Best Young Players At The 2018 FIFA World Cup

FIFA announced Sunday that it has chosen its two finalists for hosting the 2026 World Cup

Brazil fired their dreams of World Cup glory with a 3-0 win over Austria, according to Neymar - who had his fears of an injury relapse tested to the full.

One of the key elements to this rejuvenated Brazil side - who are still coming to terms with their 7-1 defeat to Germany - is the emergence of a more balanced midfield.

While the Brazilian fortunes maintain a near umbilical connection to the health and form of star forward Neymar Jr, there are no such complications in the German camp, where there is a history of the epitomising of team and system play.

When most expect Spain, Germany, Brazil and France to be the final four in the tournament, these three national teams can alter this narrative and pull off impressive wins over the favourites.

Most of the favourites are now in Russian Federation ahead of Thursday's curtainraiser between the hosts and Saudi Arabia but holders Germany are due to arrive on Tuesday.

The Manchester City striker opened the scoring with a superb finish before Neymar doubled Brazil's lead in stunning fashion.

Plans for a feasibility study were put on hold on Sunday (NZT Monday) after Qatar World Cup head Hassan Al-Thawadi addressed the football congress and Fifa president Gianni Infantino said agreement from the Gulf nation was a "precondition".

Tempers had flared just before that with the Brazilians taking exception to tasty tackles on Neymar and Coutinho.

Stepping back from the increase to 48 teams would come as a blow to New Zealand's hopes of qualifying for the 2022 tournament with the Oceania champion gaining automatic qualification under the proposal.

"The last World Cup, they had the genius in Neymar, but he was kicked out of the competition and what was left was a bunch of forwards who shouldn't have been wearing the shirt". By cycling through alternative combinations of variables, we get a sense of which characteristics matter for success and which stay on the bench.

"The German team that won the World Cup in 2014 had seven players playing for one club, Bayern Munich".

Before Thursday's kickoff, the football world will focus on choosing the host of the 2026 World Cup between a joint bid featuring the United States, Canada and Mexico and underdogs Morocco. And they have that exciting individual brilliance in the final third.

Brazil also face Costa Rica and Serbia in Group E in Russian Federation as they look to hit back from their shock 7-1 semi-final defeat to Germany on home soil four years ago.

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