Brazilian Tite happy to have extra time to prepare for World Cup opener

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DOHA: Brazil coach Tite said he was happy to be placed in Group G after Friday’s (April 1) World Cup draw in Doha as it will give more time to his team to prepare.

The World Cup kicks off on November 21 with hosts Qatar taking on Ecuador.

Brazil’s first game will take place three days later against Serbia, before other games against Switzerland and Cameroon.

“However much time you can spend with the players, training is an advantage,” said Tite.

It is generally considered better to start the tournament earlier than later, as this gives teams more time between matches as they progress through the competition.

While on paper five-time winners Brazil seem clear favourites, Tite pointed out that his opponents have already qualified ahead of some football heavyweights.

“We are talking about the elimination of Italy and Portugal at the hands of Switzerland and Serbia” respectively during the European group stage where only the group winners have automatically qualified, Tite told the Brazilian channel. SportTV from Doha.

Portugal finally managed to qualify for the World Cup after a play-off victory against North Macedonia, which shocked Italy in the previous round.

“And we also have Cameroon which is very strong in Africa,” added Tite.

“I watched the Switzerland game, they played right after us in the qualifiers. It was against Italy, they were leading 1-0 from the start and almost made it 2-0 but ended up playing bad.

“They are world class, at a high level, so we will have to play at a high level as well.”

Brazil, which went through their qualifying campaign unbeaten and set a new points record in the only South American group, faced Serbia and Switzerland at the last tournament in Russia.

They beat Serbia 2-0 but drew 1-1 with the Swiss.

Brazil haven’t played against a European side since beating the Czech Republic 3-1 in a friendly in March 2019.

But Tite is not concerned.

“What I can assure you is that eight months before the start of the World Cup is a long time to arrive well prepared.”

Serbia coach Dragan Stojkovic had no doubts about the team to beat.

“When people talk about football, the first word is Brazil. I respect Brazil a lot, they are always the favourites,” he said, adding “but I like playing against tough teams.”

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