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Neymar to make first competitive start since February in Brazil´s World Cup opener

17 Juni 2018 19:39

Neymar will make his first competitive start since February after being named in Brazil's starting XI for their World Cup Group E opener against Switzerland.

The 26-year-old sustained a fractured metatarsal while playing for Paris Saint-Germain, putting his World Cup participation in some doubt.

However, the world's most expensive player made a scoring return to action in friendly wins over Croatia and Austria prior to Brazil's arrival in Russia, and lines up alongside Chelsea's Willian and Manchester City striker Gabriel Jesus in a menacing front three.

Philippe Coutinho is joined in midfield by Barcelona team-mate Paulinho and Real Madrid's Casemiro, while there is no place in the squad for Manchester United-bound Fred, who is recovering from an ankle injury.

Switzerland, meanwhile, will be looking to Xherdan Shaqiri for inspiration - the Stoke City man was the last player to score a World Cup hat-trick before Cristiano Ronaldo's treble against Spain on Friday.

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