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With Neymar hurt, Brazil turn to new faces

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Rio de Janeiro: In the absence of injured star Neymar, Brazil’s national football team coach Tite has announced a squad with some surprises, including forward Willian Jose, for upcoming friendlies against Germany and Russia.

He acknowledged that the 25-man list does not include several players who may be part of the final roster for the 2018 World Cup in Russia, reports Efe.

This month’s friendlies are to be the last tune-ups before the competition begins in June.

Willian Jose, a starter with Spain’s Real Sociedad, will be seeing his first action with the national team as a substitute for Neymar, who is recovering from a foot surgery.

Doctors have yet to set a firm date for Neymar’s return.

Also making his debut for Brazil will be Anderson Talisca, who plays as a professional for Turkish club Besiktas.

Brazil will be away to Russia on March 23 and head to Germany four days later for a match against the defending World Cup champions.

It will be the Brazilians’ first meeting with Germany since their 1-7 loss to the European side in the semifinals of the 2014 World Cup in Brazil.

“I want to give all the athletes opportunities right up until the end,” coach Tite told a press conference on Monday.

“The final roster for World Cup was not released yet because everybody is still being evaluated,” he added.

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