Bazil kick off World Cup qualifying on Thursday, without their biggest star Neymar, who is out of the entire International football because of suspension he picked up at Copa América.
However the team look determined to give a tough face in their first game to Chile.
On the other hand, the Chileans struggled in the early part of qualifying for the last World Cup, but got red hot in the second half to qualify. They’ve been on a roll since, making the knockout stages of the World Cup, then winning Copa América on their home soil by defeating Argentina in the final.
They come up with all their stars inculding the Alexis Sánchez and Arturo Vidal, who are still in the prime of their careers.
Besides Neymar, Brazil are also without defender Thiago Silva, who apparently hasn’t been forgiven for his part in their World Cup debacle. The Liverpool pair of Roberto Firmino and Philippe Coutinho has also been left off this squad. Kaká has somewhat surprisingly been called up for competitive games, even though his selection for previous friendlies was criticized as a move that pandered to sponsors.
Upset potential — High
If Chile get all three points against Brazil, it’ll make headlines across the globe, but consistent followers of South American football won’t be surprised. There’s no such thing as an easy road game in CONMEBOL, and this one should be extra tricky for Brazil, without Neymar and against a very good opponent.
Key player — Douglas Costa
Costa got national team looks while he was with Shakhtar Donetsk, but recent dominant performances for Bayern Munich will give the speedy winger a chance to cement his place in the Selecao.