Swiss challenge for injury-hit Brazil
Five-times world champions Brazil have to contend with a number of injuries, talisman Neymar's ankle injury the most mentionable of all, but have a host of young talents to step in as the Selecao face Switzerland in their World Cup Group G game on Monday.
The latest on the list of Brazil players that could miss today's game is midfielder Lucas Paqueta as an illness could see the 25-year-old sidelined against the Swiss.
Brazil were already set to miss their talisman Neymar and reliable full back Danilo, both ruled out by ankle injuries suffered in their opening 2-0 win over Serbia.
The World Cup favourites trained behind closed doors at the Al Arabi Stadium on Saturday and coach Tite gave no clue about team selection in his news conference on Sunday.
But it was learned that Paqueta was unable to train fully, affecting Tite's plans to compensate for Neymar's absence against the Swiss.
However, midfielder Casemiro remained totally unfazed, saying Brazil at times feel 'sorry for rivals' with so many young talents at their disposal.
"We have other players that have been performing in the same level like Vinicius Jr, Raphinha Richarlison, Gabriel Jesus.," Casemiro said.
"We, those who play in the back end, often joke that we feel sorry for our rivals because we can replace Raphinha for Antony, Richalison for Gabriel Jesus. We have Rodrygo, Gabriel Martinelli…"
Real Madrid prodigy Rodrygo would be the first option if Tite decides to use the same system with four up-front.
The21-year-old forward played in Neymar's position in three practice games in Turin before the World Cup.
But the option of pairing Fred with his Manchester United team mate Casemiro to strengthen the midfield is also very much in play.
Meanwhile, Swiss midfielder Xherdan Shaqiri remained confident of portraying a better showing against Brazil than they did when the two met in the previous World Cup. The teams last met in the group stage of the 2018 tournament in Russia, where they drew 1-1.
"That was a positive outcome," Shaqiri said of the 2018 draw. "We are aware of what we can do and I think we have made progress. We have more experience and have been challenged by greater teams since."