Belfast Telegraph

Marcelo to return for Brazil’s World Cup quarter-final with Belgium

The defender has been struggling with a back problem but is fit for the last-eight clash.

Brazil coach Tite has confirmed that Real Madrid full-back Marcelo will return to the side to face Belgium in their World Cup quarter-final on Friday.

Marcelo was forced off early on in Brazil’s final group game as they beat Serbia to assure themselves of top spot in Group E, before the same back problem cost him a place in the team that beat Mexico 2-0.

A soft mattress at the team hotel has been blamed for aggravating the issue but Tite revealed during his press conference in Kazan on the eve of the quarter-final that the 30-year-old will replace Felipe Luis against Belgium.

bpanews_6ce3966b-8096-4b40-8f1d-2cacf85d6087_embedded237250855
Marcelo played less than 10 minutes against Serbia before having to be replaced (Antonio Calanni/AP)

“I talked to Marcelo and Filipe Luis,” said Tite.

“Marcelo left (against Serbia) because of a clinical problem and he has not been back because of a physical problem, he only had 45 to 60 minutes. Filipe Luis played very well in those matches but Marcelo is coming back.”

The Brazil coach went on to confirm that Fernandinho will also come into the side.

bpanews_6ce3966b-8096-4b40-8f1d-2cacf85d6087_embedded237253430
Fernandinho will also start againt Belgium in Kazan (Matthias Schrader/AP)

The Manchester City midfielder has yet to start a game in Russia but will replace Casemiro – who misses out through suspension – and is likely to be joined in the starting XI by club-mate Gabriel Jesus, despite the fact the forward has yet to score in the finals.

Defender Miranda joined Tite at the press conference at the Kazan Arena and the Inter Milan man will captain the Selecao.

The 33-year-old, ever-present throughout the finals, is expecting a tough test from a Belgium side who came from two goals behind to beat Japan and set up a clash between two of the tournament favourites.

bpanews_6ce3966b-8096-4b40-8f1d-2cacf85d6087_embedded237389448
Miranda joined Tite at Brazil’s pre-match press conference (Andre Penner/AP)

Asked about the threat posed by Manchester United forward Romelu Lukaku, Miranda replied: “Belgium is not just Lukaku.

“They are a very strong attacking team but the main way to stop the opponent is to be aware of all of the players who are on the pitch because there are several high-quality players, they are very skilful.

“Our defence is going to be very well prepared to neutralise all of the opponents’ attacks.”

Daily News Headlines Newsletter

Today's news headlines, directly to your inbox.

Popular

From Belfast Telegraph