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Roberto Firmino Will Not Start for Brazil Against Costa Rica

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Brazil have looked better when Frimino leads the line. He won’t be doing that on Friday.

Brazil Training Session - FIFA World Cup Russia 2018 Photo by Buda Mendes/Getty Images

The World Cup is a short tournament with little room for error, and already a few of the big nations have stumbled in the early going. From Germany’s underwhelming midfield to a largely ineffectual Argentina attack to Brazil’s struggles against Switzerland.

The good news for all of them is that, having stumbled in the group opener, they do at least have time to correct course. If, that is, they believe any course correction is needed. And it looks like in Brazil’s case at least, they believe is that everything is fine.

After looking toothless in attack against Switzerland, with both Neymar and Gabriel Jesus turning in disappointing performances, there were calls for manager Tite to start Roberto Firimino in their second group match against Costa Rica tomorrow.

Given Brazil looked better in their warm-ups when Firmino came on and that their attack improved against Switzerland after his introduction—he had more shots and shots on target in an 11-minute cameo than Jesus did in 79—there seemed a good case for it.

Tite, though, will stick with his trusted players and an unchanged lineup according to multiple reports out of Brazil ahead of their second match. Jesus will get another chance to lead the line and Neymar, despite looking well off the pace, will start alongside him.

And as unthinkable as it would have been before the tournament, if the duo again fail to click as they did against Switzerland, it could leave Tite and Brazil in a very difficult position heading into the third group match.