN Sports (U.S.)

Live Stream: beIN Sports CONNECT (U.S.)

          

All Eyes on Brazil at Anfield

ENFIELD, ENGLAND - MAY 31: Head Coach Tite of Brazil during a Brazil training session at Tottenham Hotspur Training Centre on May 31, 2018 in Enfield, England. (Photo by Stephen Pond/Getty Images)
Stephen Pond/Getty Images

While it's anticipated that Neymar will be fit for Brazil's opening game at the World Cup—against Switzerland on Jun 17—he's not played any competitive football since February. As a result, supporters may find themselves getting a little nervous as the tournament edges closer.

There are big doubts about whether he will be involved here too. As James Whaling of the Daily Mirror noted, the world's most expensive player wasn't involved in training on Thursday, meaning the chances of him starting in Liverpool are slim.

According to GloboEsporte's Alexandre Lozetti Brazil lined up in a certain manner in training (h/t journalist Jack Lang):

It means Roberto Firmino may not be involved from the off on home soil, but it does mean Philippe Coutinho would feature on his old stomping ground.

Coutinho is set to stride out at Anfield again.
Coutinho is set to stride out at Anfield again.MAURO PIMENTEL/Getty Images

Coutinho left Liverpool for Barcelona in January, and while he had a slow start to life at the Camp Nou, he finished the season in sensational form. Tite will be desperate to see the midfielder, who plays from the right flank for Brazil, take that momentum into the World Cup.

WhoScored.com summed up just how good the former Liverpool man has been in the main throughout 2017-18:

While Croatia may not possess the firepower of their opponents on Sunday, they do have a midfield capable of matching any in football.

Ivan Rakitic was an important part of Barcelona's double-winning 2017/18 team, and Mateo Kovacic of Real Madrid is another expert technician in the middle of the park. However, it's the latter's team-mate Luka Modric who makes the Valtreni purr.

(L-R) Giorginio Wijnaldum of Liverpool FC, Luca Modric of Real Madrid CF,Cristiano Ronaldo of Real Madrid CF during the UEFA Champions League final between Real Madrid and Liverpool on May 26, 2018 at NSC Olimpiyskiy Stadium in Kyiv, Ukraine(Photo by VI I
VI-Images/Getty Images

Liverpool supporters in attendance may not be too keen to see the Madrid star again so soon, though, as the match is just eight days on from Modric's masterclass against the Reds in the UEFA Champions League final. Football journalist David Amoyal praised the manner of the midfielder's display in the 3-1 win:

Brazil will also have to cope with some awkward attackers. Mario Mandzukic is difficult to contain at the point of the attack, while Andrej Kramaric and Ivan Perisic can offer penetration from out wide.

The Selecao have been outstanding under Tite, blending cohesion, composure and plenty of flair in the final third. At times, Brazil should light up Anfield, and they will keep spirits high ahead of their pursuit of a sixth World Cup crown.

             

Prediction: Brazil 3-1 Croatia 

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