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How they line up
Stopping the opposition from playing has always been central to Luiz Felipe Scolari's philosophy, and his Brazil team are no different. Like most other contemporary Brazilian coaches, Big Phil believes that "killing the play" (ie fouling) in midfield is a legitimate tactic and encourages his players to do it. The key figure in Big Phil's teams is always the midfield destroyer. At Gremio he employed an especially unsavory character called Dinho to perform the role. At Palmeiras, it was Galeano. The man responsible for doing the dirty work in Big Phil's Brazil is captain Emerson Ferreira.

Emerson, who models himself on Dunga, rarely lets anything past him and enjoys Scolari's support. But he commits an astonishing number of fouls and could quickly get himself a red card if FIFA finally decides to clamp down. To the right of Emerson is Gilberto Silva, who performs a similar role but with more finesse.

This duo protect a three-man defense that features Lucio -- who has had an excellent season in Germany with Bayer Leverkusen -- Anderson Polga and Roque Junior. Like Gilberto Silva, Anderson is a player whose potential has been unearthed by Scolari. Behind them is keeper Marcos -- brought to the fore by Scolari when the pair were at Palmeiras in 1999 -- who is known by his fans as "Saint Marcos" for his reflex saves.

Cafu and Roberto Carlos -- who have kept their places on the flanks since 1998 -- have more defensive duties than they might expect with their European clubs. Cafu's crossing remains suspect and, like Emerson, he prefers to use fouls rather than well-timed tackles to stop the opposition. On the other side, Roberto Carlos is a constant menace with his explosive shooting, although it is now five years since he last scored for Brazil from one of his trademark free-kicks.

Eight players with defensive characteristics means creativity is in the hands of only three, a much-criticized feature of Big Phil's teams. Ronaldo, if fit, will spearhead the attack but may find himself coming back to midfield to look for the ball. Responsible for linking him with the rest of the team are Rivaldo, still trying to convince Brazilians that he can produce the goods for his country as well as Barcelona, and Ronaldinho, who finally appears to have made it at top level.

Scolari has a few variations up his sleeve, one of which is to go back to a 4-4-2 system if he comes up against opponents who are happy to sit back.

In that case, Djalminha or Juninho Paulista could be added to the midfield at the expense of a central defender. Other options include bringing on an attacker such as Denilson, Luizao or Edilson. Paulo Cesar is comfortable in either full-back position, while Junior is strictly left-side only.

Rogerio Ceni -- who, like Paraguay's Jose Luis Chilavert, can score from penalties and free-kicks -- is likely to be second-choice goalkeeper, Edmilson is the extra central defender and Kleberson will step in should Emerson Ferreira get himself suspended.
 
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