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Sao Paulo, Brazil - The World Cup kicks off in style today as host nation Brazil battles Croatia in the opening match of Group A play at the Arena de Sao Paulo. Follow all the action live on TSN Radio 1050 in Toronto, 690 in Montreal, 1260 in Edmonton and on TEAM 1410 beginning at 4pm et/1pm pt. As the host country, the pressure is squarely on the shoulder of the Brazilian squad to make good on their status as pre-tournament favorites and win their sixth World Cup title. The key for Brazil will be how manager Luiz Felipe Scolari does with keeping his young team on an even keel in front of their home crowd. Leading the star-studded Brazilian team is 22-year-old Neymar, who figures to be one of the faces of the tournament. The Barcelona man is viewed as the future of the Brazilian national team, and he made quite an introduction for himself at last summers Confederations Cup, scoring four goals in the tournament and helping Brazil to a 3-0 win over Spain in the final, which earned him recognition as the best player in the competition. Experienced players such as Ronaldinho, Kaka and Robinho were left off the Confederations Cup roster, and were replaced by youngsters Fred and Hulk, who will help Neymar with the scoring onus. Scolari has a plethora of options in midfield with creative players like Chelsea trio Ramires, Oscar and Willian, while Inter Milans Hernanes is another offensive option. Defensively, experienced goalkeeper Julio Cesar will anchor a group that includes David Luiz, Thiago Silva and Dante as options in the middle, while full backs Dani Alves and Marcelo give the team plenty going forward in two- way roles. Croatia, meanwhile, returns to the worlds biggest footballing stage after missing the 2010 event in South Africa. Croatian head coach Niko Kovac is armed with a talented roster that certainly has a fighting chance to reach the knockout stage, despite a difficult draw. Kovacs club is led by a strong midfield which contains Real Madrids Luka Modric and Sevillas Ivan Rakitic. The former Tottenham man, Modric, will be responsible for generating offense from his midfield position and feeding the ball forward to players like Mario Mandzukic and Ivica Olic. The presence of Rakitic will help Modric in the middle of the field, while both Mandzukic and Olic will be responsible for putting away the chances. Olic will have to carry the offensive load against Brazil, however, as Mandzukic will be unavailable after he was sent off in the clubs qualifying victory over Iceland. Croatia will have one big miss in midfield as Niko Kranjcar will not feature in the tournament due to a hamstring injury. Kranjcar has totaled 16 goals in 81 international appearances, and his experience will be missed in a midfield short on depth. Captain Darijo Srna anchors the back line with considerable international experience, having been capped 110 times for his country. Hell need to keep his defenders organized and clam on the ball against the likes of Brazil and Mexico if the side is to reach the knockout round for the first time since 1998. Brazil hosted the World Cup once before, in 1950, and that team was also expected to hoist the trophy, but were upset by Uruguay in the final. That defeat is still talked about in Brazil today, so the current team will aim to make sure they get off to a winning start. Francisco Lindor Indians Jersey .Cullen scored the go-ahead goal at 13:47 of the third period and Nashville beat the slumping Dallas Stars 3-2 on Thursday in a game that wasnt decided until the last shot of the night. Kenny Lofton Jersey .C. -- Carter Ashton had a pair of goals and added an assist as the Toronto Marlies downed the Charlotte Checkers 5-2 on Saturday in the American Hockey League. http://www.indianssale.com/indians-jose-ramirez-jersey/. He scored two highlight-reel goals in a three-minute span -- the second on a sideways bicycle kick in the 78th minute -- to give the Whitecaps a 2-2 draw with the Portland Timbers before a crowd of 20,303 at B. Leonys Martin Indians Jersey . Canadas 5-1 loss to Finland in the semifinal ranks as the tournaments most-watched game with a record 2.7 million viewers, the largest ever for a World Juniors game played outside of North America, and winning Saturday as the most-watched program on Canadian television. Carlos Baerga Indians Jersey .ca presents a week long look at some of the teams and stories that will shape the up coming campaign.MISSISSAUGA, Ont. -- He plays with passion and energy and always has something to say but Brandon Isaac will have a bit more juice than usual Friday night. The Hamilton Tiger-Cats colourful linebacker will face his former Toronto Argonauts teammates for the first time since being released by the CFL club in July. Isaac helped the Double Blue win a Grey Cup title last year and was a team captain to start the season before being let go four games into the season. The four-year CFL veteran will arrive at Rogers Centre with a definite chip on his shoulder in the opening game of a home-and-home series between the long-time rivals. The Argos face the Ticats in Guelph, Ont., on Oct. 14. "I can say you play a little harder, you can say that because youre going to have that grit to win and try to prove those guys wrong," Isaac said candidly. "Ive thought about it (facing the