SALVADOR, Brazil – Brazil’s national team will seek to secure a berth in the 2019 Copa America quarterfinals at the expense of Venezuela, who will be on the hunt for an upset at Salvador’s Arena Fonte Nova stadium.
Brazil coach Adenor Leonardo Bacchi – best known as Tite – will welcome the return of midfielder Arthur Melo, who has fully recovered from a hit he suffered in his right knee that kept him on the sidelined during his national team’s 3-0 win over Bolivia in the inaugural match.
With the exception of Fernandinho, who is expected to move back to the bench to pave the way for Arthur, Tite is set to repeat the starting lineup for Tuesday’s duel, including the attacking trio of David Neres, Roberto Firmino and Richarlison.
Philippe Coutinho, who seems to have revived himself after a muted season with Barcelona, will continue to fill the shows of Neymar Jr., who is ruled out of the competition through injury.
Coutinho’s brace against Bolivia not only set the team’s pace to take the match but also notched his name as the competition’s top scorer so far this year.
Leading Group A with three points, Brazil needs a win over Venezuela to secure a place in the quarterfinals.
The team is to come up against Venezuela, which hopes to win against the odds.
To make it happen, Venezuela has to secure its first-ever Copa America victory over Brazil, overturning negative competition record of six losses and one draw and just two goals scored compared with 27 goals conceded.
Brazil’s biggest win over Venezuela was recorded at the 1999 Copa America when Ronaldinho Gaucho scored his first goal with the national team in a 7-0 rout.
Venezuela’s coach Rafael Dudamel, who had said he was aiming at the July 7 final, said they have to play against Brazil “with respect, admiration, security and without any kind of complex.”
Venezuela will face off against Brazil after being held to a scoreless draw against Peru in their opener.
It was a valuable point given that Venezuela played short-handed in the final 15 minutes as Luis del Pino Mago was sent off. He is therefore suspended for the Brazil game.
The 21-year-old Goalkeeper Wuilker Fariñez will likely be Venezuela’s main weapon as he proved himself solid against Peru.
Fariñez, a runner up at the 2017 FIFA U-20 World Cup, put on an outstanding performance with the Colombia team of Millonarios this. He has since been linked to big European clubs.
The possible starting lineups:
Brazil: Alisson; Daniel Alves, Marquinhos, Thiago Silva, Filipe Luis; Casemiro, Arthur, Philippe Coutinho, David Neres, Richarlison; and Roberto Firmino.
Venezuela: Wuilker Fariñez; Roberto Rosales, Jhon Chancellor, Mikel Villanueva, Ronald Hernandez; Jefferson Savarino, Tomas Rincon, Yangel Herrera, Junior Moreno, Jhon Murillo; and Salomon Rondon.
Coach: Rafael Dudamel
Referee: Julio Bascuñan of Chile
Venue: Salvador’s Arena Fonte Nova.