Manchester City midfielder Fernandinho will miss Brazil’s Copa America quarter-final against Paraguay as he continues to recover from a knee injury, boss Tite has confirmed.
Fernandinho, who was also left out of Brazil’s 5-0 victory against Peru, had been thought to be the go-to replacement for suspended midfielder Casemiro but doubts over his fitness have ruled him out of the last-eight clash.
The Manchester City ace participated in training on the eve of the quarter-final but Tite maintained he was not fully fit and said Allan would step in for Casemiro, who will miss the game at the Gremio Arena in Porto Alegre after receiving two yellow cards in the tournament’s group stage.
“Allan will play,” Tite told a news conference, reported on Brazil’s website.
“I said that Fernandinho would play if he was 100% fit. And he isn’t.”
Allan will team up with Barcelona’s Arthur, who is still searching for his first goal with the Brazilian team.
“It would be perfect to score a goal at the Gremio Arena. It’s not my main function (to score goals), but I’m thinking about it, I’m also charged for it,” he said on Brazil’s website.
“We know how the Paraguayan team plays. We studied hard. I believe that tomorrow’s game will be important for those passes that break the lines. Our goal is to get things done right, we’re focused on the outcome,” he said.
Paraguay have eliminated Brazil twice before from the competition in 2011 and 2015, both after quarter-final penalty shoot-outs, and will be hoping to produce another upset on Friday.
“Tomorrow we will decide the team, a game with a lot of physical intensity awaits us, and we are ready to execute our plan,” Paraguay manager Eduardo Berizzo said.
“Statistics can be broken, they do not guarantee anything.
“We have to enjoy it (the game), we need to be brave and play uninhibited.”
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