Tite looks set to field a more defensive line up than he did against Russia, with Douglas Costa making way for Fernandinho in today’s friendly against Germany.
In a blog post a few days ago, I explained how one of my key takeaways from Brazil’s win against Russia was that Philippe Coutinho excelled in a central midfield role. Against Germany though, it seems that he will play out wide, with the more defensively minded Fernandinho taking his place in central midfield.
Fernandinho clearly knows what he is doing and is a good player, but I would like to have seen Philippe Coutinho continue in the central position. Not only do I think he more effective there than out wide, but the team will also now miss the pace of Douglas Costa, who could stretch the German defense.
Clearly, playing away from home against the World Champions requires a bit of caution, especially when the last time you played them you got thumped 7 – 1, so I do understand Tite’s logic. That being said, Brazil is Brazil and surely they should be imposing the way they want to play on their opponents, whoever they are.
Since Tite also opted to play Philippe Coutinho in a wide position against England in November, I get the feeling that he is planning to do this against the stronger teams at the World Cup (not that England are a particularly strong team mind you). Tite wouldn’t be trying this if he didn’t expect to play this way during the competition. Against the likes of Costa Rica, I think we can expect to see Coutinho start in the middle.
The probable line up for today’s match:
Alisson, Daniel Alves, Thiago Silva, Miranda and Marcelo; Casemiro; Fernandinho, Paulinho, Willian and Coutinho; Gabriel Jesus
Kudos to Tite by the way, for not completely rotating his side like many other coaches are doing during this international window. With the exception of Fernandinho taking the place of Douglas Costa, the line up is unchanged from that which started against Russia.
The match kicks off at 19:45 UK (15:45 Brazil), and will be showing live on BT Sports 2.
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