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WORLD CUP 2022

Brazil optimistic of Neymar return for Round of 16

The PSG striker was ruled out of the Seleção’s second and third Group G games following an ankle injury in the opener against Serbia.

Update:
Neymar Jr of Brazil
Anadolu AgencyGetty

Brazil boss Tite warned Brazil must be “very careful” in the knockout stage of the World Cup, when they will hope to have PSG’s Neymar back from injury.

Despite losing 1-0 to Cameroon, the Seleção still topped Group G, meaning they will face South Korea in the second round next Monday, rather than Portugal.

Spain’s defeat the previous day appeared to open up the draw further for Brazil, who would now play the winner of Japan’s clash with Croatia in the quarter-finals.

Regardless of their opponents, Brazil will feel more comfortable once Neymar is back in action, but he has not yet trained with a ball following his matchday one injury.

Neymar of Brazil
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Neymar of Brazil Richard HeathcoteGetty

Time on Brazil’s side

Team doctor Rodrigo Lasmar added: “With 72 hours before the next match, we have time on our side. We still have possibilities.”

With or without his star man, coach Tite certainly will not become complacent, explaining: “Brazil lost to Cameroon. Portugal lost to South Korea. France lost to Tunisia. Argentina lost to Saudi Arabia. I think the results speak for themselves”

Besides Neymar’s progress, there was mixed news on the injury front, with Alex Sandro still recovering alongside the forward but Danilo set to train normally on Saturday.

That is a timely boost as Alex Telles and Gabriel Jesus are set for scans on knee injuries sustained against Cameroon.