In our Brazil preview, we look ahead to this summer’s Copa America Centenario tournament to predict Brazil’s chances, to take a closer look at their squad as well as to review the team’s games in the Group Stage of the competition.

Brazil preview

Manager: Dunga

Captain: TBC

Brazil preview: Squad:

GOALKEEPERS (3): Alisson (Internacional, BRA), Diego Alves (Valencia, ESP), Marcelo Grohe (Gremio, BRA)

DEFENDERS (8): Dani Alves (Barcelona, ESP), Rodrigo Caio (São Paulo, BRA), Fabinho (Monaco, FRA), Gil (Shandong Luneng, CHN), Filípe Luís (Atlético Madrid, ESP), Marquinhos (Paris Saint-Germain, FRA), Miranda (Inter Milan, ITA), Douglas (Atlético Mineiro, BRA)

MIDFIELDERS (9): Renato Augusto (Beijing Guoan, CHN), Casemiro (Real Madrid, ESP), Ganso (São Paulo, BRA), Philippe Coutinho (Liverpool, ENG), Elias (Corinthians, BRA), Walace (Gremio, BRA), Lucas Lima (Santos, BRA), Lucas (Paris Saint-Germain, FRA), Willian (Chelsea, ENG)

FORWARDS (3): Gabriel (Santos, BRA), Hulk (Zenit St. Petersburg, RUS), Jonas (Benfica, POR)

Brazil preview

Brazil preview: Overview:

It’s going to be fascinating to see just how Brazil approach this one-off tournament, with the nation’s sporting focus trained elsewhere this summer.

Indeed, the 2016 Olympics will be staged in Rio de Janeiro in August and while soccer is not most closely associated with the games, it’s a competition which the Selecao take very seriously. And that’s something which has been reflected in the squad named by Dunga for the Centenario, which has a few glaring omissions.

The most notable of which is team captain Neymar, immediately implying that a gold medal in the Olympics—which the Barcelona man will play in—is the main priority this summer. Additionally, the Paris Saint-Germain duo of David Luiz and Thiago Silva have also been left out, as has Real Madrid left-back Marcelo; it’s unclear whether any of those will feature in Rio.

While this lack of experience and quality will be a hindrance to Brazil, it gives the squad for this tournament a refreshing feel and a chance for some players who have been on the fringes of the national team set-up to make a mark at the Centenario. Attackers like Willian, Douglas Costa and Roberto Firmino, who have all enjoyed strong seasons, will be keen to assume the role of talisman.

The squad will also want to make amends after their disappointing showing in the competition last year. A loss to Colombia, in which Neymar was sent off, seemed to sap the life out of these players, who went on to lose to Paraguay on penalties in the quarter-final. Looking at their opponents in the group stages, there’s no excuse for not replicating that showing, at least.

An unfamiliar squad could easily toil in the knockout stages of tournament, especially with so many other nations going all out for victory. Yet these players could be galvanised by the chance to make a name for themselves. Even without a number of key cogs, the talent is certainly still there for Brazil to go far.

brasil

Brazil preview: Group Fixtures:

Saturday, June 4

Brazil vs. Ecuador, Pasadena, CA, 10pm ET; FOX Sports 1, Univision, Univision Deportes, FOX Sports Go, FOX Soccer 2GO and fuboTV (free trial)

Wednesday, June 8

Brazil vs. Haiti, Orlando, FL, 7:30pm ET; FOX Sports 1, UniMas, Univision Deportes, FOX Sports Go, FOX Soccer 2GO and fuboTV (free trial)

Sunday, June 12

Brazil vs. Peru, Foxborough, MA, 8:30pm ET; FOX Sports 1, Univision, Univision Deportes, FOX Sports Go, FOX Soccer 2GO and fuboTV (free trial)

SEE MORE: See the complete Copa America schedule including quarter-finals, semi-finals and final

Brazil preview: Key Player:

Luis Gustavo – Typically Brazil’s strengths come in their fluid forward play. But under Dunga they are more robust, making the role of players like Gustavo crucial.

Indeed, with no Silva, no Luiz and no Marcelo, the Wolfsburg man will have a critical job to do in protecting a defence which will be a little unfamiliar. Gustavo, who has been one of the few standout men for his side in a disappointing Bundesliga campaign, will also be tasked with knitting together all facets of the team. He’s capable of getting Brazil moving with sharp, intelligent passing and adds great balance to the side, being left-sided.

Dunga, who carried out a similar job as a player, will be expecting the experienced midfielder to set the tone for the group. As the ties get more and more tactical later on in the competition, getting the edge in midfield battles will be key.

Brazil preview: Verdict:

Semi-Finals – A favorable draw means Brazil should have few problems topping their group, while they’ll also be confident of ousting any side from a wide open Group A in the next round. However, once we move towards the climax of the tournament, the absent edge Neymar so often provides will see the Selecao come a cropper against a gritty South American rival.

Brazil home jersey

brazil-home-jersey-copa-america

The new home jersey of the most decorated nation in soccer, Brazil. “Canarihno” yellow with blue details. Tributes to Brazil’s national pride are on both the interior and exterior of the shirt. 100% recycled Dri-Fit polyester.

Find out how to order the Brazil home jersey today.

Brazil away jersey

brazil-away-jersey-copa-america

The official away jersey of Brazil. Traditional blue, with a contrasting light blue upper back panel and sleeves. Tributes to Brazil’s national pride are on both the interior and exterior of the shirt.

Find out how to order the Brazil away jersey today.

Read all of the Copa America team previews

• Argentina team preview
• Bolivia team preview
• Brazil team preview
• Chile team preview
• Colombia team preview
• Costa Rica team preview
• Ecuador team preview
• Haiti team preview
• Jamaica team preview
• Mexico team preview
• Panama team preview
• Paraguay team preview
• Peru team preview
• United States team preview
• Uruguay team preview
• Venezuela team preview

If you have any questions about the Brazil preview, please let us know in the comments section below.

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