By Robbie Blakeley, Senior Contributing Reporter
RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL – Dunga is set to name his second Brazil squad as Seleção coach later today (Wednesday). The new manager got off to the perfect start with his first two games in charge, recording a pair of 1-0 wins over fellow South Americans Colombia and Ecuador.
The next two challenges are just around the corner, as Brazil are scheduled to play Argentina and Japan, on October 11th and 14th, in China and Singapore respectively.
The player list will be revealed in a press conference at the Brazilian Football Confederation (CBF) headquarters, in Barra da Tijuca, at 11AM. Argentina, who reached the final of the World Cup in July, will represent Dunga’s biggest challenge since returning to the Brazilian hotseat.
For his first squad announcement the 1994 World Cup winning captain, who previously managed the national side between 2006 and 2010, based his call-up heavily on the players used by predecessor Luiz Felipe Scolari at the FIFA World Cup. Against Colombia, eight of the starting line-up were a part of Felipão’s 23-man squad.
After his successful start, Coach Dunga is not expected to make wholesale changes to the 22 men he put his faith in this month. In addition, there were some big positives for the new boss to take from the pair of games.
Jefferson stepped in admirably replacing Júlio César in goal. In place of the injured pair of Thiago Silva and David Luiz, Miranda and Marquinhos looked composed and strong in the second game against Ecuador.
However, Dunga may wish to add some more potency to his attack, and one Brazilian club he may look to for reinforcements is São Paulo. The Morumbí outfit are unbeaten in nine matches, and Sunday’s 2-0 win over league leaders Cruzeiro cut the champions’ advantage at the top to just four points.
In addition, Muricy Ramalho is presiding over what many believe to be the most powerful attack in the Campeonato Brasileiro. Paulo Henrique Ganso has begun to rediscover the form that made him one of the great hopes for the future of Brazilian football four years ago alongside Neymar.
Alexandre Pato is another player who has found a new lease of life with the Tricolor Paulista, netting eight goals in this Brasileirão campaign to date. Also Alan Kardec, who scored in yesterday’s win over Cruzeiro, has been mentioned in connection with a Seleção chance by the Brazilian press.
Dunga has ample time to experiment and find his perfect starting XI this year with a collection of friendlies. His first major challenge will come in June 2015, when the Copa América gets underway in Chile.
The coach may find some resistance in his homeland however, should he decide to call upon an extensive list of domestic-based players. Corinthians, Atlético-MG, Botafogo, Cruzeiro and Santos have expressed their desire that their potential national squad members be omitted from the next two friendlies.
Not only do they wish to retain their best performers as the Brasileirão reaches the business end of the season, but the potentially draining effects of long haul flights to China and Singapore could potentially have longer term consequences pertaining to fatigue and injury.
The likes of Everton Ribeiro, Ricardo Goulart, Gil and Robinho are key to their clubs’ hopes for the remainder of the season. To lose them to injury at such a crucial time may have devastating consequences.