Marcelo to return for Brazil’s World Cup quarter-final with Belgium

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Brazil coach Tite has confirmed that Real Madrid full-back Marcelo will return to the side to face Belgium in their World Cup quarter-final on Friday.

Marcelo was forced off early on in Brazil’s final group game as they beat Serbia to assure themselves of top spot in Group E, before the same back problem cost him a place in the team that beat Mexico 2-0.

A soft mattress at the team hotel has been blamed for aggravating the issue but Tite revealed during his press conference in Kazan on the eve of the quarter-final that the 30-year-old will replace Felipe Luis against Belgium.

Marcelo played less than 10 minutes against Serbia before having to be replaced.
Marcelo played less than 10 minutes against Serbia before having to be replaced (Antonio Calanni/AP)

“Marcelo left (against Serbia) because of a clinical problem and he has not been back because of a physical problem, he only had 45 to 60 minutes. Filipe Luis played very well in those matches but Marcelo is coming back.”

The Brazil coach went on to confirm that Fernandinho will also come into the side.

Fernandinho will also start againt Belgium in Kazan.
Fernandinho will also start againt Belgium in Kazan (Matthias Schrader/AP)

Defender Miranda joined Tite at the press conference at the Kazan Arena and the Inter Milan man will captain the Selecao.

The 33-year-old, ever-present throughout the finals, is expecting a tough test from a Belgium side who came from two goals behind to beat Japan and set up a clash between two of the tournament favourites.

Miranda joined Tite at Brazil's pre-match press conference.
Miranda joined Tite at Brazil’s pre-match press conference (Andre Penner/AP)

“They are a very strong attacking team but the main way to stop the opponent is to be aware of all of the players who are on the pitch because there are several high-quality players, they are very skilful.

“Our defence is going to be very well prepared to neutralise all of the opponents’ attacks.”

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