Why David Luiz Is Under Most Pressure for Brazil Following Win over Japan

Christopher AtkinsContributor IOctober 15, 2014

SINGAPORE - OCTOBER 14: (L-R) David Luiz and Kaka of Brazil gesture on the team bench during the international friendly match between Japan and Brazil at the National Stadium on October 14, 2014 in Singapore.  (Photo by Suhaimi Abdullah/Getty Images)
Suhaimi Abdullah/Getty Images

He has been a fixture in the Brazil side since the axing of Lucio following a disastrous Copa America in 2011, but David Luiz's place as a guaranteed starter in the Brazil setup is coming under real threat in these early months under Dunga.

The PSG man missed his country's clash with Japan on Tuesday evening through injury, having also missed an early friendly with Ecuador last month due to fitness concerns. His absence has allowed the ever-present Miranda to gain an early upper hand in what is likely the battle to partner Thiago Silva into the Copa America next summer.

All is far from lost for Luiz, he is a strong personality and will be called to the squad without question for the foreseeable future. However, he has a huge season ahead at club level and a fight on his hands internationally too. Whether it be Miranda or Marquinhos, he has incredibly talented rivals for a starting berth.

Miranda has taken his chances. Anyone who has watched Atletico Madrid over recent seasons will be aware of his qualities as a defender, with his positional sense and reading of the game major strengths.

Brazil have not conceded in four consecutive games while he has started and it now appears almost inconceivable that he would lose his place in such a stable defence. Attention then will be focused on Luiz once his club captain returns to action.

It is a department in which Brazil are blessed with a number of outstanding options. Marquinhos is one of the leading defensive talents in the game, Gil has been highly impressive for a couple of years with Valenciennes and now Corinthians, while many support the case of Cruzeiro's Dede. There are more.

Dunga will be aware that Luiz is playing well for his club side, albeit that there is a valid argument that it is Marquinhos who has been the better of the pair. However, that may not be enough for him to retain his place.

EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ - SEPTEMBER 9 :  David Luiz of Brazil stands on the pitch during warmups against Ecuador during their match at MetLife Stadium on September 9, 2014 in East Rutherford, New Jersey.  (Photo by Jeff Zelevansky/Getty Images)
Jeff Zelevansky/Getty Images

Shortly after this international break, Thiago Silva will return to action at club level for the first time this season and it will be up to Marquinhos and the former Chelsea man to scrap it out for a berth at his side. From that moment on, it is surely only a matter of time before Thiago Silva's return to the selecao, possibly as soon as next month.

Turkey and Austria will be Brazil's next opponents this November and it will be in those two clashes that we will get a good indication of how Dunga sees his side integrating Thiago—somebody must miss out.

It may seem harsh that Luiz should have been part of two clean sheets this season for Brazil yet be in danger of missing out, yet his injuries have opened the door for Miranda who has seized his chance. Football is a cruel industry and Luiz is currently in the firing line.