Brazil will play their final match before the winter World Cup in Qatar when they take on Tunisia in a friendly at Parc des Princes on Tuesday.
As such, head coach Tite may not want to make many changes from the starting XI that ruthlessly dispatched Ghana 3-0 in Le Havre on Friday, with every minute of preparation being extremely expensive for him and his players at this stage of the proceedings.
However, the onus was on Casemiro as the 61-year-old switched to a more attacking formation against the Black Stars, so the Manchester United midfielder can rest easy given his lack of game time for the Red Devils since joining from Real Madrid. during summer.
Liverpool’s Fabinho is the most likely candidate to replace him at the base of the midfield, with Lucas Paqueta and Fred battling to start alongside him. The former may get the nod as Tite continues to see if the West Ham United man can effectively start in a slightly deeper midfield role than he is used to.
Likewise, little is expected to change in a fearsome forward line, with Neymar, Raphinha, Vinicius Junior and Richarlison – who bagged a boost in the win against Ghana – given plenty of tactical freedom to express themselves.
Defensively, Eder Militao was deployed at defensive right-back against Ghana and is likely to be asked to do the same in Paris on Tuesday, with the experience of Thiago Silva and Marquinhos once again called upon at the heart of the defence. .
Renan Lodi may get an opportunity in place of Alex Telles at left-back, although Ederson will also have the chance to stake his claim for a starting berth in goal in place of Alisson.
Tunisia, meanwhile, qualified for their second successive World Cup by beating Mali 1-0 on aggregate in March’s final play-off round.
Having missed out on the global stage in 2010 and 2014, the Eagles of Carthage appear to have worked their way back to being one of Africa’s most solid outfits, having reached the quarter-finals or better in each of the last four African Cup of Nations.
Indeed, under Jalel Kadri – who was appointed as the nation’s permanent manager after their run to the last eight in January – they are on an astonishing run of seven successive clean sheets, with Sierra Leone’s Dango Ouattara the last player to score against them in the AFCON quarter-finals in January.
As such, Kadri will have confidence that his side can make Brazil work extremely hard to score against them on Tuesday, but he will be acutely aware that coming up against A Selecao is one of the hardest tests any international side can face.
Brazil possible starting lineup:
Ederson; Militao, Silva, Marquinhos, Lodi; Fabinho, Paqueta, Neymar; Raphinha, Richarlison, Vinicius Jr
Tunisia possible starting lineup:
Ben Said; Mathlouthi, Ifa, Talbi, Maaloul; Skhiri, Sassi, Laidouni; Khaoui, Khenissi, Khazri
We say: Brazil 2-0 Tunisia
Given Tunisia’s formidable run of seven successive clean sheets, Brazil may have to work much harder to break the deadlock in Paris.
However, their array of attacking talent surely means it will only be a matter of time before they do so, perhaps with a decisive second coming later in the match once Tunisia gradually break out of their shape in search of an equalizer.