Tonight’s blockbuster World Cup clash between Brazil and Serbia sees the focal points of Juventus’ attack Dusan Vlahovic and Filip Kostic take on their club teammates Danilo, Alex Sandro and Gleison Bremer.
The Bianconeri sent the most players to the World Cup in Qatar out of any club in Serie A with 11, and five of them are set to take to the pitch in a key Group G clash. Brazil and Serbia have been drawn into a group that also contains Switzerland and Cameroon, setting up an incredibly tough path to the knock-out stages of the tournament.
Leading the line for Serbia is Juventus’ star man Vlahovic. The 22-year-old joined the Old Lady in January in a deal worth around €80m from Fiorentina, being the talisman of their post-Cristiano Ronaldo era. Despite the team’s lack of creativity up front, Vlahovic has done well in Turin, scoring 16 goals in 36 appearances across all competitions.
The former Fiorentina forward already has two years of experience under his belt with Serbia and he’s clearly the focal point of their attack, netting nine goals and providing six assists across 17 caps. The World Cup is Vlahovic’s first major tournament with his national team and he’ll be desperate to be the hero in Qatar.
The arrival of his compatriot Kostic in the summer would’ve been a welcome sight for Vlahovic. The 30-year-old is one of the most productive creators in the league, producing 3.88 shot-creating actions per 90 and 0.32 expected assists per 90. He’ll be hoping to link up well with his Juventus teammate as the pair look to upset the tournament favourites.
A three-strong Juventus block form part of the Brazil defence. Bremer, Danilo and Alex Sandro have all been called up for Tite and they’ll be hoping to guide the Selecao to their first world title in two decades, a long drought for the World Cup’s most successful team.
Danilo and Alex Sandro, both 31, are experienced internationals and will be hoping to cap off their World Cup careers in style, but the stakes are a little higher for the 25-year-old Bremer. The new Juventus man only broke into the Selecao set up in September and the pressure will immediately be on, with big things expected of the former Torino centre back.
With the supports of veterans alongside them, the World Cup is ready to welcome two figureheads of the new Juventus era as they battle it out to show their qualities on the world stage.