Brazil midfielder Philippe Coutinho is ready to step in for the suspended winger Neymar when his side continue their quest for a quarter-final spot at the South American Copa America in Sunday’s group stage fixture with Venezuela.
With Barcelona forward Neymar being handed a four-match ban by the South American Football Confederation (COMNEBOL) for his role in the post-match issues which followed Wednesday’s Group C defeat to Colombia, Brazil head coach Dunga has been training with Liverpool’s Coutinho as Neymar’s replacement.
23-year-old Coutinho is confident the Selecao can advance to the latter stages without their star man, and said: “Like the rest of my team-mates in the national squad, I am ready to occupy Ney’s place in the game against Venezuela.
“Neymar is a terrific player, but I am prepared – we all are. We are going to overcome his absence to go on the next stage.
“Venezuela are tactically very good and they mark in a strong way. But, in Brazil, we all have the determination to play well and look for the triumph.”