24 C
Brunei
Thursday, February 9, 2023
24 C
Brunei
Thursday, February 9, 2023
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    Brazil with plenty of options to replace Neymar at World Cup

    AP – With Neymar out for at least another match, Brazil coach Tite must now start thinking about a replacement – and this time he has plenty of options.

    Brazil is not as Neymar-dependent as it used to be, and Tite could go several different ways to replace the Paris Saint-Germain forward for tomorrow’s Group G match against Switzerland.

    Neymar hurt his right ankle in Brazil’s opening 2-0 win against Serbia on Thursday.

    He has ligament damage and team doctors have not given a timetable for his recovery – or said if he will be able to recover at all.

    Tite brought nine forwards to the World Cup, and could also add a midfielder as Neymar’s replacement if wanted.

    Brazil’s Neymar receives first aid. PHOTO: AP

    The most straightforward option would be to use Rodrygo in Neymar’s position, keeping Raphinha, Vinícius Júnior and Richarlison in attack. Rodrygo plays more as an attacker at Real Madrid, but he has trained in Neymar’s ‘number 10’ playmaking position while with Brazil in Qatar.

    Another alternative would be to put an extra midfielder in Neymar’s position – Manchester United’s Fred or Newcastle’s Bruno Guimarães, for example – freeing up attacking midfielder Lucas Paquetá, who played closer to defensive midfielder Casemiro against Serbia.

    Another attacking midfielder available to Tite is Everton Ribeiro, while the other forwards in the squad are Gabriel Jesus, Antony, Gabriel Martinelli and Pedro.

    Neymar attracted most of the attention from the tough Serbian defence, which kept roughing him up from the start.

    He was fouled nine times during the game, the most by any player at the World Cup in the first round of matches in the group stage.

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