Brazil head coach Tite has revealed that his star man Neymar will start the Russia 2018 FIFA World Cup Group E clash with Costa Rica on Friday.
The Paris Saint Germain (PSG) forward has been struggling with a knee problem since the start of the week and was a serious doubt for the game against the CONCACAF representatives.
Tite confirmed Neymar will start during his pre-match press conference earlier on Thursday.
He said: “It’s still the same prognosis. He played his first 90 minutes [against Switzerland] in 3½ months.”
“There is a science [behind the recovery] and calmness.
“Five matches is the minimum he needs; he has already sped up the process. It is on track, don’t worry.” He added.
Neymar was a big doubt for Brazil ahead of the World Cup after he suffered a metatarsal injury in February in the colours of PSG.
He returned to action and was on target in a 3-0 win over Austria on June 10.
Neymar was, however, underwhelming in his team’s World Cup opener against Switzerland, a 1-1 draw.
The result makes the Costa Rica game more important for the five-time world champions.
On the upcoming Costa Rica clash, Tite said: “The game is decisive because of the draw in the first game.”
“We are aware of it. We need a similar defensive performance with greater effectiveness up front.” The Brazilian coach added.
Speaking further, Tite stated that: “The excitement about the World Cup has gone.
The team has greater tranquility, the coach as well, because he is human. I was excited about the first game. Now I am better focused for the [Costa Rica] game. We will make some positional adjustments.” He concluded.
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