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How Brazil could line up against Bolivia

How Brazil could line up against Bolivia

Sports Mole looks at how Brazil could line up for their Copa America opener against Bolivia in the absence of injured talisman Neymar.

Host nation Brazil open up the 46th edition of the Copa America in the early hours of Saturday morning when they take on Bolivia at the Estadio do Morumbi in Sao Paulo.

The eight-time winners of the competition are favourites to lift the trophy again, although they have not been crowned champions of South America since 2007.

Tite‘s side are also without talisman Neymar, who has been ruled out of the entire tournament due to an ankle injury, and so there will be plenty of pressure on them to get off to a good start this weekend.

Here, Sports Mole looks at how the Selecao could line up against Bolivia.


Neymar’s absence – which comes as a result of an injury suffered in a warm-up game against Qatar – opens up a space in trio behind the striker which could once again be filled by Ajax starlet David Neres.

The 22-year-old replaced Neymar in the starting XI for the final warm-up match against Honduras and scored his first international goal in that 7-0 hammering, playing the full 90 minutes for Tite’s side.

Everton’s Richarlison was also on the scoresheet in that match to make it five goals in 10 Brazil games, which is likely to earn him a starting role ahead of Willian, who was only included in the squad as a late replacement for Neymar.

Gabriel Jesus will once again battle with Roberto Firmino for the central striking role, and Jesus looks to be winning that race having started both warm-up games and scored three times in the process.

Philippe Coutinho is arguably Brazil’s most high-profile player in Neymar’s absence, although the likes of Dani Alves and Thiago Silva will help to shoulder the burden of responsibility.

Alves will start after replacing Neymar as captain even before the latter’s injury, but there are questions on the other side of defence where Filipe Luis is competing for a place with Alex Sandro.

The gloves also remain a contentious issue between Liverpool’s Alisson Becker and Manchester City’s Ederson, while in midfield Fernandinho, Arthur, Casemiro and Allan are all pushing for inclusion.

Roberto Firmino in a Brazil training session at Anfield on June 2, 2018

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