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Neymar returns from ban for Brazil showdown with Argentina

Published 10/22/2015, 1:36 PM EDT

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via Reuters

RIO DE JANEIRO (Reuters) – Neymar has been recalled for Brazil’s 2018 World Cup qualifiers against Argentina and Peru next month in a squad that features four players from Corinthians, Brazil manager Dunga said on Thursday.

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The club’s goalkeeper, Cassio, has been called up for the first time, alongside defender Gil and midfielders Elias and Renato Augusto.

The Sao Paulo side are running away with Brazil’s Serie A and have the best attack and the stingiest defence.


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Attacking midfielders Lucas, of Paris St. Germain, and Philippe Coutinho, of Liverpool, drop out of the 23-man squad.

Brazil lost their opening qualifier 2-0 in Chile on Oct. 8 but bounced back to defeat Venezuela 3-1 at home five days later.

Coach Dunga is under pressure following Brazil’s erratic start and is preparing for a tough time in Buenos Aires on Nov. 12.

“When you play against Argentina it is always a war,” he told reporters. “It is all about the details. We know that each tackle and pass is decisive and we will have to be focused and at our very best to get a result.”

After playing at the Monumental stadium in Buenos Aires the five-time world champions return home to face Peru in Salvador on Nov. 17. Argentina are expected to be without the injured Lionel Messi as they strive for their first win after losing at home to Ecuador and then drawing in Paraguay, results that leave them in seventh place in the 10-team group.

Brazil are currently fifth – the playoff spot in a group where the first four teams qualify automatically.

The return of Barcelona’s Neymar, who was banned for four games after being sent off at the end of Brazil’s 1-0 defeat by Colombia in the Copa America in June, could be crucial for Brazil.

However, Dunga warned that the absence of Messi, who damaged knee ligaments while playing for Barcelona last month, would not hamper the home side.

“Argentina have quality players and they will get over not having a player like Messi,” Dunga said. “We are pleased to have Neymar back and that will boost our potential.”


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Squad:Goalkeepers: Jefferson (Botafogo), Alisson (Internacional), Cassio (Corinthians)

Defenders: David Luiz (Paris St. Germain), Marquinhos (Paris St. Germain), Miranda (Inter Milan), Dani Alves (Barcelona), Filipe Luis (Athletico Madrid), Danilo (Real Madrid), Gil (Corinthians), Marcelo (Real Madrid)

Midfielders: Luiz Gustavo (Wolfsburg), Elias (Corinthians), Fernandinho (Manchester City), Oscar (Chelsea), Willian (Chelsea), Kaka (Orlando City), Lucas Lima (Santos) Renato Augusto (Corinthians)


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Forwards: Neymar (Barcelona), Hulk (Zenit St. Petersburg), Douglas Costa (Bayern Munich), Ricardo Oliveira (Santos)

(Reporting by Rodrigo Viga Gaier, writing by Andrew Downie,; Editing by Neville Dalton)

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Written by:

Dhruv George


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Dhruv George is a senior Formula One and NASCAR analyst for EssentiallySports, having authored nearly 12000 articles spanning different sports like F1, NASCAR, Tennis, NFL, and eSports. He graduated with a PG Diploma in Journalism from the Xavier Institute of Communications. Dhruv has also conducted interviews with F1 driver Pierre Gasly and Moto2 rider Tony Arbolino.
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