Brazil midfielder Luiz Gustavo has admitted that they must defeat Paraguay to provide “tranquility” in their qualifying campaign for the 2018 World Cup football in Russia,reports news agencies.
Brazil drew 2-2 with Uruguay in Recife on Friday, a result that left them third in the South American zone qualifying standings, behind Ecuador and Uruguay, reports Xinhua.
The top four teams at the end of the two-year qualifying tournament will automatically qualify for the World Cup while the fifth team will earn a play-off berth. “Every game in these qualifiers is difficult,” Gustavo told reporters on Sunday.
“Most teams like to play long balls and that makes it a struggle. We have to prepare for these difficulties. The qualifying tournament is long but every point is important, especially when playing away from home.”
Paraguay have been a thorn in Brazil’s side in recent years, having eliminated them from successive Copa America tournaments at the quarter-final stage.
Brazil will be without Neymar and David Luiz, both of whom will serve out suspensions in Tuesday’s World Cup qualifier. Dunga called up Santos striker Gabriel and Corinthians defender Felipe to replace them.
Ramon Diaz’s Paraguay are not lacking confidence, having defeated Bolivia and drawn Ecuador – who lead the standings – in their past two matches.
“It’s not going to be easy,” said Gustavo, who plays for Bundesliga outfit Wolfsburg. “We need to play well and get a good result to give us some tranquility. Only a victory can give us that. The table is worrying.
“Paraguay are going to do their best to make it difficult for us. We have be focused and play as a team, all working towards the same objective.”