Brazil coach Tite was forced into some late changes to the squad that will face Uruguay and Cameroon in friendlies in England after Barcelona’s Philippe Coutinho and Real Madrid pair Marcelo and Casemiro pulled out through injury.
Tite called up Barcelona midfielder Rafinha Alcantara on Monday to replace Casemiro, who is suffering from a sprained ankle that could sideline him for several weeks.He also added Beijing Guoan midfielder Renato Augusto and Juventus full-back Alex Sandro.
Coutinho’s absence was expected after Barca announced Thursday he had a hamstring problem that would keep him out for two weeks.
Tite had been hoping to call upon Marcelo but the Real left-back hasn’t recovered yet from a thigh problem suffered two weeks ago in the clasico, which the Madrid side lost 5-1 against their bitter rivals from Barcelona.
Brazil’s football federation released a statement saying Tite had been “waiting to see if he would recover” but after Marcelo missed Real’s 4-2 win over Celta Vigo at the weekend it was decided he wouldn’t be fit.
Brazil will play Uruguay at Arsenal’s Emirates stadium on Friday before taking on Cameroon in Milton Keynes four days later.
It will be their last two matches of the year having recorded four straight friendly victories since exiting the World Cup in Russia at the quarter-final stage, beaten 2-1 by Belgium.Brazil beat the United States 2-0, El Salvador 5-0, Saudi Arabia 2-0 and Argentina 1-0 in their last four matches.
The side is building towards the Copa America next year, which it will host from June 14 to July 7.