Willian to captain Brazil against Japan

The Chelsea man will become the 14th player to wear the armband under the current coach, leading a side with six changes for the clash in Lille

Willian will captain Brazil on Friday against Japan when the Chevrolet Brasil Global Tour roles into Lille, becoming the 14th player to start with the armband under coach Tite.

The Chelsea man is the only player to have lost his place in Tite’s preferred starting line-up since the coach’s September 2016 debut, but will have another opportunity to stake his claim over current first-choice Philppe Coutinho on the right of midfield.

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Manchester City duo Danilo and Fernandinho, Monaco’s Jemerson, PSG defender Thiago Silva and Fenerbahce midfielder Giuliano will also be handed rare opportunities to impress in the first-team.

Coutinho was perhaps to be handed another chance in central midfield, but a thigh injury means Tite will have to wait until at least Tuesday’s clash with England to once again try the Liverpool man in a deeper role.

The six changes to Tite’s preferred, settled XI mean first-team regulars Dani Alves, Marquinhos, Miranda, Paulinho, Renato Augusto and Coutinho will sit out in Lille.

Roma’s goalkeeper Alisson will return to the side after Ederson was handed a debut last month, but the latter may yet have another run out at Wembley.

Tite had panned to field his strongest possible team against England, saving his experiments for the Japan game, but a flurry of injury drop-outs from the Three Lions squad this week may see him have a rethink.

Diego Souza and Douglas Costa, desperate to impress and cement a role as permanent reserves ahead of the World Cup, will have to wait their chance, for now.

Flamengo’s Diego, meanwhile, has once again suffered injury problems but, after a scan yesterday at a Paris hospital, has remained with the squad so may yet see some action in London.


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