In-depth analysis: Brazil

It wouldn't be a major international tournament for the Westfield Matildas without facing familiar foe Brazil.

The two countries crossed paths at the Olympic Games two years ago and are set to meet for the fourth successive FIFA Women's World Cup.

Alen Stajcic described himself as "excited" by the chance for another clash with the celebrated South American nation, perhaps in part because his team has dominated recent encounters.

EXCITING: Stajcic on the Brazil challenge
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ANALYSIS: Group C opponents Jamaica

But the Westfield Matildas boss will know not to underestimate an opponent which still boasts star power and presents the most obvious hurdle to sealing smooth progression from Group C.

The match will take place at Stade de la Mosson in Montpellier in the early hours of Friday, June 14 (AEDT) and could make or break Australia's hopes of attaining top spot.

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Brazil have long been a force on the international stage but have never broken through to claim the ultimate prize.

Participants at all seven previous editions of the FIFA Women's World Cup, they have finished on the podium twice: achieving third in 1999 and finishing as runners-up in 2007 after losing 2-0 to Germany in the decider.

A quarter-final exit followed four years later before a humbling at the hands of Australia in 2015.

Kyah Simon scored the only goal to sink the Selecao in the Round of 16 in Canada, meaning they missed the last eight for the first time in 20 years.

Brazil bounced back by snaring fourth at the Olympic Games on home soil and again enter the main event as continental champions, breezing through the Copa America Femenina with a perfect record in April.

China 2007 is the closest Brazil have been to lifting the trophy

Form guide

Brazil slipped to their joint-worst position of 10th in FIFA's latest rankings update.

The latest slide owes to a poor run of three defeats in their four post-Copa America Femenina outings.

Two arrived at the Tournament of Nations earlier this year as the Westfield Matildas (3-1) and the United States (4-1) proved too strong either side of a confidence-boosting 2-1 win over Japan.

Brazil have had just one friendly hit-out since the conclusion of the mid-year tournament, losing 1-0 to fifth-ranked Canada in Ottawa.

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Brazil and the Westfield Matildas
Brazil were unable to contain the Westfield Matildas in July

Key players

Now in the twilight of a spectacular career, Marta remains the name most familiar to football fans across the world.

The six-time FIFA Women's Player of the Year is widely considered the finest female footballer of all-time and, though her powers may be declining, still possesses the unique skills that can unlock a tight contest.

Long-serving midfielder and appearance leader Formiga, 40, is in contention to make what would be an astonishing seventh trip to the showpiece event, while experienced forward Cristiane - now based in China - is back in the fold after ending her self-imposed exile.

North Carolina Courage forward Debinha looms as a more modern threat.

The 27-year-old scored eight times in the most recent National Women's Soccer League season, including the opener in the Championship triumph over Portland Thorns, and was named to the NWSL Second XI for her efforts.

BULLISH: Stajcic says Westfield Matildas 'can beat anyone'

Debinha is an obvious danger

The coach

Head coach Vadao took over for the second time in September 2017.

He was in charge at Canada 2015 and won both the Copa America Femenina and Pan American Games before making way in the wake of the Olympic Games in Rio.

The experienced 62-year-old returned to the role fewer than 12 months later to replace his successor Emily Lima, whose exit from the post prompted several players to announce their international retirement.

Vadao has seemingly succeeded in putting the pieces back together and will now be targeting an improvement on his last FIFA Women's World Cup experience.

Vadao is back at the helm for Brazil