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Copa America

  • 3 July 2011
  • • 20:00
  • • Estadio Ciudad de La Plata, La Plata, Provincia de Buenos Aires
  • Referee: R. Orozco

Brazil - Venezuela Preview: Lucio set to win 100th cap for holders against dark horses

Brazil - Venezuela Preview: Lucio set to win 100th cap for holders against dark horses

Mano Menezes' men will be hoping to kick off their Copa America campaign with victory over the tournament's possible dark horses when the two sides meet in La Plata

Brazil: Julio Cesar; Daniel Alves, Lucio, Thiago Silva, Andre Santos; Lucas Leiva, Ramires, Ganso; Robinho, Alexandre Pato, Neymar

The five-time World Cup winners are at full strength going into their opening Copa America 2011 game. Ganso looks set to start in midfield with Elano likely to be on the bench while Alexandre Pato will line up alongside Robinho and Neymar to form a potentially devastating three-pronged attack.

Venezuela: Vega; Rosales, Perozo, Lucena, Cichero; Seijas, Rincon, Orozco; Maldonado, Rondon, Arango

Cesar Farias' side could be one of the surprise outfits of the tournament, thanks to a number of exciting youngsters. Rosales, Rincon, Rondon and Orozco are all expected to make an impact on the tournament and could be the nation's dangermen versus Brazil.

  • Brazil have won the Copa America eight times, putting them behind both Argentina and Uruguay who have each won the tournament on 14 occasions.
  • Ganso looks set to be a key player for Mano Menezes' team despite making only one previous appearance for the national side in a friendly against the USA in August 2010.
  • Brazil are the current reigning Copa America champions, defeating fierce rivals Argentina 3-0 in Venezuela four years ago.
  • The last time these two sides met, Brazil could only manage a 0-0 draw at home in a World Cup 2010 qualification game.
  • Brazilian captain Lucio is set to win his 100th cap for the national team against Venezuela, with the Inter centre-back being the fourth most capped player for the national side.
  • Venezuela have never won the Copa America, with their best showing being the first time the nation competed, back in 1967.
  • Veteran defender Juan Manuel Rey is the nation's most capped international, picking up a total of 111 caps so far after making his debut in a World Cup qualifier against Bolivia in 1997.
  • Venezuela are the only South American nation never to have qualified for a World Cup.
  • The country's coach, Cesar Farias, previously coached Venezuela's Under-20s at the 2009 Under-20 World Cup, and took a squad including the likes of Salomon Rondon and Yohandry Orozco to the last 16 of the competition.
  • Atlante striker Giancarlo Maldonado is Venezuela's top goalscorer, netting 20 times in a total of 55 appearances.

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