World Cup 2022: Fouling Neymar ‘has to stop’, Brazil coach Tite says

Host nation: Qatar Dates: 20 November-18 December Coverage: Live on BBC TV, BBC iPlayer, BBC Radio 5 Live, BBC Radio Wales, BBC Radio Cymru, BBC Sounds and the BBC Sport website and app. Day-by-day TV listingsFull coverage details

Brazil head coach Tite says the high number of fouls on Neymar “has to be stopped” after the forward was injured in their group-stage win over Serbia.

Neymar appeared to be in tears on the bench after being substituted in the 80th minute with a sprained ankle.

The 30-year-old was on the receiving end of a heavy tackle from Nikola Milenkovic in the 2-0 win on Thursday.

“If you want to celebrate the football, you have to pay attention to the fouls,” said Tite.

“They focus on specific players. This is the effect. This has to be stopped.”

Since his first World Cup in 2014, Neymar has been fouled 53 times in the competition, at least 11 more than any other player.

He was fouled nine times against Serbia, more than any other player in their opening match in Qatar.

Neymar will not play in Brazil’s remaining group stages matches, but Tite said he remained confident the Paris St-Germain forward would feature again at the World Cup.

“I believe Neymar and [injured defender] Danilo will play in the World Cup. I’m not in a position to speak about [medical information],” said Tite.

“I can say that, not only about Neymar, but also about Danilo, both of their situations have evolved, but we believe both will be available to play at the World Cup.”

TEAM NEWS

Brazil are still without Juventus defender Danilo, who also suffered an ankle injury against Serbia, as well as Paris St-Germain forward Neymar.

Switzerland forward Renato Steffen remains a doubt with a muscle injury.

CHRIS SUTTON’S PREDICTION

Switzerland will be delighted with their win over Cameroon, but they are quite an average side.

I think their pace up front means they will cause Brazil more problems than Serbia did, and they might get a goal here.

Brazil took a bit of time to get going against Serbia but they showed some of their attacking power in the end, and it will be a similar story here.

Sutton’s prediction: 2-1

MATCH FACTS

  • Both previous meetings between Brazil and Switzerland at the World Cup have ended in draws (2-2 in 1950, 1-1 in 2018).
  • Brazil are unbeaten in their last 16 group-stage games at the World Cup – no side has ever gone 17 without defeat in the group stages of the competition.
  • Switzerland are looking to win their opening two games at a World Cup for the first time.
  • Richarlison has scored nine goals in his last seven appearances in all competitions for Brazil.
  • Breel Embolo has scored in three of his last four matches for Switzerland.

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