Brazil are set to go all-out attack for their World Cup opener against Serbia on Thursday.
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Manchester United’s Fred was expected to be in the starting XI for their first match in Group G, but Brazil’s manager Tite has sacrificed a midfielder to accommodate another attacker, according to sources in Brazil.
Brazilian television network Globo claims that Brazil have tested the formation in both behind-closed-doors training sessions on Monday & Tuesday, and barring any late changes, Tite will select an attack consisting of Richarlison & Neymar, with Raphinha and Vinicius Junior on the flank.
Fred’s Manchester United teammate, Casemiro will anchor Brazil’s midfield, with West Ham star Lucas Paqueta playing further forward.
Alisson will start in goal, Thiago Silva and Marquinhos will be in central defence, while Danilo and Alex Sandro will operate in the right and left full back positions respectively.
Globo described Brazil’s starting line-up as ‘unprecedented’ because Fred has started the majority of their matches over the past 12 months.
BRAZIL STARTING XI VS SERBIA
Alisson; Danilo, Thiago Silva, Marquinhos, Alex Sandro; Casemiro, Lucas Paqueta; Raphinha, Richarlison, Neymar, Vinicius Junior
Brazil will also play Switzerland and Cameroon in their Group G.
Speaking ahead of Brazil’s World Cup opening game, Richarlison named France, Belgium and Argentina as three sides he believes are frontrunners for the trophy alongside his nation.
‘There are a lot of good teams,’ the Tottenham forward told Eurosport.
‘The defending champions, France. Belgium, for example, and Argentina, which has a good squad and won the Copa America.
‘I think there are a lot of good teams, but we are Brazil, we have a lot of history, we’ve never been out of the World Cup and we’re going to the World Cup to honour the shirt. We’re definitely going to get something good for us.’