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Hulk injury could prompt Brazil tactical change

English.news.cn   2014-06-17 07:24:39

By Michael Place

FORTALEZA, June 16 (Xinhua) -- Luiz Felipe Scolari has minimized the impact of a thigh injury to Hulk that threatens to force a change in Brazil's formation against Mexico on Tuesday.

The Zenit Saint Petersburg forward sat out training on Monday despite a scan clearing the 27-year-old of muscle damage in his left thigh.

"He wasn't able to train today so there was no point in him coming," Scolari said during a press conference.

"We will evaluate him tomorrow. We have 23 players and I think we chose them well. So there will be no problem at all."

Hulk was replaced by Shakhtar Donetsk winger Bernard in the second half of Brazil's 3-1 victory over Croatia in their opening Group A match last Thursday.

But in training on Sunday and Monday Scolari experimented with Ramires, arming the Selecao with greater reinforcement in central midfield.

The inclusion of the Chelsea No. 7 against Mexico would essentially provide Brazil with three holding midfielders: Ramires, Luiz Gustavo and Paulinho.

It would also allow Oscar and Neymar greater space to roam behind striker Fred; the Chelsea midfielder on the right and Neymar cutting in from the left.

Scolari can also call upon Oscar's club teammate Willian and Inter Milan playmaker Hernanes.

Brazil captain Thiago Silva, who sat alongside Scolari at Monday's press conference, alluded to Brazil's wealth of options.

"Hulk would be a big loss but Felipao [Scolari] could close one eye and choose between Bernard, Ramires and Willian," Silva said.

Despite his relaxed mood, Scolari gave no hints about his team for Thursday's clash at Fortaleza's Castelao stadium.

"Thiago has already chosen three players for me," he joked, before adding that Hulk's absence would force a strategy rethink.

"If there is any problem with Hulk I will lose the system with which we have been playing for some time.

"The players have different characteristics. But they can also bring things to the team like speed, a different type of marking and positioning," he added.

Editor: An
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