Brazil Copa America Roster 2016: Full 23-Man Squad and Starting 11 Projections

James Dudko@@JamesDudkoFeatured ColumnistMay 5, 2016

HARRISON, NJ - SEPTEMBER 5: Philippe Coutinho of Brazil in action during the international friendly match between Brazil and Costa Rica at Red Bull Arena on September 5, 2015 in Harrison, New Jersey. (Photo by Jean Catuffe/Getty Images)
Jean Catuffe/Getty Images

Brazil will attempt to win this year's Copa America without Kaka and Oscar after manager Dunga left the attacking-midfield pair out of his squad.

There was also no place for Paris Saint-Germain central defensive pairing Thiago Silva and David Luiz.

CBF Futebol (h/t Sports Illustrated) provided the full 23-man squad for this summer's tournament:

CBF Futebol @CBF_Futebol

Para quem ainda não conferiu a lista! AO VIVO: coletiva do técnico da #SeleçãoBrasileira: https://t.co/hIShzSqnB8 https://t.co/jEUfiG9gHW

Dunga was already dealing with star striker Neymar's absence from the Copa to play at the Rio 2016 Olympics instead, so ditching Oscar and Kaka may have surprised many. The Brazil chief has still included a host of familiar faces, including Liverpool playmaker Philippe Coutinho.

Projected Starting 11

GKDiego Alves
LBFilipe Luis
RBDani Alves
DMFLuiz Gustavo
CAMLucas Lima
CAMPhilippe Coutinho
LWDouglas Costa
CFRicardo Oliveira

Coutinho will be joined by Chelsea forward Willian and Real Madrid's holding midfield player Casemiro. The latter could find himself locked in a strong competition for a starting place with Wolfsburg veteran Luiz Gustavo.

It's the more experienced man who should be favourite. During Wolfsburg's UEFA Champions League quarter-final defeat to Real Madrid, ESPN FC's Dermot Corrigan still praised Gustavo's showing and hinted at the 28-year-old's stellar consistency.

Gustavo's defensive nous will be crucial at the base of midfield.
Gustavo's defensive nous will be crucial at the base of midfield.Jean Catuffe/Getty Images

On initial reading, though, most of the surprises come at the back, where Marquinhos has been included. He's been relegated to the bench in the French capital by Luiz and Silva, but Dunga deems him good enough for the national squad.

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He's taken a similar risk with Inter Milan's Miranda after he lost his place at Atletico Madrid to Uruguayan youngster Raul Jimenez. Despite having to move on, the 31-year-old seems like the natural partner for Marquinhos, while Barcelona's Dani Alves and Atletico Madrid's Filipe Luis form a formidable full-back pairing.

It's generally a solid-looking back four in front of goalkeeper Diego Alves, but things do seem soft in the middle. Among the players he might have considered, Dunga chose to shun Arsenal's Gabriel after the ex-Villarreal man has struggled mightily to cope with the pace and physicality of England's Premier League this season.

Alves and Luis will provide plenty of quality and know-how at the edges of defence.
Alves and Luis will provide plenty of quality and know-how at the edges of defence.PAU BARRENA/Getty Images

Further forward, the pressure has increased on Coutinho with Orlando City SC talisman Kaka and Chelsea's Oscar not in the fold. It was also a surprise to see Sao Paulo's Ganso not involved. The 26-year-old is a brittle yet talented flair player who was named in the 40-man preliminary squad, according to Tim Stillman of Sambafoot.

Ganso's craft and technique would have been major assets from the middle. Now, Coutinho and Renato Augusto, currently plying his trade in China, will be expected to carry the creative load.

Santos schemer Lucas Lima will help, provided he's healthy. It was something of a surprise to see the 25-year-old's name in the squad after he sprained an ankle during a recent 1-1 draw with Audax. He's since undergone "electrotherapy sessions" to help fix the problem, per Aswin Sankar of Sambafoot.

If he's fit, Lima is a good bet to start alongside Coutinho in front of the more battle-tested Gustavo.

Yet it's up front where things look most interesting, with Bayern Munich's Douglas Costa and Zenit Saint Petersburg's Hulk the notable names.

But perhaps no player will be under more pressure to deliver than 35-year-old centre-forward Ricardo Oliveira. Along with Hulk, he's the senior figure of an attack short on experience and pedigree but long on precocious talent.

Santos' 19-year-old forward, Gabriel Barbosa, and little-used Barcelona attacker Rafinha are the only other options. A three-man forward line of Costa and Hulk flanking Oliveira hardly inspires confidence Brazil can overcome the issues in front of goal that have blighted the nation in recent major tournaments.

This is a seasoned and capable squad, but it's one lacking obvious star power despite Dunga's attempts to freshen things up with some youngsters in attack.

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