Mano Menezes today announced the Brazil squad ahead of the the friendly with Scotland, which will take place at Arsenal's Emirates Stadium on March 27th.
The full seleção is as follows;
Júlio César (Internazionale)
Daniel Alves (Barcelona)
André Santos (Fenerbahçe)
Marcelo (Real Madrid)
Thiago Silva (Milan)
David Luiz (Chelsea)
Sandro (Tottenham Hotspur)
Elias (Atlético Madrid)
Renato Augusto (Bayer Leverkusen)
Jádson (Shakhtar Donetsk)
Lucas (São Paulo)
Alexandre Pato (Milan)
Slowly but surely, the old guard are shuffling their way back in from the cold; Lúcio, Maicon, and Elano return to the squad for the first time since Brazil's World Cup disappointment. The former pair have benefitted from the man management of countryman Leonardo at Internazionale, whilst Elano has been in electric form since returning to Santos. Rafael, Breno, and Anderson all drop out to make room.
Valencia new boy Jonas, the top-scorer in last season's Brasileirão with Grêmio, earns his first call-up, as does Henrique, a consistently impressive performer for Cruzeiro. Perhaps more exciting, however, is the selection of Lucas, the São Paulo attacking midfielder who has shot to stardom in recent months. The 18-year-old, who impressed for Brazil's U20 side in the South American Youth Championship, will hope to take the step up to the senior side in his stride.
In midfield, there are further chances for Jádson and Renato Augusto, and Menezes favourites Elias, Lucas, Ramires, and Sandro all retain their places. Lazio midfielder Hernanes, who was sent off against France, misses out this time, as does Hulk; I, for what it's worth, would certainly have selected that particular pair. Other players to miss out are André (who recently joined Bordeaux on loan from Dynamo Kyiv) and Robinho, who, according to Menezes, will benefit from a rest.
SKP will be in attendance at the Emirates, so allow me to suggest my preferred starting XI (in Menezes' preferred 4-2-1-3 formation) from the above 24 (I hope you're reading this, Mano!): Júlio César; Daniel Alves, Thiago Silva, David Luiz, André Santos; Lucas, Elano; Lucas; Nilmar, Pato, Neymar. Ridiculously attacking, but come on, it's Brazil! (And perhaps more pertinently, it's Scotland.*) Stay tuned for my match report later this month.
* This is a JOKE.
(Photo credit; Beto Oliveira.)