The bigger picture and experimentation rather than winning should be the priority for Tite in Brazil’s friendly clashes against Saudi Arabia and Argentina
Brazil is getting ready for the next two friendlies against Saudi Arabia and Argentina, set to take place in Riyadh and Jeddah respectively on Friday and Tuesday. For that purpose, Tite has selected a 23-man squad with a couple of new inclusions, in the goal of shaping up the team ahead of the anticipated 2019 Copa América, on home soil.
To benefit from the international break, what Tite needs to do is to aim to improve the team by giving chances to a variety of players, rather than prioritising victories in friendlies. That could just build false hope ahead of the official matches that matter more.
This was one of the mistakes the Brazil boss has made in the build-up for the previous World Cup. Tite’s refusal to modify his starting lineup ultimately hunt him and prevented him from preparing a plan B for the vital games.
Give Casemiro a rest
Tite has already made up his mind about the starting lineup he will be relying on against Saudi Arabia on Friday. However, there is no need to start Casemiro in every single game, considering that his absence against Belgium was Brazil’s number one problem in the World Cup.
What should be done instead, is to try and give confidence for a possible alternative. Fabinho or Walace for example. While it is understood why the Liverpool-man would start at right-back, as Brazil is short of depth in that position, the manager should still consider him as a viable option for the central midfield role.
Meanwhile, Tite continues to rely on Fred who is not enjoying a great time with his club, and Renato Augusto who isn’t getting any younger, instead of giving a chance to Napoli’s in-form Allan, as Brazil faces the risk of losing him to Italy.
Lucas Moura ready to shine
Up front, it is good to see Lucas Moura finally back for the first time since 2016. After making a January move to Tottenham last season, the 26-year old has since then shown his quality, earning him a well-deserved advantage. That’s especially the case since Willian’s recent performances have left a lot to be desired.
On the other hand, Everton star Richarlison has been in great form in the English Premier League, after managing to score a brace in his last Brazil game. The fans are looking forward to seeing more of that.
— Copa Continental do Brasil (@CopadoBrasil) October 11, 2018
Gabriel Jesus’ return is good for his confidence, although he is probably living in his worst phase at Manchester City. But he is one for the future, and so is Barcelona bench-warmer Malcom. It is okay to take advantage of the international matches to boost their moral, especially since the biggest target remains the World Cup in 2022. Their club situations could have changed by then, and most probably will.
Tite faces a very difficult challenge ahead of the Copa América. After the failure in the World Cup, Brazil fans will no longer tolerate any other letdown. It is a reality that the Seleção boss has to deal with.