Brazil Seek to End Three-game  Winless Run with Win over Nigeria


•Ndidi  Says Taranga Lions game will help Eagles beat Selecao

Brazil’s Coach Tite has called on his players to step up and deliver a good performance when they face Nigeria in Sunday’s international friendly at the Kallang National Stadium; Singapore after the Selecao drew 1-1 with Senegal on Thursday.

Brazil are now on their longest run without a win since 2013, after drawing 2-2 with Colombia and lost 1-0 to Peru in last month’s friendlies.

Tite was critical of his players after the game and asked them to give more on the pitch in their next game.

“We were below what we can do. The squad played less than what it can play.  It was less competitive than what it can be. The squad can give more than this. This wasn’t a good game. We need to get results. When we don’t, criticism emerges and I have to be mature enough to absorb it,” Tite said at his post-match news conference.

Neymar became the youngest player to earn 100th cap for Brazil, but the player struggled to impose himself on the game. Tite admitted the 27-year-old is still far from being 100 per cent having missed a few months through injury and transfer drama.

“He is getting back to his normal patterns. We are also making adjustments for him in the 4-4-2 system, as we’re doing within the whole team,” he said.

Meanwhile, Leicester City star Wilfred Ndidi has been talking tough ahead of the Super Eagles’ eagerly anticipated friendly encounter with the Selecao, with the midfielder convinced that Nigeria has enough in attack and defense to hurt their opponents on Sunday.

Ndidi is optimistic that the team’s preparation will help them overcome the Samba Boys, most especially after watching them drew with Senegal on Thursday and Ndidi believes a few weaknesses observed in the Brazilian team could be exploited by him and his teammates.

“We watched the game between Brazil and Senegal, it was a good game and we have been preparing based on that, plus working on our shape,” Ndidi said.

“We have to find our solutions, while we’re trying to go deal with them, we are also mindful of our back.

Corroborating the Leicester City midfielder optimism, former Nigeria goalkeeper Emmanuel Babayaro, who described Sunday’s friendly against Brazil as a good test for the Super Eagles suggested the Samba Boys are no longer the invincible team they used to be, and Nigeria have a chance of getting a good result against the five-time world champions if they get their acts right on Sunday in Singapore.

 “I think it is a good test for the Super Eagles even though I don’t see this present Brazil team as the same as we used to know,” Babayaro told Goal.

“Since after the World Cup they hosted,I have not seen Brazil do anything quite spectacular but the fact still remains Brazil is Brazil any day and they have quality players like Neymar and the likes in their team, so they would definitely be a good test for our team but we can get a good result against them if we get our acts right.”

With the season still very young across the globe, Babayaro suggests that players may likely be cautious during Sunday’s game so fans might not see the very best of performances.

“In games like this, you might not get the very best from players because they would not want to go back to their respective club injured, most players tread cautiously in this kind of in-between season friendly games,” Babayaro continued.

While reflecting on the 1-1 draw recorded between Senegal and Brazil on Thursday, Babayaro – a member of the Nigeria U17 team that won World Cup in 1993 – said it may influence Sunday’s game.

“The result from Thursday’s game could rub off on how Sunday’s friendly will go,” he added.

“After drawing against Senegal in their last outing, Brazil can either come all out to make sure they win against Nigeria and also the Super Eagles can also draw inspiration that if Senegal can hold the Brazil team, they can do same if not better.”

Nigeria are set to face Brazil in an international friendly match slated for Singapore on Sunday, with kickoff billed for 1pm Nigerian time.