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Brazil can cope without Neymar – Coutinho

Philippe Coutinho believes Brazil have enough quality to reach the Copa America quarter-finals without their suspended captain and talisman Neymar.

Neymar will miss Brazil’s final Group C game against Venezuela on Sunday after he was sent off following the final whistle of their fractious defeat to Colombia last time out.

Victory in Santiago will seal a place in the last eight for Dunga’s men, and Coutinho – who could be in line to replace Neymar in the starting XI after recovering from a thigh problem – feels they can get the three points even in the absence of the Barcelona star.

“Neymar is a great player, our main man, but everyone is prepared and focused on what we want,” Liverpool playmaker Coutinho said on Friday.

“We lost our main player, but the group is strong. We are focused to overcome the loss of Neymar in the next game.

“I do not know if I’m going to play. I believe that everyone is prepared.

“It depends on the coach. I am prepared and I will do my best to help the team come away with the victory. We have great players in the Selecao – creative, fast and smart.

“The most important thing is the team. Whoever plays has to get the job done.”

Midfielder Fernandinho, meanwhile, has no doubt that Coutinho has the ability to fill Neymar’s shoes, should Dunga call on the former Inter man.

“In the case that Coutinho replaces him, he is ready,” said the Manchester City man.

“He is one of the best players of Liverpool and has done well for the Selecao. We will be represented well.”

Fri 19 Jun, 2015
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