Football

Brazil coach names World Cup starting XI

Neymar to spearhead attack with Coutinho and Jesus, with Firmino and Willian on the bench

Brazil coach Tite said he had filled 15 places in his World Cup squad, with Thiago Silva and Roberto Firmino among those who will definitely be going to Russia.

Silva was unexpectedly dropped from the Paris St Germain team that lost 3-1 to Real Madrid in the Champions League last Wednesday.

Firmino, who plays for Liverpool, has faced tough competition for one of Brazil’s back-up spots to first-choice forwards Neymar of PSG, Barcelona’s Philippe Coutinho and Gabriel Jesus of Manchester City.

“The 11 who will start are Alisson; Marcelo, Miranda, Marquinhos, Daniel Alves; Paulinho, Renato Augusto and Casemiro, Neymar, Coutinho and Gabriel Jesus,” Tite said in an interview with UOL Esportes, a popular Brazilian website.

Manchester City’s Fernandinho and Willian of Chelsea are the two other confirmed names in the 23-man squad.

Five-time world champions Brazil have been drawn for this year’s tournament against Costa Rica, Switzerland and Serbia in Group E. Their first game is against Switzerland on June 17.

Their next matches are next month's friendlies against host nation Russia and World Cup holders Germany. – REUTERS

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