Brazil will be aiming to bounce back to winning ways after disappointing outcomes last month when they take on Senegal in Singapore on Thursday.
After failing to win both their fixtures during the last international break, South American champions Brazil will be keen on bagging a victory when they lock horns against Africa Cup of Nation finalists Senegal in a friendly encounter in Kallang, Singapore this week.
Brazil failed to build on their Copa America triumph from the summer, as they were held to a 2-2 draw by Colombia, before getting beaten 1-0 by Peru in friendly encounters last month. While there were a large number of changes made by Selecao manager Tite, he will have been disappointed to see the 17-game unbeaten run come to an end and will want to get things back on track at the earliest.
Senegal, on the other hand, will be in action for the first time after their defeat to Algeria in the Africa Cup of Nations back in July. Manager Aliou Cisse has plans to integrate new faces into the national team setup as he looks to start building a team for the 2021 AFCON, qualifiers for which will be kicking off in a month. And a contest against the five-time World Champions will be a good test for the Lions of Teranga.
Ahead of the first ever match-up between Brazil and Senegal, we at The Hard Tackle take a closer look at both the teams.
Team News & Tactics
Alisson Becker is unavailable, while Juventus star Danilo misses out with an injury and has been replaced by Botafogo’s uncapped right-back Marcinho. Another uncapped full-back, Renan Lodi, makes the cut as well, along with Gremio midfielder Matheus Henrique. Flamengo striker Gabriel Barbosa is back in the reckoning, as is defender Rodrigo Caio.
In Alisson’s absence, Ederson is the obvious choice between the sticks for the Selecao. Captain Dani Alves should slot in at the right-back slot on Thursday evening, with Renan Lodi making his debut on the opposite side. Thiago Silva should feature from the get-go at the heart of the defence and is likely to be partnered by Eder Militao, ahead of club teammate Marquinhos.
Real Madrid midfielder Casemiro has been in fine form heading into the international break and should get the nod at the base of the three-man midfield for Brazil. Philippe Coutinho should provide the creative impetus from the centre of the park, with Barcelona’s Arthur Melo providing support.
Brazil superstar Neymar should start on the left side of the attacking trident, while Gabriel Jesus, who is back in contention after suspension, is likely to spearhead the attack ahead of Roberto Firmino. Completing the attack for Tite’s side should be Everton ahead of Richarlison.
Probable Lineup (4-3-3): Ederson; Alves, Silva, Miltao, Lodi; Arthur, Casemiro, Coutinho; Everton, Jesus, Neymar
Kalidou Koulibaly is back in contention after missing the Africa Cup of Nations final, but former AC Milan forward M’Baye Niang misses out, as do Henri Saivet and Mbaye Diagne. Goalkeeper Edouard Mendy withdrew from the squad with an injury.
Alfred Gomis should start between the sticks for Senegal and will need to be at his best to keep a dangerous Brazil attack at bay. He will be protected by a backline comprising of Lamine Gassama and Saliou Ciss as the full-backs, with Koulibaly and Salif Sane lining up as the centre-halves.
The three-man midfield is likely to be comprise of PSG midfielder Idrissa Gueye, who is an ever-present in the Senegalese national team. Partnering him should be Cheikhou Kouyate, who will move into his natural role in midfield after starting the last game at the heart of the defence. Badou Ndiaye should occupy the third midfield slot.
Ismaila Sarr should be a potent threat with his pace on the right flank, while AS Monaco’s Keita Balde Diao ought to get the nod on the opposite wing. Liverpool superstar Sadio Mane should lead the line for the Lions of Teranga against Brazil.
Probable Lineup (4-3-3): Gomis; Gassama, Sane, Koulibaly, Ciss; Gueye, Ndiaye, Kouyate; Sarr, Mane, Keita Balde Diao
- This will be the first ever meeting between Brazil and Senegal.
- Prior to their 1-0 defeat to Peru last month, Brazil were unbeaten in 17 matches in a row.
- Senegal have won eight of their last ten matches in all competitions. Both the defeats came in the Africa Cup of Nations against Algeria, once in the group stage and once in the final.
- Brazil have managed to keep seven clean sheets in their last ten matches. However, they have conceded four goals in their last three fixtures.
- Senegal have conceded just two goals in their last ten fixtures, keeping eight shut-outs in the process.
Player to Watch
It will be a momentous occasion for Neymar on Thursday as he is in line to make his 100th appearance for Brazil. The 27-year-old is the third highest goal-getter for the Selecao, having netted 61 goals in 99 matches, just one behind the legendary Ronaldo (62 goals in 98 games).
He will be hoping to edge past the 2002 World Cup winner on his 100th appearance and inspire Brazil to a victory.
Brazil 1-0 Senegal
Senegal have been a tight unit to breach defensively as was seen during their finals run in the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations. However, Brazil are loaded with quality options in attack that should give them an edge heading into the contest in Singapore. It is likely to be a closely fought encounter, but we are backing Brazil to get a narrow win on Thursday.