10. Five-times champions Brazil kick off the 20th FIFA World Cup on Thursday against Croatia. No nation has won the tournament more times than Brazil, who are 4.00 favourites to claim the trophy.
9. Brazil have won nine games in a row, stretching back to September 2013, and have conceded just twice in this run. They are 1.33 to beat Croatia.
8. However, Luiz Felipe Scolari’s men have a W5 D3 L2 record from their last 10 games against European teams. Croatia are 3.35 to win/draw on the Double Chance.
7. Croatia are entering their fourth World Cup finals. Their best result was a semi-final exit at France ’98 and they are 11.00 to beat Brazil in the opening game of this tournament.
Watch highlights of when Brazil and Croatia met at Germany ’06:
6. These sides met in the 2006 World Cup group stage, where Kaka scored in a 1-0 result for Brazil. The Samba Boys are 5.30 to repeat that scoreline.
5. Croatia’s top scorer in World Cup qualifying was Mario Mandzukic with just four goals. Mandzukic misses the World Cup opener through suspension, but team-mate Eduardo da Silva is 6.75 to score.
4. The Croats managed the eighth most shots on target during European qualification, with 64 shots from 12 games averaging 5.33 per outing. They are 2.23 to score against Brazil.
3. Neymar has scored seven goals for Brazil since last September and bagged the opener against Panama earlier this month. The Barcelona striker is 33.00 to score first with a 4-0 scorecast.
2. Brazil have led at the break in seven of their last nine wins. The hosts are 2.95 to win both halves in Sao Paolo.
1. Midfielder Luka Modric has 75 international caps yet just eight goals for Croatia. The 28-year-old scored just twice in 46 appearances for Real Madrid last season and is 15.00 to score on Thursday.