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W2W4: 2018 World Cup preliminary draw

Five Aside
ESPN FC  By ESPN staff

Neymar to be fit for Colombia clash

Brazil midfielder Fernandinho insists his side can deal with the pressure of being the home nation at the World Cup.

Brazil forward Neymar is set to be fit for the World Cup quarterfinal clash against Colombia on Friday, according to team spokesman Rodrigo Paiva.

- Coelho: Brazil's streak vs. Colombia at stake

The 22-year-old sustained thigh and knee injuries during the Selecao's round-of-16 win against Chile on Saturday.

He undertook a light swimming session with teammates on Monday, although he was later seen struggling as he got off the team coach.

The forward's fitness is set to be evaluated before the Colombia game, but Paiva expects Neymar -- who could be rested from training in the coming days -- to be available for selection.

"The worst is the knee -- it's what's hurting the most," Paiva told a news conference at Brazil's training ground.

"He will be evaluated again, but team doctor Jose Luiz Runco said fans don't have to worry because he's not a concern for the match."

Meanwhile, Brazil coach Luiz Felipe Scolari feels Neymar, who scored the winning spot-kick in the penalty shootout against Chile, needs more protection from referees.

"Neymar needs to be valued for what he did [against Chile] because it was a big effort," Scolari said.

"He played 75 minutes of the match after a strong hit on the thigh and we couldn't understand how somebody hits with that strength and gets no card."


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