Parreira content with Brazil's group

<img border='0' align='left' title=' ' src='' class='caption'> Coach Carlos Alberto Parreira was satisfied with Brazil's opponents for the group stage of next year's World Cup in Germany.

Updated: February 25, 2007 10:47 IST
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Coach Carlos Alberto Parreira was satisfied with Brazil's opponents for the group stage of next year's World Cup in Germany, but warned the team will have to be cautious to avoid an upset. The defending champion will play Croatia, Australia and Japan in Group F. "It's a group many will consider technically easy, but it won't be like that," Parreira told the Brazilian SporTV channel from Leipzig. "We will need to be very alert. They are experienced teams. Nearly all of their players play in Europe." Still, the coach said he was certain Brazil "will advance" from the group stage. "We will probably play Italy or the Czech Republic after advancing from the first round," he said. "They are very good teams. We would have to work hard to get past them, without a doubt." Complicated groups Parreira said Group C - with Argentina, the Netherlands, Serbia and Montenegro and Ivory Coast - and Group B - with England, Paraguay, Sweden and Trinidad and Tobago - are "the most complicated ones." Local media also noted the unlucky draw for Brazil's biggest rival, Argentina, which was eliminated in 2002 after facing England, Sweden and Nigeria early in the competition. "Argentina unlucky again, has to play the Netherlands," read a headline in the UOL Web site. Most local media said Brazil cannot complain with the opponents drawn for its group. "Neither the 'Group of Death' nor the easiest of the draws," said the O Globo newspaper on its Web site. "The trio of adversaries shouldn't scare Brazil, but won't be easy either." Brazil and Croatia drew the only two times they played, including 1-1 in a friendly last August. Winning record The Brazilians have a winning record against Australia, having won three of their five matches. Australia beat Brazil 1-0 the last time the teams met, however, in the 2001 Confederations Cup in South Korea. The five-time champions have five wins in seven matches against Japan. The teams drew the other two times, including 2-2 in the Confederations Cup in Germany. "It's not the best of the groups, but not the worst either," former midfielder Falcao said on Globo TV. (AP)

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