Copa America: Brazil Team News, Predicted XI, Injury News
Brazil will kick off the tournament at the Cícero Pompeu de Toledo Stadium in São Paulo against Bolivia in a group A fixture on Friday.
Despite winning two preparatory warm-up matches comfortably against Qatar and Honduras, Brazil’s preparations for the most prestigious South American tournament were far from ideal as their star forward Neymar Jr was ruled out of the competition after suffering a nasty ankle injury.
Although veteran Brazil manager Tite might have the luxury of playing Philippe Coutinho as an out-an-out replacement for Neymar in the offensive trio, he may deploy the Barcelona star in a No.10 role, playing David Neres and Richarlison on either side, with Roberto Firmino being the lone striker in a 4-2-3-1 fomation.
In midfield, Casemiro and Arthur will play as a double-pivot. The Barcelona man is expected to accompany the Real Madrid midfielder due to his superior passing range than Allan.
Filipe Luís is expected to edge out Alex Sandro in the left-back position, while captain Dani Alves will slot in as the right-back, with Marquinhos and Thiago Silva playing at the heart of the defence.
Champions League winner Alisson Becker will get the nod ahead of Manchester City's Ederson Moraes in goal, as the Liverpool custodian was in great form last season.
So, let's see how Brazil will line-up for their opening Copa America encounter against Bolivia.
Players to watch out for:
Richarlison will have a big role to play for Brazil in Neymar’s absence if the hosts are to go on and lift the title. Identified as one of the players to watch out for in this tournament by several football pundits, Richarlison enjoyed a great season for Everton, racking up 14 goals and two assists in all competition. Bolivia have to be aware of Richarlison’s pace.
#2 David Neres
Coming at the back of a sensational season with Ajax, David Neres is all set to light the Copa America 2019. The left-footed Ajax star has attracted interest from several European heavyweights after netting 12 goals and providing 15 assists in all competitions for the Dutch champions in the 2018-19 campaign.
#3 Alisson Becker
Alisson Becker was nothing less than magnificent for Liverpool last season. In his first-ever season at Anfield, the 26-year-old helped the Reds to land their sixth European Cup/Champions League, making eight saves in the final against Tottenham.