Casting call: Brazil ready penultimate squad before World Cup

Coach Tite is running out of time to make the final tweaks to his side and could test some new faces for November's Brasil Global Tour matches

Time is running out for Tite to make the final tweaks to his Brazil squad ahead of World Cup 2018.

Since his appointment over a year ago, very few changes have made to his preferred squad and his starting XI has remained almost untouched.

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In June, Brasil Global Tour asked him whether his work was complete – “Absolutely not!” he replied, “in fact I wish we had more time.”

After romping to qualification and transforming the national team inside 12 months, the former Corinthians man insists he is still desperate to find more solutions to potential problems he may face in Russia.

On Friday, he will select his penultimate squad before the tournament begins, calling 23 players for November’s Brasil Global Tour double-header against Japan and England.

Diego Ribas Chapecoense Flamengo Brasileirao Serie A 15102017

The overwhelming bulk of his group appears all but assured of their respective World Cup places, but there is still room for some experimentation and a host of hopefuls will be desperate to hear their name when he sits at CBF headquarters to announce his list. 

Diego is undoubtedly one of them. After being forced out of World Cup qualifiers against Bolivia and Chile last month though injury, the Flamengo playmaker returned to action for his club this past weekend and grabbed the only goal of the game as his side beat Chapecoense.

Luan Guilherme Gremio Bahia Brasileirao Serie A 12062017

His chances will also improve with news that Gremio’s Luan – reportedly well-liked by Tite – is yet to recover from injury problems of his own.

Luan’s club-mate, midfielder Arthur, and China-based striker Diego Tardelli will also be feeling the tension this week after both were called up in October but failed to make an appearance.

They, like Manchester City’s Danilo and Shakhtar’s Fred, were restricted to making their cases in training sessions.

With no more competitive fixtures before Russia, however, Tite may yet experiment like he did in the BGT matches with Australia and Argentina in June, though likely to a lesser degree.

Diego Tardelli - Seleção Brasileir

Keen to retain the momentum he’s built up during qualification, he will likely make considerably fewer changes this time around but has repeatedly stated that he still has experiments to carry out.

"I would like to see more players, to test more of them, but I have a dilemma,” Tite says. “Either I strengthen in big games, or I risk over-experimenting.”

With just eight months and two more squads prior to his final 23, the time has come for Tite to shuffle his pack where necessary.

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