Brazil goalkeeper Cassio says Argentina will still pose a significant threat to his side in Buenos Aires on Thursday despite missing star trio Lionel Messi, Sergio Aguero and Carlos Tevez.
Brazil travel to Buenos Aires on Wednesday afternoon ahead of Thursday’s Superclasico showdown at River Plate’s Monumental stadium as favourites for the World Cup qualifier and welcome back captain Neymar from suspension.
But Corinthians star Cassio says the five-time world champions will not be taking their injury-plagued opponents lightly.
"I don’t care if they are missing an attacker or not,” Cassio told a press conference in Sao Paulo.
“Of course I know the quality of each of them, but we need to concentrate and not underestimate them just because Messi is not there.
“Argentina are always very strong.”
Cassio has felt right at home this week ahead of what he hopes will be his international debut as Brazil have prepared for their Argentinian test at Corinthians’ training ground and says the facilities are as good as any his more illustrious colleagues may be used to.
“The Corinthians facilities are as good as those in Europe. The players like training here and the site is very similar to those they use over there.”
Cassio is hoping to beat out competition from Internacional’s Alisson and Botafogo’s Jefferson to start against Argentina and believes he has what it takes to emerge as Brazil’s undisputed no.1.
“I believe that I am able,” he said.
“Everyone has been call up on merit and I'm ready to play if necessary.
"It would be nice to start against Argentina but I feel fortunate to simply represent the national team.
“I will be focused and concentrate during training and then Dunga and Taffarel choose who will start.”
The 28-year-old went on to say that he hoped his lack of international experience would not count against him.
“It's hard [to answer] what the coach will do. He has to know,” Cassio said.
“We goalkeepers will all do our best and leave him to choose.”