12 Jun 2014

Brazilian heat one of the World Cup talking points

5:58 am on 12 June 2014

Football's World Cup which kicks off tomorrow in Brazil on Thursday is likely to be dominated by talk of how best to adapt to playing in high heat and humidity.

Most experts agree that the tournament in Brazil will be difficult for all teams, who are facing gruelling travelling schedules and unfamiliar climatic conditions.

For European teams in particular, adapting to the conditions will be of prime importance if any are to win the title for the first time on the American continent.

Conditions in Brazil are also likely to dictate tactics. Teams accustomed to playing a high, intensive pressing game are unlikely to maintain energy levels over 90 minutes or longer in tropical conditions.

The former Socceroos coach Holger Osieck says pressing defence will be "wishful thinking", and teams will have to pace themselves.

No European team has been able to win a FIFA competition in South America.

The opening game is between Brazil and Croatia, starting at 8 o'clock tomorrow morning.