Brazil have a simple equation ahead of them when they take on Cameroon in their FIFA World Cup 2014 encounter in Brasilia on Monday – draw and they are definitely through to the last 16, win and most likely they are through as group winners.
TV and Live Streaming Information
Get the report HERE
The crunch Group A game is scheduled for a 5 pm local time (1.30 am IST, 9 pm BST, 4 pm ET) start with live coverage on Sony Six HD and Sony Six in India. The match can also be watched via live streaming online in India HERE. Catch the action in the UK on ITV and BBC with the live streaming option HERE or HERE. Viewers in Brazil can watch the match HERE. US viewers can watch the game on ESPN while the option to live stream is HERE. Australia viewers can go HERE to watch the game live online, while South Africa viewers can watch the match HERE.
While the equation might be clear enough, the prospect of actually getting one of those two results will not be that easy, considering the fact that Brazil have been far from convincing in the World Cup so far. But with Cameroon already eliminated from the tournament, the prospect should be a little bit more in their favour.
Croatia were unlucky to not come away with at least a point against the hosts in the first game, while Brazil were lacklustre, and then some, against Mexico in their goalless draw six days ago.
Mexico and Croatia, in a game that will be played simultaneously in Recife, will also be gunning for one of those two last 16 places, but Brazil will do well to concentrate on their job at hand without really worrying about the result in the other Group A match.
"We know we have two results to get tomorrow -- a draw or victory," Brazil coach Luiz Felipe Scolari said. "There are no easy games. Of course we are all anxious, even if we had already qualified there would be anxiety over whether we would be first or second.
"This anxiety makes you make mistakes but we have been working on this in training so the players are at ease, but know in order to continue we must carry on working hard. I'm not going to change my team, I really trust my squad."
Three teams have a chance of qualifying for the pre-quarterfinals from Group A, with Brazil and Mexico locked together on four points, while Croatia are a point adrift. Brazil and Mexico will go through with a draw a piece, but Croatia need a win over the Mexicans to keep their hopes in this tournament alive.
Brazil and the other three teams will play a couple of hours after Group B's final matches end, allowing the hosts to possibly pick their opponent for the last 16 – as they will know whether Netherlands or Chile, who play each other, finish first.
The first place team in Group A will play the team that finishes second in Group B and vice versa. However, Scolari took offence when a question on whether his team would play to a result which suits them, depending on how Group B pans out, was asked during the pre-match press conference.
"Some people expressed a view that we were going to choose who we were going to play," Scolari said. "Those sorts of comments are either stupid or ill-intentioned, I repeat stupid or ill-intentioned. We have to play to qualify, not pick and choose our opponents. It was FIFA who chose the kickoff time."
For Cameroon, there is nothing but pride to play for after their opening match loss to Mexico and then the hammering handed out by Croatia. Brazil and the majority of the fans at the Estadio Nacional will certainly hope the Africans don't play spoilsport.
Team news: Brazil: Hulk is set for a return from injury and Scolari confirmed he would stick with the same XI that beat Croatia 3-1 in the opening game of the tournament. That means another chance for Fred to show he is capable of leading the line for his country, while Scolari is also set to keep faith on midfielder Paulinho, who has been criticised by the local media for his performances.
"Fred is still an important player for our team and he doesn't have to score every game," said defender Thiago Silva on Sunday. "His job is to participate and if he can help the team by opening up space for Neymar and other players to score, we will all be happy.
"He doesn't have to worry about scoring, he has to think about the team, the group and he is quite unruffled because the same thing happened in the Confederations Cup. I'm sure that tomorrow he will score a goal and take this weight off his shoulders, of course a striker lives by goals and I'm with him."
Cameroon: Alex Song is suspended after his foolish sending off against Croatia. Benoit Assou-Ekotto could also find himself benched following his attack on his own teammate Ben Moukandjo, while coach Volker Finke confirmed star striker Samuel Eto'o, who missed the last game through injury, will not be available from the beginning.
Expected lineups: Brazil: Cesar; Alves, Thiago, Luiz, Marcelo; Paulinho, Gustavo; Hulk, Oscar, Neymar; Fred.
Cameroon: Itandje; Nounkeu, Nkoulou, Chedjou, Makoun, Matip, Enoh; Choupo-Moting, Aboubakar, Moukandjo.
Prediction: 2-0 to Brazil