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Who will replace Casemiro for Brazil?


Brazil’s 7-1 rout of Haiti went some way to cleansing a soul still muddied from the infamous World Cup 2014 semi-final defeat to Germany by the same scoreline.

Dunga’s side turned in what was likely their best performance since that fateful evening, getting their Copa America campaign back on track.

5 lessons from Brazil 7-1 Haiti | WATCH: Coutinho's stunning hat-trick | PROFILE: New Brazil star Walace

The frequency with which they moved the ball and pace of their passing was a particular highlight, as was the movement in attack and the ruthless finishing on display.

But after Dunga was forced into six late changes to his original 23 ahead of the tournament, a yellow card for Casemiro presents the coach with his first real selection headache of the competition.

Expecting to once again dominate possession, could Dunga take the plunge and start a match without a specialist defensive midfielder after two brief experiments with the system? If so, Lucas Lima could come into the side and operate ahead of Elias and Renato Augusto.

It was a brief, but successful, trial during the Chevrolet Brasil Global Tour victory over Panama last month. Against Haiti, however, Brazil conceded within minutes of implementing it and Dunga immediately introduced Walace to sure things up.

A bold introduction of Lucas Lima from the start would see the Selecao go 4-2-3-1 and seek to take the initiative from the first whistle against Peru. To see a Brazil side begin a match without a volante would be quite an event for Brazilian football.

More likely, however, would be a first start for Gremio star Walace, who would offer a like-for-like replacement for Casemiro. Walace replaced the Madrid man for his international debut against Haiti which hints he is second-choice for the position.

Dunga ran a keen eye over Walace during that cameo and was impressed with what he saw. There is competition from Sao Paulo’s Rodrigo Caio, however. He was called into the squad as a central defender but can also operate in the holding midfield role.

The other decision will be up front, where Gabigol could replace Jonas after coming off the bench to score against Haiti.

In Peru, the Selecao will find a much stronger opposition, despite the number of youngsters Peru elected to take to USA this month. Lead striker Paolo Guerrero, well known to Brazilian fans for his exploits with Corinthians and now Flamengo, will pose a significant aerial theat.

Sao Paulo-bound Christian Cueva will a constant danger on the counter-attack with his pace and crafty wing play.

Dunga has plenty to ponder. But he has a number of options. And, perhaps most importantly, he comes into the match with his side high on confidence.