As Willian’s form for the Brazilian national team hasn’t been too good, he’s set to be replaced by Liverpool’s Philippe Coutinho for the match against Bolivia tonight.
Willian has been a starter for quite a long time, so seeing him dropped has attracted much attention from the media.
Brazil manager Tite explained the change during his press conference (via UOL), and said it’s all about the current form of both players. On Willian, he said: “That situation happened yesterday when we talked to the staff.
“Soon after, Cleber (assistant) says that William trained a lot, and said.. ‘Look the two hugged’. They have to know that they have to compete, raise the technical level and they can be loyal. Willian has a strong personality.”
Then Tite justified why Coutinho has to be part of the team: “The two times he came on, his form, the composition with the other three players to form a quartet of midfield, the passes he makes for them to move… he does it masterfully.
“He came on not only because the opponent was tired, but for mobility, the creative sense. He has to carry this responsibility, no wonder he’s called the magician in England. For this creative capacity. Willian is sharper, more incisive, like Neymar, he has the ability to penetrate. It was hard for me too, I admit.”
With this change, Coutinho is set to start wide right in a 4-1-4-1 system, with Neymar on the left side and Gabriel Jesus up front.
Brazil are playing Bolivia tonight and Venezuela on Tuesday. They’re currently in second place of the South American World Cup Qualifiers table, one point behind Uruguay.