Brazil will face Switzerland without their talisman Neymar, ruled out with an ankle injury suffered in their first 2-0 win against Serbia at the World Cup, but with a host of young talent to replace him.
The five-time world champions will also be without ever-reliable full-back Danilo on Monday (3am Tuesday AEDT). He also injured his ankle against the Serbs.
Their absences are a blow to Brazil’s aspirations to win a record sixth World Cup, but they will rely on their exceptional generation of new talent to see them through the game.
Neymar has played a crucial role for Brazil in its previous two World Cups, in teams that lacked the star power of past generations.
Yet recently others have started to shine in European football, with the rise of youngsters like Vinicius Jr and Richarlison, arguably the two best performers in their impressive win over Serbia.
Coach Tite will have plenty of options available to replace Neymar against Switzerland and beyond as the player battles to be fit for the round of 16 after suffering ligament damage in his right ankle which has troubled him for years. years.
Real Madrid wonderkid Rodrygo would be the first option should Tite decide to use the same system with four men up front alongside Vinicius, Richarlison and Raphinha.
The versatile 21-year-old striker played in place of Neymar in three Brazil training games in Turin the week before the World Cup.
Another option would be to pair Fred with Manchester United team-mate Casemiro to strengthen the midfield and advance West Ham player Lucas Paqueta’s position as a playmaker.
However, the biggest question mark is over Danilo’s replacement as 39-year-old veteran Dani Alves is the only available right-back.
The former Barcelona player played his last game for Mexican side UNAM Pumas in September and suffered a knee injury that has troubled him ever since.
Tite tested Real Madrid centre-back Eder Militao as a full-back in their friendly against Ghana which could be another option.
Brazil lead Group G with three points, level with the Swiss, who won their debut against Cameroon 1-0.
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