The most contested sector of the national team at Copa América, Brazil’s attack will have new faces in the triple round of Qualifiers, which start today, 22:00, against Chile. The non-release of players by English clubs will force coach Tite to change. In this context, there is expectation for a sequence of Gabigol, Flamengo, who has been called up regularly this season, but has not yet delivered the same performance he has at the club, where he scored 27 goals in 27 games.
The striker has 1 goal in 271 minutes for the Brazilian team in 2021. There are five matches played in Copa America, just one starting from start to finish, against Ecuador. And two for the qualifiers, against Ecuador and Paraguay. The player, who celebrated his 25th birthday this week, is fighting for position in charge of the attack with Matheus Cunha, the starting center for the Olympic team. At 22, Cunha is in a good moment and was signed by Atlético de Madrid, from Spain, before earning his second chance in the senior team.
Without being able to count on Richarlison, Firmino and Gabriel Jesus, the trio that started the Copa América as a starter, Tite called the young Vinicius Júnior and the veteran Hulk, 35, who has 17 goals in 43 games at Atlético-MG. Although he has not disclosed the team, the coach has everything to keep the Copa América base together. And the absence of the trio who play in England could result in Neymar moving forward. Shirt 10 finished the last tournament overloaded with creative assignments.
In this way, the midfield would win three defensive midfielders – Casemiro, Bruno Guimarães and Paquetá, for example – and would have two spots left in the attack. Tite blurted out at the press conference on the eve of the game that he is still trying to give the team a more refined process in building the game.
— We are looking for a bigger creative process, with more articulators. We have scored goals vertically: Neymar is like that, Richarlison, Gabriel Jesus, Gabriel Barbosa. It is a more vertical team – he said.
Verticality also indicates an attack capable of fulfilling defensive functions. And in this aspect Tite was satisfied with its owners. This is the question that challenges Gabigol’s permanence, and makes the bet on Matheus Cunha’s European experience more likely, especially with all available athletes.