Neymar ‘needs rest’
|Source: The Hitavada Date: 23 Mar 2017 09:20:15|
FC BARCELONA forward Neymar has said that he is looking forward to some rest before preparing for the national football team’s World Cup qualifiers against Uruguay and Paraguay.Neymar, Juventus defender Dani Alves and Roma goalkeeper Alisson were the last players to arrive at Brazil’s training camp here on Tuesday, reports Xinhua news agency.
The squad trained at the headquarters of Brazilian Serie A club Corinthians before taking a chartered flight to Montevideo, where they will confront Uruguay on Thursday. “The chance to wear the Brazil shirt is always a privilege, an honour,” Neymar told reporters after his long-haul flight from Barcelona.
“I’ve arrived a little later than the others. I’m going to get some rest to make sure I’m right.”
“It’s going to be a difficult game. Uruguay have a lot of quality, but we are going to prepare ourselves as best we can,” he added. Brazil, who lead the South American zone World Cup qualifying standings, will also meet Paraguay in Sao Paulo on March 28.
Argentina forward Dybala in doubt
JUVENTUS forward Paulo Dybala is in doubt for Argentina’s 2018 football World Cup qualifiers against Chile and Bolivia due to a leg injury.
The 23-year-old did not train with Argentina’s squad in Buenos Aires on Tuesday as he struggles to recover from a thigh strain he suffered during Juventus 1-0 win over Sampdoria in the Serie A on Sunday.
Reports in Argentine media said Dybala was likely to miss the clash with Chile at the Monumental Stadium but could still be available for the duel against Bolivia in La Paz next Tuesday.
His absence on Thursday could hand a starting berth to Manchester City striker Sergio Aguero, who had been expected to start the match on the bench.
Argentina will also be without Aguero’s Manchester City team-mate Pablo Zabaleta for the fixtures because of a thigh injury.
Argentina are currently fifth in the South American zone World Cup qualifying standings, eight points behind leaders Brazil.
Peru keeping the faith
PERU defender Miguel Trauco has said that victories against Venezuela and Uruguay in the next week will revive the team’s chances of qualifying for next year’s FIFA World Cup in Russia.
Peru are currently eighth in the 10-team South American zone standings, six points adrift of the automatic qualification places. They will have a chance to narrow the gap when they visit Venezuela in Maturin on Thursday and then host Uruguay in Lima next Tuesday, reports Xinhua news agency.
“We have big goals,” Trauco said. “We want to get these six points. It’s going to be difficult but we know what we’re capable of and we know how well we can play. It depends on us.”
‘Ireland must be ready to shut down Bale’
IRELAND assistant coach Roy Keane has urged his side to relish the challenge of facing Wales forward Gareth Bale, while making sure the Real Madrid man has no room in which to operate in their World Cup qualifier on Friday.
“Bale is a world class player,” Martin O’Neill’s assistant told reporters, adding that players of Bale’s ability always found a way to make an impact in a game.
“Players and coaches have tried to come up with a plan (to stop him) before, but top players figure it out and affect the game anyway. You want to play with the best and against the best, and we’ll have a chance on Friday because Bale is up there with some of the top players in the world.”
Bale was instrumental in Wales’ surprise run to Euro 2016 semi-finals in France, has netted four goals so far in the WC qualifying campaign.
“The basic advice to any player... is to get to him (Bale) as quick as you can, don’t let him get his head up like he does at Real Madrid,” Keane added.