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Soccer-Brazil v Croatia

Reuters

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SAO PAULO, June 10 (Reuters) - Brazil will play Croatia in a Group A match in Sao Paulo on Thursday. Where: The Corinthians arena, Sao Paulo Capacity: 61,606 When: Thursday, June 12, 1700 local (2000 GMT/4 PM ET) Referee: Yuichi Nishimura (Japan) Probable teams: Brazil: 12-Julio Cesar, 6-Marcelo, 3-Thiago Silva, 4-David Luiz, 2-Dani Alves, 8-Paulinho, 17-Luiz Gustavo, 11-Oscar, 10-Neymar, 9-Fred, 7-Hulk. Croatia: 1-Stipe Pletikosa; 11-Darijo Srna, 5-Vedran Corluka, 6-Dejan Lovren, 2-Sime Vrsaljko; 18-Ivica Olic, 7-Ivan Rakitic, 10-Luka Modric, 20-Mateo Kovacic, 4-Ivan Perisic; 9-Nikica Jelavic. Key stats: - Brazil have played in the opening game of a World Cup on three previous occasions, beating Scotland (1998) and Mexico (1950) and drawing with Yugoslavia (1974). - Croatia have failed to register a win in their last four games at the World Cup finals. Their last victory was a 2-1 win over Italy in June 2002. - Brazil have won their opening game at the last eight World Cup tournaments. Previous meetings: There have been two between the teams. The first was a 1-1 draw in a 2005 friendly in Split, the other a 1-0 win for Brazil in the group stage of the 2006 World Cup. Last meeting: June 13, 2006, Berlin, Germany, World Cup group stage - Brazil 1 Croatia 0 (Compiled by Peter Rutherford; Editing by Ed Osmond)

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