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Brazil v Venezuela: Luiz Gustavo expecting a tough clash

Luiz Gustavo is wary of a difficult encounter when Brazil take on Venezuela in World Cup qualifying on Tuesday.

Both sides fell to defeats in their opening fixtures of the campaign, with Dunga’s men beaten 2-0 by Chile and Noel Sanvicente’s side losing 1-0 at home to Paraguay courtesy of Derlis Gonzalez’s 85th-minute strike.

Captain Neymar will be absent for Brazil as he serves the final game of his four-match suspension, but Wolfsburg midfielder Luiz Gustavo is confident they have the depth to see off a Venezuela side that he expects to play in a compact manner.

“Our team can play very well, we have quality players,” he said.

“It’s probable that Venezuela will come defensively having lost at home, but we will try in every way possible to create spaces and situations to score from and win.”

The midfielder acknowledged that defeat to Chile – the first time Brazil have ever lost their opening qualifier – has piled on the pressure to earn their first points of the campaign, but again emphasised his belief in the squad.

“We know the competition that we’re playing in. We faced the Copa America champions, tried to do our best but unfortunately did not get the positive result,” he added.

“This increases the difficulty, but we have an excellent group.”

Dunga will also be without David Luiz – who was replaced by Marquinhos in the 36th minute of the clash with Chile – and Marcelo Grohe after the pair withdrew from the squad due to injury and the coach did not take up the option to call on any replacements.

Luiz Gustavo admitted that it was a blow but called upon whoever is drafted into the starting line-up to seize the chance, with the introduction of Lucas Lima further forward also a distinct possibility.

“It is always sad, especially when an injury happens. I hope they recover quickly and can return to help the national team and their clubs,” he continued.

“Everyone has the ability to play. Whoever enters will have to take the opportunity in the best way.”

Venezuela handed a debut to former Barcelona man Jeffren Suarez in their clash with Paraguay, but midfielder Tomas Rincon still believes improvement is needed in attack if they are to improve upon a dismal record of just one win in 22 meetings with Brazil.

“We have to improve in the final third. Perhaps choosing when to pass or when to attack better,” Rincon said.

There are no new injury worries for Sanvicente, who will be hoping his side can get a better result than the 2-1 defeat they suffered when the two nations last met at Copa America 2015.

Sun 11 Oct, 2015
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