Brazil are heavily fancied to make a strong start to their World Cup campaign when they face Panama in Adelaide on Monday. We’ve previewed the match and given you two of our best bets.
France and Jamaica played out a goalless draw in the opening Group F match on Sunday, handing Brazil the opportunity to take early control of the section.
Panama are making their first ever appearance at a World Cup and aren’t expected to put up much of a fight against a Brazil side that has featured in every edition since the inaugural event in 1991.
Brazil boss Pia Sundhage has a fully-fit squad to pick from and should name a full-strength XI as they look to make the strongest possible start.
Geyse and Gabi Nunes are likely to lead the line with veteran Marta, who is Brazil’s all-time leading goalscorer, set to start from the bench.
Real Madrid star Kathellen should feature alongside Rafaelle in the heart of defence, while Antonia and Tamires should start at full-back.
Panama goalkeeper Yenith Bailey could be very busy and she’ll need protection from her back five.
Wendy Natis, Yomira Pinzon and Carina Baltrip-Reyes will feature as the three centre-backs, while the two wing-back spots could be filled by Katherine Castillo and Hilary Jaen.
Karla Riley is the leading candidate to start in attack.
Brazil to score over 4.5 goals @ 7/4
Brazil’s toughest game of the group comes on matchday two when they face France and Sundhage will be wanting her side to put in a convincing show in this opener against Panama.
Selecao boast a huge amount of attacking talent and that should see them cruise to victory at Hindmarsh Stadium in Adelaide.
They signed off their pre-tournament friendlies with a 4-0 win over Chile on 2nd July and should keep that momentum in front of goal going against Panama.
The Central American nation fell to a 7-0 defeat against Spain and a 5-0 loss to Japan as they prepared for their debut at the showpiece event.
Those results offer an indication as to how Monday’s game might go and Brazil look good to score over 4.5 goals.
Geyse to score anytime @ 9/10
Marta, who is preparing to embark on her final World Cup campaign, has often been Brazil’s go-to for goals, however, the 37-year-old is likely to play more of a supporting role this summer as she hands the baton to some of the younger members of the squad.
One of those expected to step up for Brazil is Barcelona forward Geyse.
The 25-year-old was understudy to one of the world’s best strikers, Asisat Oshoala, in the Catalan capital last season but still chipped in with 11 goals across all competitions, including four in five appearances in the Champions League.
Geyse could fill her boots in this opening clash with chances expected to come freely for the South Americans.