DOHA: World Cup favourites Brazil are racing to overcome injuries to key players as they prepare for their last 16 match against South Korea on Monday, after a heavily changed side lost 1-0 to Cameroon on Friday night.
Neymar is still recovering from an ankle injury suffered in their debut win against Serbia, and they have only one pure full-back available after left-back Alex Telles suffered a knee injury in the match against Cameroon.
Starting full-backs Danilo and Alex Sandro are out after injuries suffered earlier in the competition and their availability is still unclear.
Telles and forward Gabriel Jesus, who also suffered a knee injury against Cameroon, were officially ruled out for the rest of the tournament by the Brazilian FA on Saturday.
With their ticket already booked for the next round after two wins, Tite on Friday made nine changes to the team that won 1-0 against Switzerland, leading to Brazil’s first loss to an African nation in its World Cup history.
“The physical demand is ever increasing, the time is short, it’s a cumulative effect of games and sometimes you don’t have the ideal recovery time on your hands,” coach Tite told a news conference on Friday.
“I don’t really know what to say other than that, mentally, the Cup is very demanding. It drains you. The intensity of the matches, the preparation — they are components of analysis that we have to delve into deeper, but they are all considerable.”
Tite did not let the media attend their training session on Saturday but said Neymar, Alex Sandro and Danilo should be on the pitch to test their condition.
Published in Dawn, December 4th, 2022