Argos), Ive looked at it a few times (on the calendar). "Its here now and as a team were ready to play and see where were at." Ticats coach Kent Austin, always a model of political correctness when addressing reporters, could only shake his head at Isaacs brutal honesty during Hamiltons pre-game news conference. "Thats not what I wanted to hear," a smiling Austin said, drawing laughter from the assembled media. And asked if Isaac had been watching his news conferences this season, Austin jokingly quipped: "Apparently not." However, Austin said hes not concerned about emotions getting the better of Isaac on the field. "Look, football is an emotional game and youve got to play with your heart but you also have to play with your head," he said. "B.I. brings us . . . the energy, the emotion, the physicality our defence needs. "He handles it the right way." Isaac definitely has the gift of the gab on the field and says hell have plenty to say Friday night. "Theres a couple of things I want to say," he said. "I envision me making certain plays and saying certain things but those plays have to happen for me to say it that way. "Im going to talk and whatever I feel at that moment is the right thing to say Im going to say it." But Toronto receiver/returner Chad Owens (ribs) -- who will be game-time decision -- said the Argos expect to face a motivated and vocal Isaac. "B.I. is a good football player," Owens said. "He tries to get under your skin but were not going to involved in that. "Whether he knows it or not, that energizes both sides of the football, that will get us going. We have to know where hes at, we have to understand what hes doing, when hes blitzing and we also have to worry about what were going to do." The game is an important one for both clubs, who will play their final five regular-season contests against East Division rivals. Toronto (9-4) can clinch a home playoff game with a win and would cement first in the East if the Montreal Alouettes also lose to the Edmonton Eskimos on Saturday. Hamilton (6-7) can close ground on the front-running Argos with a victory and would claim a post-season berth if Edmonton and Winnipeg (which is visiting Calgary) also both lose. "Thats what our season has come down to," Austin ssaid.dddddddddddd. "Its pretty apparent theres good and bad news. "The good news is theyre all Eastern teams, the bad news is theyre all Eastern teams so we have to prepare well because theyre the most meaningful games." Sophomore Zach Collaros makes his sixth straight start for Toronto in place of veteran Ricky Ray, who suffered a shoulder injury against Calgary on Aug. 23. Ray will be the Argos No. 3 quarterback behind Collaros and backup Trevor Harris. "Hes not at 100 per cent, hes probably at 85 per cent strength in his arm but if he has to play, he can," Milanovich said of Ray. "We want to get him out there and used to his pre-game routine and going over the wristband . . . so if its next week or the week after hes ready to start that its not the first time he goes through it." Toronto is 4-1 since Rays injury, becoming the first CFL team ever to win all four games of a four-game road trip in the process,. They rallying from a deficit in each road win. Collaros has been especially impressive in the fourth quarter of those contest, completing 33-of-38 passes for 372 yards and four touchdowns with no interceptions and a stunning 142.5 quarterback rating. "I guess weve executed, Ive thrown better, weve caught it better and done all those things better in the fourth," Collaros said. "I dont really know if their is an answer for that. "We need to find an answer for the first couple of quarters to get it going and not make it so hard on ourselves." Hamilton will have rookie safety Courtney Stephen back in the lineup while former Washington Redskin Brandon Banks will return kicks. "He (Stephen) is going to be a really really good football player in this league for a long time," Austin said. "We had pretty high expectations for him but I think hes developed faster than I thought he would. "Banks is a natural returner . . . hes got a great initial burst. Well see come gametime but what Ive seen in practice is what Ive seen on his tape and thats a guy who has good vision and runs with vision, not just with speed." Friday nights game will be Torontos first at home since dropping a lacklustre 20-9 decision to Montreal on Sept. 9, the first game after Ray was injured. "Im very excited to be back home," Milanovich said. "Just playing in our stadium and not having to concern yourself with weather and some of the decisions you have to make from a head coachs perspective on the road makes it a little bit cleaner. "It seems like its been a long time since weve gone into that locker-room." Milanovich downplayed the significance of Torontos record-setting road trip, suggesting it was a first because clubs dont often play four straight games from home. Of more importance, he said, was the Argos pulling together to find ways to win in hostile environments. But Austin said Toronto deserves to be in the discussion about which are the CFLs top teams. "Theyre a good football team, theyre well coached, they play well together and they believe in one another," he said. "You can see it, you can see the chemistry . . . Its hard to beat a team that has a high level belief that theyre unbeatable." ' ' '