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FIFA Confederations Cup

Estadio Nacional (ATT 68,000) 15th June 2013 - Kick off 20:00

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Brazil striker Neymar has praised the country ahead of the Confederations Cup

Last Updated: 15/06/13 7:07pm

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Neymar: Brazil squad in training for the home Confederations Cup

Neymar: Brazil squad in training for the home Confederations Cup

Brazil's stars understand the expectations of a demanding public and are approaching the Confederations Cup without complacency, according to striker Neymar.

The first taster of what the footballing world's leading nations can expect from the 2014 World Cup arrives on Saturday when the hosts welcome Japan to the Estadio Nacional in Brasilia.

A poor start to the build-up under returning coach Luis Felipe Scolari was tempered by an impressive 3-0 friendly victory over France - a first triumph over Les Bleus in 21 years - while Japan arrive fresh from sealing their place at next summer's finals.

Barcelona forward Neymar, who could support Fred in a second-striker role tomorrow, assured fans there are healthy nerves in the Selecao camp with no player feeling entitled to success on home turf in either tournament.

He told Brazilian newspaper O Dia: "We are a united group. Anxiety exists, but there is no vanity here.

"We all know what our responsibilities are and we all feel the desire. Now, we must continue working hard to achieve our goals - winning both the Confederations Cup and the World Cup."

The 21-year-old former Santos player is used to spearheading an attack-orientated system but he will gladly accept any request from Scolari to support the midfield.

"Every player has their favourite role but we have a coach too," Neymar added. "He asks certain things of us on the field.

"We are trying to build a team and the rapport will arise naturally from that, but I've never changed the way I play and that will never happen."

Elsewhere on the pitch Scolari must decide whether to use Marcelo as a left-back or as a winger to flank Oscar, Luis Gustavo and Paulinho, while David Luiz is expected to remain in the centre of defence.

QPR goalkeeper Julio Cesar is protected by Luiz, Thiago Silva and Dani Alves, with Felipe Luis offering an alternative to Marcelo on the left side.

There is optimism in the Japanese camp too as, despite their failure to beat Brazil in nine previous meetings, manager Alberto Zaccheroni believes the Samurai Blue can start shaking up the accepted world order.

The Italian told BBC Sport: "In Europe where I come from, a lot of people think the world never changes. I don't."

Japan can refer to friendly victories over Argentina and France in the last 12 months to support their coach's argument.

Captain Makoto Hasebe is available to partner Yasuhito Endo in midfield following a one-match suspension but playmaker Keisuke Honda should be replaced by Shinji Kagawa due to injury.

Inter Milan left-back Yuto Nagatomo is expected to feature alongside Yasuyuki Konno, Atsuto Uchida and Maya Yoshida after shaking off a knock.

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Matches

  • FIFA Confederations Cup

    Sat 15th Jun - Group A

Tables

FIFA Confederations Cup Group A

FIFA Confederations Cup
Pos Team P Pts
1 Brazil 3 9
2 Italy 3 6
3 Mexico 3 3
4 Japan 3 0

FIFA Confederations Cup Group B

FIFA Confederations Cup
Pos Team P Pts
1 Spain 2 6
2 Nigeria 2 3
3 Uruguay 2 3
4 Tahiti 2 0

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