Five-time world champions Brazil will be without three important midfielderswhen they take on Venezuela in a 2022 FIFA World Cup qualifier later this week. The Brazilians will play hosts to the Venezuelans at the Estadio do Morumbi in Sao Paulo on Friday night without the trio of Casemiro, Philippe Coutinho and Fabinho.
Real Madrid star Casemiro missed the 4-1 loss to hosts Valencia at the weekend after testing positive to the dreaded Coronavirus and will also miss the Venezuela game as a result. He tested positive to Covid-19 alongside club teammate Eden Hazard.
On his part, Barcelona playmaker Philippe Coutinho will also not feature against Venezuela as he's presently recovering from a muscle injury. Fellow Brazilian midfielder Fabinho suffered a hamstring injury while playing for Premier League champions Liverpool and that has ruled him out of the aforementioned World Cup qualifying clash with lowly Venezuela.
Coutinho, Casemiro and Fabinho were all part of the Brazilian squad for the last set of international matches last month as Brazil started their 2022 World Cup qualifiers with two wins from two games. Coutinho wrapped up the goals as Brazil thrashed Bolivia 5-0 at home in their first game before they came from behind to beat hosts 4-2 in the second game of their qualifiers. With those two results, Brazil are the early leaders in the South American section of Qatar 2022 ahead of arch rivals Argentina on goal difference.
Brazil have been decimated with the absence of the three previously mentioned midfielders but they can take solace from the imminent return of star player Neymar for the Venezuela game. The PSG attacker is expected to feature in the game having recently returned to training after a small injury layoff. While Coutinho, Fabinho and Casemiro will also miss the away qualifying trip to Uruguay next week, Neymar is in line to play in what's potentially the first big test for Brazil in the qualifiers.