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Thursday, 02 February 2023 01:17 GMT

Brazil Hope To Have Neymar Back For Last-16 Clash, Says Coach


(MENAFN- The Peninsula) #qatar 2022 #world cup teams #stars of qatar 2022 Reuters

Doha: Brazil are hopeful they will have Neymar back for the World Cup knockout stage as his recovery from an ankle injury is going well, assistant coach Cleber Xavier said on Thursday.

The 30-year-old Paris St-Germain forward was again absent from training on Thursday as coach Tite prepared his team to face Cameroon in their final Group G match on Friday.

With their ticket already booked for the next round after two wins, Tite will rotate his squad to keep some players fresh for a likely last-16 match on Monday if they finish top.

Defenders Alex Sandro and Danilo, who are also recovering from injuries, were part of the group which trained on Thursday and should be available for the knockout stage.

'They are in the process of evolution. Our focus today is the match against Cameroon and then we will enter the decision-making process,' Xavier told a news conference.

'There is already a well-designed plan from our medical staff for the return of the injured players. They will be re-evaluated on Saturday.'

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Juventus left back Alex Sandro suffered a hip injury in the 1-0 win over Switzerland while Neymar and Juve right back Danilo picked up ankle injuries in Brazil's opening 2-0 win over Serbia.

Brazil team doctor Rodrigo Lasmar has given no specific timetable for their return.

Brazil will top the group with a draw or win. If they lose and Switzerland beat Serbia, top spot will be decided on goal difference.

The Swiss are second on three points, two ahead of Serbia and Cameroon, and will go through with a victory.

Serbia and Cameroon must win to have any chance of progressing and if they both succeed then second place would be decided by goal difference.

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