Liverpool forward Roberto Firmino will be handed a rare start for Brazil in their World Cup qualifier against Uruguay on Thursday, according to Selecao coach Tite.
Firmino will replace Gabriel Jesus in the No. 9 role as the Manchester City striker continues to recover from foot surgery.
“Roberto Firmino gives a lot of support and triangular passing,” Tite told reporters on Wednesday. “Jesus is a player who attacks the spaces more and attacks the ball.”
“Roberto is playing well for Liverpool. He has also done well for the national team and that’s why I have made the choice [to select him].”
Firmino has scored five goals in 13 appearances for Brazil’s national team, most of which have come after starting on the bench.
Meanwhile Tite said he wasn’t thinking about the prospect of reclaiming top spot in the FIFA world rankings.
“I don’t worry about that,” the 55-year-old said. “What I want is a strong team. The last thing I care about is whether we are first in the rankings. I want us to play well against Uruguay.”
Brazil are currently top of the South American zone qualifying standings for the 2018 World Cup and will be guaranteed of a berth in Russia if they beat Uruguay at Estadio Centenario.
(With Inputs From Xinhua)