You make some very good observations and excellent points.
Brazil did indeed employ a very “high pressure” defensive strategy when it came to Spain. Basically, Brazil looked very much like Barcelona did under Pep Guardiola, pressing high and winning the ball back early. Under Tito, FCB no longer does that.
The brazilians have always been a wild-card due to their player’s immense talent, but also lack of “discipline”, right? Up until now, Brazil was carried by guys like Ronaldinho, Ronaldo, Rivaldo, etc. Another thing that includes in “discipline” is execution of the actually game-plan. I don’t know about you guys, but I have a hard time imagining Ronaldinho tracking players across the field defensively, even before he lost his step. IMO, that differs from this version of the brazilians, who are being coached for the second time by Scolari, and are pretty keen to listen to the coach and combine the ‘joga bonito’ with some tactical awareness. They looked good… I think squad depth is another thing that will play a big role in Brazil 2014(very high temperatures, high dehyration/fatigue factor), and the brazilians themselves are quite stacked as of right now…
And nobody does game-plan execution better than the Italians… add some mercurial(and hopefully more mature in 2014) Balotelli and I’m a believer!
Obviously the Italians winning the World Cup is the second most likely scenario, after the whole “Ibrahimovic scores 4 goals every game and Sweden wins the World Cup” debacle.