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Paddy Power are starting the World Cup with a bang by offering almost four times the current best price on the 22-year-old Barcelona frontman finding the net in the opening match

The host nation has never lost their opening World Cup game and the bookmakers do not expect that to change on Thursday evening when the curtain will be raised on Brazil 2014.

Paddy Power make the hosts just 1/3 (1.33) to get off to a winning start in front of 68,000 people at Arena Corinthians while Croatia are available at 10/1 (11.0) to register what would be a huge shock by beating the Selecao on their own turf. The draw is priced at 4/1 (5.0).

Expectations are high about Brazil's chances of success this summer and Barcelona forward Neymar is the poster-boy for that potential success. Paddy Power are offering new customers the chance to back him to score any time at 4/1 (5.0), almost four times the best price available elsewhere (11/10).

The nation held its collective breath on Tuesday when the 22-year-old went down after rolling his ankle during a routine training session but the breathtaking series of free kicks that Neymar then produced arrested any fears that he might not be 100 per cent after the incident.

Fluminense striker Fred looks set to lead the Brazilian line with Neymar, Oscar and Hulk all occupying the space behind him. Last summer's Confederations Cup gave a glimpse into the potential of this Brazil side and, with four goals in the tournament - including a stunning strike against Spain in the final - Neymar certainly didn't disappoint.

Against a Croatia side who laboured throughout qualifying, eventually reaching the finals via a play-off win over Iceland, anything other than a victory would be seen as a failure and they are bound to be a popular selection with punters putting together group-stage accumulators.

With an impressive goalscoring record at international level (31 goals in 49 senior caps), the opportunity to back Neymar at 4/1 (5.0) to find the net at any time against Croatia is sure to prove a popular selection for anyone without a Paddy Power account. Alternatively, new customers can back Brazil to win the tournament at a huge 8/1 (9.0) by using this link.

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World Cup Special - Brazil v Croatia
Neymar to score anytime at 4/1 (5.0) with Paddy Power

Jim Knight is Chief Betting Editor at Goal.com and has been tipping football games since he was old enough to place a bet. He is a Leicester City fan, writer and member of the We Are Going Up Podcast

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