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3 Players to Watch in Tomorrow’s Argentina's Friendly Against Brazil

3 Players to Watch in Tomorrow’s Argentina's Friendly Against Brazil

Posted by Laura Zúñiga on October 10, 2014

Despite finishing fourth and second respectively in the 2014 World Cup, the feeling in both Brazil and Argentina post-tournament was that a certain rebuilding was necessary. Both nations moved to change their trainers, and Saturday's friendly brings together for the first time the new men tasked with taking their teams forward.

Dunga has been there and done that in international football, as has Gerardo Martino, who enjoyed a successful spell with Paraguay. But both men are looking to shuffle their hands a little, and the friendly in Beijing will be a fascinating look at how those new selections fare.

Some of the players included are taking their very first steps in international football, while others have been brought back into the fold after lengthy spells on the sidelines. The following three stars, in particular, need to be watched very carefully as they make their cases to Dunga and Martino for more permanent inclusion in the national set-up. 

Felipe Luis:

After a sparkling season with Atletico Madrid, it was a big surprise to see Filipe Luis miss out on a place in the Brazil World Cup squad. The 29-year-old has to make up for lost time, and has the perfect chance this Saturday in Beijing.

According to Goal Brasil (Portuguese), Dunga plans to use the new Chelsea signing on the left side of a four-man defence, as Marcelo falls out of favour. Luis has much of the same attacking verve as the Madrid star, but gives the Selecao a much greater defensive presence which will be key against Argentina.

Philippe Coutinho:

It is a mark of the talent Brazil have at their disposal in the middle of the pitch that Philippe Coutinho has accrued just three caps for his nation. But it also shows that the 22-year-old has not made the progress many expected since moving to Inter at just 18 years of age.

Four years down the line, the attacking midfielder looks far more comfortable as an integral piece of the Liverpool squad. That assurance has convinced Dunga that he deserves a chance in the new-look Brazil, although he still has to work to push in ahead of the likes of Oscar, Neymar and the returning Kaka.

If Coutinho does receive a run-out against Argentina on Saturday, however, he has a wonderful opportunity to upset Brazil's arch-rivals, and at the same time make a strong statement ahead of next year's Copa America. 

Roberto Pereyra:

Gerardo Martino is not foolish enough to disrupt the base of a team that went all the way to the World Cup final, and his squad announcement reflects that. Within the side, however, the ex-Newell's Old Boys and Barcelona boss is prepared to throw in some new faces, some of which are less familiar than others.

As reported by the Buenos Aires Herald, Martino caused a stir on Thursday by throwing in Juventus youngster Roberto Pereyra to his provisional starting line-up against Brazil. Alongside Javier Pastore, the former River kid will be one of the few changes to the established order in Beijing.

Pereyra therefore could make his international debut at 23, against the Albiceleste's fiercest rivals. His job will be to partner Javier Mascherano in the middle of the pitch, stabilising the area and allowing Angel Di Maria to repeat his role against Germany playing almost as an orthodox forward.

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