Marcelo Brazil Serbia World Cup 2018Getty Images

Marcelo won't start Brazil's last 16 clash with Mexico as Tite confirms team for knockout round

Marcelo will not be drafted back into Brazil’s starting XI for a World Cup last-16 encounter with Mexico, Tite has confirmed.

The Real Madrid full-back was forced off early on during the Selecao’s final group stage clash with Serbia.

Back spasms led to his withdrawal, with it later suggested that a hotel mattress was to blame for the 30-year-old’s discomfort.

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Atletico Madrid defender Felipe Luis replaced Marcelo against Serbia and he will get the nod again as attention switches to knockout competition.

Tite told reporters at a pre-game press conference: “Yes, we have confirmed the team. The team that finished the last match. So Felipe Luis [not Marcelo].”

While Brazil have decided not to take any risks when it comes to their options at left-back, with conditions being taken into account as temperatures rise in Samara, they will be at full strength on Monday.

Marcelo may have to settle for a place on the bench, but he has returned to training.

He joined in with a practice session on Sunday, with Brazil having only arrived at their next destination in the early hours of the morning.

Tite will have the Madrid star to call upon if required, but will be looking for others to do the damage against Mexico.

Neymar will once again lead the charge for the Selecao, with the likes of Philippe Coutinho and Willian offering attacking support.

Thiago Silva and Miranda will be the centre-half pairing, while Gabriel Jesus will provide a striking focal point ahead of Liverpool’s Roberto Firmino.

Mexico face the unenviable challenge of trying to contain and breach Brazil in their ongoing quest to break an unfortunate run of results at recent World Cups.

While they are regulars at the last 16 stage of football’s showpiece event, “the curse of the fifth game” has seen them fall at the second round at each of the last six tournaments.