Brazil manager Tite has quite annoyingly decided not to call up any Manchester City players to the upcoming international break, meaning Gabriel Jesus, Fernandinho and Danilo will not feature.
As a result, Roberto Firmino had only Fluminense striker Pedro to compete with for the starting centre-forward role, but the 21-year-old has picked up an injury and been replaced by Everton’s Richarlison!
The Toffee is a winger, not a no.9, so it seems like Firmino will definitely be starting matches against USA and El Salvador at the beginning of September…
Richarlison has been selected as Brazil's second option in central attack, rather than Gabriel Jesus, meaning that Roberto Firmino is the only genuine 9 in the team ahead of next month's games vs America and El Salvador.
Firmino to finally get a chance to impress as starter.
— Seleção Brasileira (@BrazilStat) August 27, 2018
We’re happy for Bobby, but hope he at least gets taken off early in the second game, which is scheduled for the 12th.
Liverpool play Tottenham in the early kickoff on the 15th, so it’ll be a race against time for Firmino to get back to Melwood in time to then travel down to Wembley and play Spurs.
In fact, it might be that Daniel Sturridge or Xherdan Shaqiri start this game if our no.9 isn’t match ready following his Brazil exploits.