Published: Wed, June 13, 2018
Sports | By Brett Lawson

Firmino tees one up as Brazil beat Austria

Firmino tees one up as Brazil beat Austria

The birthday prank took place at Brazil's pre-World Cup training session in Russian Federation - they kick-start their campaign against Switzerland on Sunday.

Brazil arrived in Russian Federation on Monday hungry to make amends for their World Cup humiliation in 2014 with Neymar apparently fighting fit.

Brazil are certainly one of the top contenders for the title with a team filled with pace and quality.

"I don't know Neymar's limits", Brazil coach Tite said.

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Neymar and Co. open their 2018 World Cup campaign versus Switzerland on Sunday 18th June, before facing Costa Rica then Serbia.

Those who like statistics are already salivating: Unless there is an injury, Thiago Silva is set to start the World Cup alongside Miranda in the heart of defence.

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Manchester City striker Jesus also insisted Tite's side are ready for the tournament.

Brazil have not lost since June 2017, a run of 10 games, and have kept 16 clean sheets in 21 games since Tite took over in June 2016.

Coutinho nearly got his second and Brazil's fourth in the 73rd minute but his curling strike from distance rattled the upright with Linder well beaten.

As the squad trained in the blistering heat in Sochi, the players took it upon themselves to lighten the mood by covering the Barcelona playmaker in eggs and flour, as is tradition in Brazil.

Roberto Firmino's incredible season with Liverpool led to increasing calls in Brazil for Tite to find a place for him in the starting XI, mostly by giving him Jesus' spot in attack. We managed to play, involve their team and make another big game.

Neymar started a game for the first time since injuring his metatarsal in February although he played in the second half of last week's win 2-0 over Croatia when he celebrated his return with a goal.

Recall that Mourinho last week tipped Gernot Rohr's men to finish second in Group D behind Argentina and face France in the second round, a repeat of their 2014 World Cup fixture at Estádio Nacional Mané Garrincha, Brasília.

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