Tite all business as Brazil prepare for Bolivia

Despite World Cup qualification having been assured since March, the Selecao boss is hard at work fine-tuning his side ahead of Russia next year

In March, Brazil became the first team to join hosts Russia at World Cup 2018, cementing qualification with four matches to spare.

But on Tuesday, as they prepared to face Bolivia in their penultimate match of the qualification cycle, coach Tite looked anything but a man taking a foot off the gas.


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Desperate not to repeat the mistakes of World Cup 2014, the coach. who led Brazil to nine consecutive victories in qualification since his appointment, took to the training field at Granja Comary on Tuesday in serious mood.

He observed training closely and paid particular attention to left-back Alex Sandro, who is set to start after first-choice Marcelo and second-choice Filipe Luis were both forced to withdraw from this month’s squad through injury.

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Tuesday’s session was open to the media for only around 20 minutes, in another indication that the boss believes there is still serious work to be done. Victories over Bolivia on Thursday and Chile next week will see his side equal Argentina’s record points tally in CONMEBOL qualification.

In every interview this month, Tite has emphasised the need for focus in his squad. With little time to coach his players, the former Corinthians man is still desperate to make up for lost time having taken the job when the Selecao were a third of their way into the qualification process. 

He also has an unbeaten competitive record to protect, having led his side to nine wins and one draw since his arrival. 

Tite sees Thursday’s test at the altitude of Bolivia as a hugely important test to a team that, while extremely settled, is still in a proves of evolution.

Brazil were without Marquinhos for Tuesday’s training session, but the coaching staff insist he is not an injury doubt this week.

Much of the short runout was spent working on defensive organisation, with the likes of Neymar and Gabriel Jesus restricted almost entirely to shadowing the back-four as they worked on stopped set pieces.

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