Scolari lays down Brazil gauntlet

The Selecao coach admits all places are up for grabs ahead of next summer's tournament and wants to see his side foster the same competitive spirit as the Confederations Cup
Luiz Felipe Scolari has laid down the gauntlet to his Brazil squad by revealing he is undecided over which players he will select for World Cup 2014.

The Selecao boss guided his side to Confederations Cup glory this summer after leaving out old campaigners Ronaldinho and Kaka for the tournament.

But as his side prepare to take on Australia in a friendly on Saturday, Scolari has called upon his players to show him what they've got as he bids to home in on the 23 men who will wear the yellow jersey next summer.

He said to reporters: "I don't want 11, I want 23 players that I can use and have no doubts about it. It's time for everyone to show what they can do, to show they can be at the World Cup, because everyone is a potential starter.
"Every player is being observed so we can define the group of players until this year's end. Nobody is certain. Every match, friendly or not, is important and helps define who will go to the WC."

Brazil automatically qualify for the World Cup as hosts but a lack of competitive action has led to suggestions they could be overwhelmed by the intensity of tournament football.

And Scolari admits he wants to foster the same competitive spirit that saw the five-time World Cup winners stun Spain back in June, while adding his belief that four sides are capable of lifting international football's biggest prize.

He continued: "The Confederations Cup has a different ambience than a friendly. We are trying to get this feeling back to our players, so we can play with a competition spirit. Off the pitch, we hope to continue with the good atmosphere achieved by the coaching staff, players and fans.

"It's one of the last [preparatory] matches in Brazil, so we want to keep this sintony with the fans.
"At the World Cup, there at least four teams with big title chances. So the difficulty will be bigger than we had during the Confederations Cup."

The 64-year-old has injury troubles to contend with ahead of Saturday's clash with the Socceroos, with Oscar and Hulk both doubts, but Scolari is hoping both can play some part in the fixture.

"Oscar is struggling to play, but I can't state this today, because he's undergoing intensive recovery training. Players have a bigger recovery capacity than we imagine and I guess Oscar has some chance to play. His dedication is huge.
"[Hulk's appearance] will be defined by today's tactical work we'll take, we'll see how he's reacting to muscular pains because we won't force our players to play. But we have options, we can use two strikers sometime in the game, tomorrow we'll define.
"We'll see an Australia lined up with nine players in their half of the pitch, tall players, bigger than 1.80m, 1.90 m. It's a different playing style which we might face during the World Cup, so that's why this friendly matters."