This week Brazil coach Tite will select his final World Cup qualifying squad ahead of Russia 2018.
Having hardly had time to breath after last week’s victory over Ecuador and draw with Colombia, the former Corinthians man is already scratching his head on how best to test his side in what will be their last competitive tests before next year’s big kick-off.
It appears the overwhelming majority of his World Cup squad have already secured their places, meaning there will be some very nervous onlookers this week the next 23 announced.
Tite has until Friday to release his squad that will meet Bolivia and Chile, leaving him very little time to repeat previous trips to Europe scouting current and potential future internationals.
That, however, leaves those at home an added chance to impress. The Brazilian Cup final this week and the weekend’s Brasileirao action will be keenly observed.
Tite’s assistant Matheus Bachi was at the Maracana this past weekend watching Flamengo take on Cruzeiro, and paying special attention to Fla playmaker Diego Ribas who will be hopeful of a recall.
Cruzeiro’s Thiago Neves was also closely observed as Tite hopes to add a little more guile to his reserve midfielders.
There was also a chance for World Cup 2014 substitute Jo to win back a place in the squad. The former Man City and Everton striker has impressed since returning home to fire Corinthians to the top of the table.
The Brasileirao’s current top scorer, he was keen to impress at the weekend but failed to find the net as his side went down 2-0 at Santos. While Liverpool’s Roberto Firmino looks set to make it to Russia, there may well be a slot opened up for another forward.
The likes of David Luiz, Douglas Costa, Alex Sandro and Danilo, meanwhile, will all hope their Champions League showings this week will help win back their places.
Five-time world champions Brazil meet Bolivia in La Paz on October 5 before hosting Chile in Sao Paulo five days later.
Runaway leaders in the Conmebol section, the Selecao became the first team to secure their place at next year’s World Cup with four matches to spare.