Aston Villa star has ‘six days’ to prove he deserves World Cup berth – Weekend clash is all-important
As the day of Brazil’s World Cup call-up approaches, the main doubt in Tite’s list seems to be the presence of Aston Villa midfielder Philippe Coutinho.
With the 30-year-old not doing so well this season, we’ve already seen several pundits in the Brazilian media saying he shouldn’t go to the tournament.
Especially because he would fight for a place with Flamengo star Everton Ribeiro, who is in incredible form and has just won the Copa Libertadores.
So while Globo Esporte columnist Paulo Vinícius Coelho today features an article on those in Europe who still have a chance of going to the World Cup, there are some specific words about Philippe Coutinho and Aston Villa.
The journalist claims that the Villans player has already lost the battle against Everton Ribeiro and should only be on the list in case Tite excludes someone from other positions.
“It is especially Philippe Coutinho who is worried. If Tite said that there was a dispute with Everton Ribeiro, in a press conference after the last summons, it is already won by the Flamengo player. Because Coutinho did not recover in the Premier League, lost manager and former Liverpool team-mate Steven Gerrard, only came on as a substitute in the 17th minute of the second half in the 4-0 loss to Villa against Newcastle.
With Bruno Guimarães playing well.
Coutinho can go to the Cup, but it will hardly be in place of Everton Ribeiro. It could be in another dispute, for the choice of not taking Daniel Alves, or removing another striker and having Ribeiro and Coutinho together. It doesn’t seem likely.
Six days before the answers.
Brazil’s call-up is up on Monday, so Coutinho would need to show plenty this weekend to convince Tite he deserves a place. On Sunday, Aston Villa take on Manchester United at Villa Park.