Despite a lackluster performance to the start of Conmebol World Cup qualifying, Brazil manager Dunga has no plans to completely overhaul his starting lineup when the Selecao face Venezuela on Tuesday at Estadio Castelao in Fortaleza.
The matchup comes just four days after Brazil fell to reigning Copa America champion Chile, 2-0. It was a loss that also cost Dunga one of his top defenders, David Luiz, to a knee injury and sent the 28-year-old back to Paris Saint-Germain’s doctors.
The absence of Luiz is just one of many problems facing Brazil. Superstar forward Neymar will sit out the match due to suspension, while Liverpool playmaker Philippe Coutinho has been ruled out due to an unspecified injury. The duo are considered crucial to the Brazil attack, which has been inconsistent in 2015.
After the loss to Chile, Brazil is in desperate need to regain their swagger, But unlike Brazil's demanding supporters, Dunga didn’t see the loss as so one-sided, particularly due to Chile's stellar play at home.
"It's very difficult for a coach to talk about changes after a 2-0 defeat. It's not always necessary to change everything after a loss,” Dunga said following the game. “It was an equal game in the first half, we had some good chances before Chile's first goal. Football is like that.
"We had four or give counterattacks that could have been killers, but we didn't make the right choices. Nobody likes to lose, but the match was very even. Everyone knows Chile are a difficult team to play against. We knew we would face pressure.
"The home games will be crucial. We always have to get three points at home."
But the loss slowed the momentum for the Selecao after successful results in September. In friendly matches, Brazil easily downed the United States, 4-1, and turned back Costa Rica, 1-0.
Still, Selecao can get back on track against a Venezuela side devoid of superstar talent. In Copa America, Brazil defeated Venezuela with Neymar out due to a suspension, 2-1. Venezuela, a country without a World Cup appearance, have failed to produce many positive results in 2015.
In two recent home games, Venezuela lost to Honduras, 3-0, and Paraguay, 1-0. Noel Sanvicente’s side has struggled greatly in the attack this season, netting only two goals over their last five matches, one apiece for forwards Salomon Rondon and Miku.
Kickoff: 9 p.m. ET
TV Channel: beIN Sports Espanol
Live Online: beIN Sports Connect
Prediction: Brazil over Venezuela, 4-0