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With Only A Few Days To Go Until Brazil’s World Cup Opener, Manager Tite Already Has His Starting Line-up To Face Switzerland Decided

Tite leads his Brazilian side into the World Cup on a mission after their dismal 2014 showing
Tite leads his Brazilian side into the World Cup on a mission after their dismal 2014 showing

Tite has already indicated which first XI he will put out for Brazil’s World Cup opener on Sunday against Switzerland. In a training session on Wednesday, he repeated the starters that beat Austria with ease for the Seleção in their final preparative friendly last weekend, with the recovered Neymar among them.

The final formation is yet to be confirmed, however the coach took a 4-1-4-1 to the field and the same base of players that was used in almost all of the CONMEBOL World Cup qualifiers: Alisson; Danilo, Thiago Silva, Miranda and Marcelo; Casemiro; Willian, Paulinho, Philippe Coutinho and Neymar; Gabriel Jesus.

The main differences compared to the outfit that sealed the national team’s passage to Russia are of course the inclusion of Manchester City’s Danilo, standing in for the injured Daniel Alves, and former captain Thiago Silva, who at the last minute has replaced his PSG teammate Marquinhos at centre-back. Though he has finally returned to training with the group, the injured Renato Augusto, once a regular feature, has also given way in recent times.

As mentioned, it was with this team that Brazil began their last friendly against Austria, whom they beat 3-0 with goals from Neymar, Gabriel Jesus and Philippe Coutinho. For their efforts, all three won plaudits: Neymar, for the skill and ease with which he wrong-footed two Austrian defenders to coolly slot home after a masterful chip of a pass from Willian; Jesus, for prolonging his status as Tite’s first-choice striker and the top scorer under the charismatic former Corinthians chief; and, finally, Coutinho for having become Brazil’s ‘ritmista’ in dictating the flow and rhythm of the proceedings by drifting in from the left flank with cover from Casemiro. Finally, a way to accommodate both the Barcelona midfielder and Willian in the same side has been found.

Before this came a clash with Croatia at Anfield, where Neymar made his long-awaited return from a February knock in the second half and Fernandinho was slotted behind Coutinho. Tite took the chance to experiment with and observe a few variations in his approach but is thought to have been dissuaded from making them permanent. Therefore, as his side are placed among the favourites alongside Germany and an embattled Spain, expect there to be no additional changes until further notice.  

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