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Peru to target Neymar, Guerrero fit for Copa opener

SoccerNews in General Soccer News 10 Jun 2015

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Peru coach Ricardo Gareca will use any and all tactics in an effort to stop Neymar when his side take on Brazil in their Copa America opener on Sunday.

The Barcelona striker heads into the Copa America in red-hot form, fresh from a 39-goal season during the treble-winning campaign at Camp Nou, while Neymar has also scored eight times in as many games since being made Brazil captain in September.

Gareca has no qualms about applying a man-marking system on Neymar, however, a tactic that he is already comfortable with.

“We will consider whether to order personal marking on Neymar. I’ve done that before when I went to other teams,” the 57-year-old Argentine told reporters at Peru’s base in Lima.

“We are looking to Brazil. When the time comes, we will have a clearer picture.”

Peru head into the 2015 Copa America with the memory of one of their best continental championship displays still fresh.

In 2011, Peru finished third – the first time they had claimed a podium spot since 1983 – and Gareca claimed on Tuesday that the main man from that tournament – Paolo Guerrero – will be ready for this year’s event.

Guerrero top-scored at the Copa America four years ago with five goals but has been struggling with an ankle injury.

“The team is all fully restored. Given the time, we’ll get right for the Copa, and then the FIFA [World Cup qualifiers], which should be pretty good,” Gareca said.

“Paolo is also very well and recovered. He has no downside.”

Guerrero, who plays for Flamengo in Brazil, Bayern Munich’s Claudio Pizarro, Jefferson Farfan of Schalke and Sporting Lisbon’s Andre Carrillo make up an imposing front-line for Peru.

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