Mar 3, 2017 15:15:17
Coach Tite has made just four changes to his group that will meet Uruguay and Paraguay this month as they hope to seal a place at Russia 2018
Diego is set to make his first full international appearance since 2008 after Brazil coach Tite included the Flamengo playmaker in his squad for March’s World Cup qualifiers against Uruguay and Paraguay.
The former Juventus man suitably impressed the boss in January, when he played the second half of a 1-0 victory over Colombia, a match that took place outside of an official FIFA international date and was restricted to domestic-based players.
Sport Recife’s Deigo Souza started as a fixed centre forward in that win, and he too has earned his first call-up under the current coach.
Souza looks set to battle it out with Liverpool’s Roberto Firmino to start as Brazil’s striker in the absence of Gabriel Jesus, who will miss both matches due to a foot injury.
Benfica's Ederson will also join a Tite squad for the first time after making a good impression on goalkeeping coach Taffarel, who attended the Portuguese club’s 1-0 UEFA Champions League win over Dortmund last month.
Real Madrid’s Casemiro returns after injury kept him out of Brazil’s last four World Cup qualifiers.
Flamengo goalkeeper Alex Muralha, Sao Paulo defender Rodrigo Caio and Santos midfielder Lucas Lima dropped out as Tite made four changes to his previous squad.
Brazil travel to Montevideo to meet Uruguay on March 23 before hosting Paraguay in Sao Paulo on March 28.
Since his June 2016 arrival, Tite has led the five-time world champions to six consecutive World Cup qualifying victories.
The Selecao sit four points clear of second-placed Uruguay with six matches remaining and this month could see them mathematically secure their place at Russia 2018.
Squad in full
Goalkeepers: Alisson (Roma), Weverton (Atletico PR), Ederson (Benfica).
Defenders: Gil, Marquinhos, (PSG) Thiago Silva (PSG) Miranda (Inter) Gil (Shandong Luneng), Dani Alves (Juventus), Fagner (Corinthians), Filipe Luis (Atletico Madrid, Marcelo (Real Madrid).
Midfielders: Casemiro (Real Madrid), Fernandinho (Manchester City), Paulinho (Guangzhou Evergrande), Giuliano (Zenit), Renato Augusto (Beijing Guoan), Diego (Flamengo) Philippe Coutinho (Liverpool), Willian (Chelsea).
Forwards: Neymar (Barcelona), Douglas Costa (Bayern Munich) Roberto Firmino (Liverpool) Diego Souza (Sport).
Predicted line-up: Alisson; Dani Alves, Marquinhos, Miranda, Marcelo; Casemiro, Paulinho, Renato Augusto; Coutinho, Neymar, Roberto Firmino