Without the PSG ace, out (at least) for the entire first phase, coach Tite must resolve the dilemma: change pawns or also change the set-up? And there is also the problem of replacing Danilo…
The stops of Neymar and Danilo turn on the alarm in the green and gold house and, inevitably, induce coach Tite to plan immediate and appropriate countermoves. In the Brazilian retreat, it is not yet known when the PSG ace and the Juventus defender will be available again, but it is certain that the Seleçao will have to conquer the pass for the second round without two of their pillars, forcing the coach to identify quick solutions for the next matches against Switzerland (Monday) and Cameroon (Friday). According to reports from the green-gold headquarters in Doha, Tite is currently evaluating at least three alternative options to replace his number 10. But the most complicated headache – the Brazilian media point out – could be the replacement of Danilo, one of the coach’s loyalists.
Like Real Madrid and like Rodrygo, the main candidate to take on the role of Neymar in case Tite decides not to change the tactical set-up adopted on his debut against Serbia. The 21-year-old earned his call-up also thanks to a brilliant start to the season in Madrid (7 goals and 5 assists in 19 appearances) and against the Serbs he made the most of the minutes granted to him in the second half by making it clear that he was on track. Rodrygo, among other things, is also the favorite in the polls among the fans, who voted for him with almost 45% of the votes on the Globo website. As an alternative to Rodrygo, Tite could maintain the same set-up also by inserting Everton Ribeiro, with a two-man midfield that is still highly offensive thanks to the presence of Paquetà. But the occasion seems propitious to launch the talent of the Blancos, who also have the advantage of being able to count on the consolidated understanding with Vinicius. On the other hand, Tite was quite clear on the eve of his departure for Qatar when, through his assistant Matheus Bachi, he explained how “Rodrygo has played several times and well even as a false nine or as a classic number 10. done many times and we know we can also count on him in case of need”.
The need seems to present itself now, but it is said that Tite will not opt for a change in set-up (albeit minimal). In this case the beneficiary would be Fred, who would strengthen the midfield allowing the simultaneous advancement of Paquetà on the trocar. The solution has already been tested in the final minutes against Serbia and remains a valid option. In the eventuality, the Seleçao would switch to a sort of classic 4-3-3, but it is unlikely that Tite even decides to change the formation and balance already consolidated for some time during the Eliminatorias phase.
(ALMOST) TOTAL REMIXING
The third way? Given that it seems the least probable, Tite still has the possibility of reshuffling the offensive department with the insertions of Rodrygo and Gabriel Jesus, who would be added to the very confirmed Richarlison and Vinicius. In this case, the strikers of Arsenal and Tottenham would alternate in the role of first striker and winger, with the two Madrid natives able to do the same in the center and on the left front so as not to give any point of reference to the opposing defence. It is not excluded that, in the eventuality, the green and gold coach will also think of a sort of rotation up front with the possible relay between Raphinha and Antony.
However, the green and gold press and some idols such as the former grenade Casagrande underline how Tite’s main dilemma could be Danilo’s replacement. While everyone thinks of Neymar, behind whom there is in any case a plethora of eight other forwards (to which Paqueta and Everton Ribeiro should also be added, i.e. two attacking midfielders), the blanket behind is tremendously shorter. In fact, the only alternative role is the experienced Dani Alves, whose call-up has generated some discussion due to his age (39 years) and his scarce employment close to the world championship. Will the green-gold coach decide to justify the call from the former Barça, Juve and PSG, exposing himself to the risk of critics waiting for his possible misstep? Or will he prefer to focus on Militao, who in the past has widely shown himself capable of playing on the right if necessary, especially with a Real Madrid shirt? The real knot for Tite looks like this. Because up front, Neymar or not, there’s still plenty of choice.
November 25, 2022 (change November 25, 2022 | 18:43)
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