The problem facing Brazilian Coach Carlos Alberto Parreira today is not an easy one to solve. His midfield's performance is key to the game's outcome but his midfield is clearly the team's weak point.
Blasted by the Brazilian media for their lack of creativity, the midfielders will have to lift their game to new heights, both offensively and defensively, against an Italian team whose midfield, on paper, is stronger and more attack-minded.
Parreira has the edge in forwards, where Romario and Bebeto will be going against a makeshift Italian defense, but if Italy wins the midfield battle, the two strikers will be left searching in vain for the ball.
The Brazilian defense is sound enough, with Aldair and Marcio Santos having performed better than expected in their fill-in roles at the center once Ricardo Rocha and Ricardo Gomes were injured. Brazil superiority fullbacks in Jorginho and Branco, with another surprise package waiting in the wings in the shape of Cafu. All three like to attack.
In goal, Taffarel will have to keep a sharp eye open for the long-range Italian shots, especially from players such as Dino Baggio and Demetrio Albertini.