Marcelo added to Brazil’s full back injury problems after he pulled out of the squad with a broken foot. He’s unlikely to play again this year in a blow to both club and country. This comes after Dani Alvez and Alex Sandro withdrew from the original squad with injury too. Why was Alex Sandro called up again by the way? Has he been in amazing form for Porto? Has he suddenly become good? Does he have the same agent as Mano Menezes? Can somebody please explain this to me… I’m really struggling here…
As it happens, Mano didn’t call up any replacements so it looks like somebody is going to have to play out of position against Japan tomorrow (Tuesday, 13.10 UK). Mano has suggested that Adriano (now the only fit full back) will continue at right back and that Thiago Neves (seriously???) or Leandro Castán (for his seleção debut) could come into the team. How about David Luiz at left back and Dedé gets a start? That’s what I would do. Ramires is struggling with the flu and Sandro looks like he’ll come in as a straight replacement. I expect the attack and formation to be the same as that in the 6-0 thrashing of Iraq though (with Neymar playing as some sort of a false number 9). Possible line-up: Diego Alves; Adriano, Thiago Silva, David Luiz, Leandro Castan; Paulinho, Sandro, Oscar, Kaká; Hulk and Neymar.
The new formation (without a recognised number 9) worked well according to accounts (real life got in the way and I was unable to watch it). Japan are a lot better than Iraq though (they beat France last week) so this match should really put the new formation (and Kaká comeback) to the test. In case you missed it, check out last week’s seleção post.
Meanwhile, in the league, Fluminense moved one step closer to the league title. They won again. This time they beat Ponte Preta 2-1. Fred, surprise surprise scored again. Atletico Mineiro came back from behind to beat Sport and keep their faint hopes alive and more importantly cement that all-important Libertadores spot. Flu’s form has been imperious though and with 8 games to go and a 9 point cushion, surely they won’t throw it away. São Paulo have moved up to 4th after they won against Figuierense and Vasco lost away to Santos. Palmeiras’ woes went from bad to worse and they lost again. Serie B beckons for them as they are 9 points from safety with just 8 games to go. There is a full line up of midweek games on Wednesday and Thursday night. Flu v 3rd placed Gremio is the big one there.
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So I managed to watch some of the game while at work today and from what I saw, Brazil looked VERY GOOD. The game was so open and Japan will consider themselves lucky not to have scored and had a penalty. But, Brazil’s pace on the counter-attack was fantastic. Kaká made a big difference and was able to run with the ball at speed and pass it off to the likes of Neymar and Hulk who always looked dangerous. Mano later admitted that Kaká has made a big difference to the team and I fully agree. Neymar also loves playing with Kaká too… Kaká, the new Ganso in Neymar’s life…
Ramires had an incorrectly disallowed goal after a great move and Kaká hit the post. Hulk also hit the post with a deflected free kick and there might have been a lot more posts involved that I didn’t even see (cos I was, also working…) Oscar looked as classy as ever and maybe even a little bit classier. Paulinho’s goal was excellent. I thought Castán made a good debut – very sharp at left back…. not your typical free flowing Brazilian wing-back but solid, quick and aggressive. Adriano had a great game at right back.
Geez… perfect. Happy days. Brazil beat Japan 4-0…. perhaps they are ready to play against some of the top teams again…
Still don’t know how Brazil lost the Olympics and why they play so poorly at home against teams like South Africa and a seriously under strength Argentina. But, brilliant week for Brazil.
Neymar scored two and in the process overtook none other than Garrincha as Brazil’s 24th highest ever goal scorer… 16 goals in 25 games I think it is….