Dunga’s Brazil return to action against Costa Rica at the Red Bull Arena in New Jersey on Saturday, seeking to make amends for their disappointing showing at the Copa America.
Defeat on penalties at the hands of Paraguay saw Dunga’s side bow out of the South American showpiece at the quarter-final stage in Chile in June with focus now turning to qualification for the World Cup in three years’ time.
Friendlies against Costa Rica and United States over the next week precede Brazil’s first qualifier against Chile next month.
And reports in Brazil have suggested the head coach is eager to experiment during the upcoming friendlies, with skipper Neymar having appeared to have suffered discomfort during training this week.
Furthermore, Dunga is expected to hand Neymar’s left-hand berth to Bayern Munich’s in-form winger Douglas Costa as Zenit striker Hulk leads the line.
Costa has enjoyed a dream start to life in the Bundesliga and said this week he was ready to compete for a favoured starting position out wide.
“I am prepared to live with it. I was in Ukraine for five years but prepared to play at Bayern,” he told O Globo.
“Now I have to grab this opportunity. At Shakhtar, I played more on the right and when I arrived at Bayern everyone spoke of [Arjen] Robben, [Franck] Ribery but I did my job.
“Here it is no different. Of course Neymar is a great player, but I want my place.”
For Costa Rica, the match represents their first outing since Paulo Wanchope left his position as coach following a pitchside exchange with a fan after the Olympic qualifier against Panama.
Punches and kicks were thrown by both men, seemingly over the refusal to allow Wanchope onto the field on play, with Oscar Ramirez since appointed as his replacement.
Ramirez will be without Real Madrid goalkeeper Keylor Navas after his proposed move to Manchester United as part of a swap deal involving David de Gea fell through.
Ahead of friendlies with Brazil and Uruguay, Ramirez is set to rotate goalkeepers Patrick Pemberton and Esteban Alvarado, with defender Giancarlo Gonzalez having been impressed by the coach’s impact.
“He cares for everything, even the smallest detail, because that leads to victory,” he explained.
“We have a settled game plan, which involves keeping possession of the ball. We will all give our all to make the adaptation easier, and ensure the results come.”
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