After a 0-0 draw against Venezuela to start their tournament, the giants have a tougher test on Saturday against Paraguay in Group BBrazil was not expecting to enter its second Copa America match with any less than three points, but a resolute Venezuela performance earned a 0-0 draw in both teams' opening match Sunday.
Coach Mano Menezes' side will face a stiffer challenge in its second game Saturday, as it faces off against 2010 World Cup quarter-finalists Paraguay. The Paraguayans also started their campaign with a 0-0 draw, which came against Ecuador.
"The lack of goals just shows the balance of the Copa America. The teams have improved a lot," said Brazil defender Dani Alves.
Alves doesn't expect his team's match against Paraguay to be scoreless.
"Paraguay is a team that likes to attack," he said. "I think that when we face opponents that also attack, the match is more open and gives you more possibilities."
Venezuela's tough defense helped frustrate Brazilian attacking starlet Neymar, who played the entire scoreless opening match. He insisted that physical marking will not deter him, though.
"It will be tough to irritate me. The marking on me will be the same as I face at Santos. It's tough marking, with tough tackles. I was already prepared for this when I got here. We will prepare further so we can perform better and walk out with a victory on Saturday," he explained.
Despite Brazil's status as tournament favorites, Alves spoke about the Brazilians needing to remain patient.
"We bet on our talent, for the quality of the individuals we have," he continued. "But individual talents only show up when the group is flowing. We can't overcharge these talents with responsibility. We have young players and a new squad. We must have patience."
Brazil will be looking for the full three points against Paraguay, but the Paraguayans will be no pushover with the likes of Roque Santa Cruz and Lucas Barrios in their attacking ranks.
Alves knows that his team will be under pressure to secure a good result, and he understands that the pressure is part of the territory in the Brazil team.
"The pressure, on Mano and on us, is acceptable," he said. "The people are used to seeing the Selecao win. We have to take that responsibility. Although the squad is young, it's filled with players with a lot of personality. We are at the Brazilian team and we can't accept other results than the victory."
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