Brazil's (left to right) Dani Alves, David Luiz, Paulinho, Neymar and Hulk train earlier this week.
Brazil's (left to right) Dani Alves, David Luiz, Paulinho, Neymar and Hulk train earlier this week.
Andre Penner/AP

BRASILIA, Brazil (AP) -- Two-time defending champion Brazil faces Japan in the opening match of the Confederations Cup on Saturday, hoping to get off to a good start in the World Cup warm-up tournament and live up to the sky-high expectations of demanding home fans.

It will be the first major competition for Brazil since the return of coach Luiz Felipe Scolari, and a victory in the opener will be crucial to gain the support of home fans who have been criticizing and jeering the national team following a series of poor results.

Brazil hasn't won a significant title since the 2009 Confederations Cup in South Africa.

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