Neymar starts in Brazil’s quarter-final clash against Croatia

Friday, December 9th, 2022 17:32 | By
Neymar and Richarlison celebrate after scoring in a past World Cup match PHOTO/Courtesy

Brazil are once again unleashing their deadly attacking quartet of Neymar, Richarlison, Vinicius Jr and Raphinha for their quarter-final clash against Croatia.

But at the back Tite is still having to improvise, with Eder Militao at the right back and Danilo on the left. Alex Sandro is fit enough only for the bench as Brazil hunt a record-extending sixth World Cup triumph.

Tite's side blew South Korea away in their last-16 clash, clinching a quarter-final spot within a spellbinding first half as they took a 4-0 lead, before their opponents nicked a late consolation goal.

Neymar, who suffered an ankle injury in their tournament opener against Serbia, then missing Brazil's remaining two Group G games, returned both to the lineup and to the scoresheet as he dispatched an expertly taken penalty.

The PSG star, in notching his first World Cup goal of the Qatar tournament, moved to 76 international goals and only one behind Pele on 77 at the top of Brazil's all-time list.

The 30-year-old's return was a major boost for a side aiming for their first World Cup triumph since 2002, particularly with back-up striker Gabriel Jesus requiring surgery after suffering an injury against Cameroon.

Neymar managed 80 minutes against South Korea, before being replaced by Real Madrid star Rodrygo, with Arsenal's Gabriel Martinelli also making a substitute appearance.

Joining Neymar in the side are Alisson Becker, Thiago Silva, Casemiro and Lucas Paqueta, who starts again ahead of Fred in midfield.

Confirmed Brazil XI: Alisson, Eder Militao, Marquinhos, Thiago Silva, Danilo; Casemiro, Lucas Paqueta and Neymar; Raphinha, Vinicius Jr, Richarlison

Confirmed Croatia XI: Livakovic, Juranovic, Lovren, Gvardiol, Sosa, Modric, Brozovic, Kovacic, Pasalic, Perisic, Kramaric

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