Football

Brazil moving on from the Mineirout

Brazil believe they can write a new chapter in the history of the stadium where they suffered their worst defeat

BRAZIL v ARGENTINA

(Friday, 7.40am, Singtel TV Ch 109 - Eleven)

Brazil return to the Estadio Mineirao to face Argentina on Friday morning (Singapore time), the first time they have been back to the Belo Horizonte venue since their crushing 7-1 World Cup 2014 semi-final defeat by Germany.

"Of course returning here still touches all of us, even those that didn't play," said Brazil boss Tite.

"But we have to know how to work in all situations.

"Two years have passed and we are in a different moment."

Defender Rodrigo Caio agreed with his manager, noting: "This is a new Brazil, and fans will see that on the field.

"I can only imagine what that game was like for those that played."

LOOK FORWARD

Midfielder Paulinho is once such survivor of the blitzkrieg in Belo Horizonte, and he believes the Selecao have to look forward instead of trying to "reverse" history.

Ahead of the titanic South American qualifier against their fiercest rivals, the former Tottenham Hotspur midfielder said: "There's no way to avoid it. It's natural.

"But I'm calm.

"These are completely different times.

"Football is like that, now we have a chance to rewrite that story.

"We are not going to reverse what happened, but we can make a good impression this time.

"We have a new opportunity...

"We're on a run of wonderful wins and we want to keep that up against Argentina."

The Selecao have enjoyed a reversal of fortunes since Tite replaced Dunga after the Copa America Centenario in June, winning all their four matches and moving to the top of the 10-team Conmebol World Cup qualifying table.

Argentina, meanwhile, are having a rough patch and are on a three-match winless run that has seen them dropped to sixth.

But Douglas Costa is not paying any attention to that.

The Bayern Munich winger said: "Everyone knows this is the Superclasico (de las Americas), and form is not important ahead when it comes to the Superclasico.

"Argentina deserve respect, it's going to be a great game regardless of where they stand right now.

RHYTHM

"I think that we have to impose our rhythm on the game, to play the football that we have been playing.

"That is the most important thing for us, without thinking how Argentina have been suffering or how they could will suffer here."

Key to Brazil imposing their game on the Albiceleste is disrupting Lionel Messi's rhythm.

Explaining how the Selecao plan to stop the superstar, midfielder Renato Augusto said: "I think first you have to reduce the space of all the players, not only Messi, and then when he receives the ball, just block the angles of his passes.

"This is something we worked on a lot with Neymar.

"The goal is to, as much as we can, try to minimalise his chances to shoot or pass to teammates.

"At times like this, we will all have to work to help one another.

"In those moments, sometimes Gabriel Jesus may have to run a little more.

"Anyone who is free will have to run that little bit extra in order to facilitate the defensive side of the team." - Wire Services.


FUN FACT

4

Brazil have won all their four matches since Tite replaced Dunga after the Copa America Centenario in June.

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