Victor, Maicon, Maxwell and Bernard set for starts

Brazil's clash with Honduras presents four of Scolari's fringe players a chance to cement their places in his squad ahead of next year's World Cup
Victor, Maicon, Maxwell and Bernard are set to be handed the opportunity to impress Luiz Felipe Scolari when Brazil meet Honduras in the Gillette International Soccer Series on Saturday evening at Miami's Sun Life Stadium.

Maxwell will start at left-back after Real Madrid defender Marcelo withdrew from the squad following a knee injury. Roma's Maicon will play on the opposite side after Dani Alves limped out of training at FIU's Alonso Field on Thursday, suffering a calf strain.

The 32-year-old Roma stopper has the experience coach Scolari believes imperative to the Selecao's assault on a World Cup to be played on home soil next year and will have the opportunity to cement his place in Felipao's squad this week.

Maicon was one of the standout performers during Thursday's training session, linking up well with Jo on the right before slamming his shot high beyond Victor and into the roof of the net.

The opportunity arose after Neymar had dragged the defence to the left before switching the play to the opposite flank. With opposition defenders giving so much attention to the Barcelona attacker, it's a ploy Brazil will likely look to replicate against both Honduras and Chile.

Shakhtar Donetsk attacker Bernard has played his way into the side after impressing during training this week and will likely start on the right side of attack, coming in for Zenit forward Hulk.


Bernard was expected to play second fiddle to newcomer Willian, with the Chelsea man to set feature in a fluid line of three behind striker Jo, interchanging with Neymar and Oscar.

However, 21-year-old former Atletico Mineiro man Bernard has linked well with his fellow forwards during the Selecao's stay in Miami, impressing on Friday as Scolari ran attacking drills at the Sun Life Stadium.

Robinho is expected to bet used in a false no.9 position either during the latter stages of the clash with Honduras or during Tuesday's match against Chile in Toronto. The AC Milan forward, recalled by Scolari after a two-year absence from international football, played in that role throughout Thursday's practice match.

Jo will start up front, hoping to continue his fine goalscoring form for the Selecao. As Globo's Marcio Iannacca highlights, the former Manchester City striker has managed a better return than anyone else under Scolari, averaging a goal every 72 minutes.

Scolari has also confirmed that Victor will be handed a start between the posts.

Willian and Marquinhos should feature at some stage after both have been subbed in to the first team at various stages throughout training this week. Both underwent the initiation process at the Marriott Marquis hotel, giving speeches, singing and telling jokes to the rest of the squad during dinner. Willian is targeting his first appearance for the Selecao since 2011, while Paris Saint-Germain teenager Marquinhos is hoping to make his international debut.

Probable team to face Honduras: Victor; Maicon, David Luiz, Dante, Maxwell, Luiz Gustavo, Paulinho, Oscar, Bernard, Neymar, Jo.