BREAKING NEWS: Brazil manager Tite STICKS with Eder Militao and Danilo as emergency full backs for quarter-final against Croatia, while Neymar leads the World Cup favourites’ attack as he hunts down Pele’s record of 77 goals
But at the back Tite is still having to improvise, with Eder Militao at right-back and Danilo on the left. Alex Sandro is fit enough only for the bench as Brazil hunt a record-extending sixth World Cup triumph.
Tite’s side blew South Korea away in their last-16 clash, clinching a quarter-final spot within a spellbinding first half as they took a 4-0 lead, before their opponents nicked a late consolation goal.
Neymar is starting again for Brazil in their quarter-final clash against Croatia after overcoming an ankle injury
Danilo (left) and Eder Militao (centre) have also been named in Tite’s starting XI for Brazil
Neymar, who suffered an ankle injury in their tournament opener against Serbia, then missing Brazil’s remaining two Group G games, returned both to the lineup and to the scoresheet as he dispatched an expertly taken penalty.
The PSG star, in notching his first World Cup goal of the Qatar tournament, moved to 76 international goals and only one behind Pele on 77 at the top of Brazil’s all-time list.
The 30-year-old’s return was a major boost for a side aiming for their first World Cup triumph since 2002, particularly with back-up striker Gabriel Jesus requiring surgery after suffering an injury against Cameroon.
Neymar managed 80 minutes against South Korea, before being replaced by Real Madrid star Rodrygo, with Arsenal’s Gabriel Martinelli also making a substitute appearance.
Joining Neymar in the side are Alisson Becker, Thiago Silva, Casemiro and Lucas Paqueta, who starts again ahead of Fred in midfield.
Confirmed Brazil XI: Alisson, Eder Militao, Marquinhos, Thiago Silva, Danilo; Casemiro, Lucas Paqueta and Neymar; Raphinha, Vinicius Jr, Richarlison
Confirmed Croatia XI: Livakovic, Juranovic, Lovren, Gvardiol, Sosa, Modric, Brozovic, Kovacic, Pasalic, Perisic, Kramaric
Neymar is looking to move level with Pele on 77 goals in Brazil’s all-time top scorer list
Richarlison once again leads the line for Brazil after enjoying a fine tournament so far in Qatar
As for Croatia, they have once again a fielded a highly experienced side, with Luka Modrid, Ivan Perisic and Mateo Kovacic the most notable names involved.
The winner of this afternoon’s clash, which gets underway at 3pm GMT, will next play on Tuesday, December 13, with kick-off at 7pm.
They will take on either Argentina or Holland, who play tonight at 7pm.
In the other side of the draw, Morocco and Portugal go head-to-head in Saturday’s 3pm kick-off, before England and France square off in the evening.
The final, which will take place at the Lusail Stadium, is on Sunday, December 18 at 3pm GMT.