How Will Brazil Line Up Against Portugal?

Christopher Atkins@@chris_elasticoContributor ISeptember 8, 2013

BELO HORIZONTE, BRAZIL - JUNE 26:  Paulinho of Brazil celebrates scoring the winning goal to make the score 2-1 during the FIFA Confederations Cup Brazil 2013 Semi Final match between Brazil and Uruguay at Governador Magalhaes Pinto Estadio Mineirao on June 26, 2013 in Belo Horizonte, Brazil.  (Photo by Michael Regan/Getty Images)
Michael Regan/Getty Images

Brazil take on Portugal in Foxborough, Massachusetts on Tuesday evening, with Luiz Felipe Scolari's side hoping to build upon a 6-0 drubbing of Australia in Brasilia on Saturday evening.

Following that victory, it is likely that the Selecao will choose to change as little as possible in the coming days, having played some stunning football against the lacklustre Socceroos.

An enforced change will be required at left-back, where Maxwell will likely deputise for the injured Marcelo. However, other than that alteration, it would be no surprise to see familiar places named once more.

Scolari is in the fortunate position, though, of having several players who will feel they are deserving of a chance to impress.

Oscar is one player who will be hopeful of coming into the squad on Tuesday. Per Globo Esporte (Portuguese), he is set to be fit for action against Portugal following his slight injury picked up in training ahead of the Australia clash and, expects to play some part.

Given that it is just a friendly encounter and there is no need to risk Oscar, it may be that the Chelsea man is confined to a substitute's role on the night, with both Ramires and Bernard having impressed on Saturday.

In the long-term, though, Oscar remains the leading candidate for the central attacking midfield role in Brazil's first-choice lineup.

The performance of the incoming players will have delighted Scolari, though, who will be putting finishing touches to his squad ahead of next summer. Both players named offer different options to the attacking midfielders who started at the Confederations Cup and will be useful alternatives ahead of coming challenges.

Speaking to the Brazilian media after arriving in Boston, per Globo Esporte (Portuguese), Felipao bemoaned the injuries his side have suffered in recent days, but insisted he had a group of 30-40 players to choose from ahead of next summer's World Cup.

Among those who will hope for an opportunity at some point during the year are Manchester United's Rafael, Liverpool's Philippe Coutinho and PSG centre-back Marquinhos—all of whom have impressed at club level in recent times.

While unlikely given the success of the Paulinho-Luiz Gustavo midfield partnership, Felipao may choose to test either Hernanes or Fernando against Portugal—the most likely of the fringe options to be given a chance. However, it is likely he will opt for consistency against what will be a dangerous opponent.

One player unlikely to be granted an opportunity, though, is Lucas Moura, who conceded post-match on Saturday that he lacks confidence in the shirt of the Selecao, per (Portuguese).

Lucas has slipped firmly behind Bernard in the pecking order for Brazil and, with the Shakhtar man earning praise for his performance against Australia, that looks unlikely to change.

A win against Portugal will be the minimum expectation for Scolari and his side as he looks to build upon his success against Australia. In Foxborough, though, they will meet a much better opponent than the disappointing Socceroos ever threatened to be.