Philippe Coutinho has been included in Brazil’s 23-man squad for next month’s World Cup qualifiers, but there was no place for fellow Red Roberto Firmino. (Mail)
Coutinho started the season in fine form against Arsenal in the Premier League opener, but failed to impress in last weekend’s 2-0 loss to Burnley.
Brazil have not enjoyed a good start to their qualifying campaign for Russia.
They lie sixth in the 10-team CONMEBOL round-robin league table after six games. They have only won twice and sit four points behind leaders Uruguay. Brazil are the only side to have played in every World Cup – failing to qualify would be a national disaster.
The ten sides will play each other twice. The top four qualify automatically, with the fifth-place side going into an intercontinental playoff with an Asian side.
Brazil’s two upcoming games are against second-place Ecuador on September 1 in Quito and fifth-place Colombia on September 6 at the Amazon Arena in Manaus.