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Neymar to make first start since February in Austria v Brazil

624   //    09 Jun 2018, 23:10 IST
Neymar - cropped
Brazil forward Neymar

Neymar will start Brazil's friendly against Austria on Sunday, head coach Tite has confirmed.

The Paris Saint-Germain star marked his first appearance since suffering a broken metatarsal by coming off the bench to crash in a brilliant solo effort during last weekend's 2-0 win over Croatia at Anfield.

Neymar replaced Fernandinho at the interval on that occasion and has now been preferred to the Manchester City midfielder in the starting line-up – Tite's only change as his XI for the World Cup opener against Switzerland seemingly takes shape.

The reshuffle is likely to see Philippe Coutinho start in a central role alongside Barcelona team-mate Paulinho, with Casemiro holding and Neymar and Willian supporting striker Gabriel Jesus in the wide attacking roles.

"He's scheduled for a part of the game. How much, I don't know, but he will surely not go the whole game," Tite said of Neymar's involvement at the Ernst-Happel-Stadion.

"We monitor the evolution of training, games and his level of confidence.

"I say do not take your foot off, stop competing - the best way to find rhythm is to do strong, quality training."

Manchester United-bound midfielder Fred remains sidelined with an ankle injury sustained during training this week.

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