Scolari rules out changes for Brazil-France friendly

Rio de Janeiro, June 3 (IANS) Brazil coach Luiz Felipe Scolari ruled out any major changes in his team to face France June 9, despite an unconvincing 2-2 draw against England at the refurbished Maracana Stadium.

“If I had to play again in three days I would put the same team out in the first half. We will see what happens during the week but it’s likely we are going to repeat today’s line-up,” Scolari said after Brazil’s match against England Sunday, reports Xinhua.

Scolari made three surprises to his team with Atletico Mineiro’s Filipe Luis taking the place of Real Madrid’s Marcelo at left-back, Bayern Munich midfielder Luiz Gustavo starting ahead of Gremio’s Fernando and Zenit St. Petersburg forward Hulk preferred to Paris Saint-Germain’s Lucas.

The 64-year-old reacted angrily when asked why he had replaced Hulk with holding midfielder Fernando in the 72nd minute with the scores tied at 1-1. Minutes earlier, fans had booed the coach for taking off Chelsea midfielder Oscar, until then the team’s best player.

“There are some things that fans don’t know and I can’t go explaining things all the time. For example, Marcelo has been injured and could only play 45 minutes. Oscar played 71 times this season. I don’t expect the public to understand but today the crowd was magnificent,” Scolari said.

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