Brazil explain thinking behind Senegal, Nigeria clashes
Thursday Oct 10, 2019. 12:00
Brazil assistant coach Cleber Xavier has explained the reasoning behind the country’s two friendly internationals against African opponents in Singapore.
The South Americans will face Senegal on Thursday and Nigeria on Sunday, an African double-header to savour given how rarely Brazil meet opponents from the continent outside of World Cups.
“These two friendlies and the two November friendlies will allow us to test new players and to adjust and tweak some tactical details in attack and defence,” Xavier told BBC Sport.
“We did this in the preparation for the Copa America. We succeeded in the objective of winning and did so unbeaten.”
He says the contrasting styles of the two teams will make for different challenges for his side, and picked out Everton star Alex Iwobi as the man to watch among the Super Eagles.
“Nigeria defend less than Senegal. The Senegalese are more about positioning with [Idrissa] Gueye marking strongly.
“At Nigeria, Iwobi plays more of an inside role as a second striker than at Everton. He is the link in the counter-attack, drags opponents out of position and infiltrates well in the box.”
Brazil lost their previous friendly 1-0 to Peru last month, but were on a 17-match unbeaten run before that dating back to the 2018 FIFA World Cup.