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This blog reflects on soccer qua football all over the world. The blog has a specific investment in attractive, attacking football and, as such, focuses on Brazil, the most emphatic historical exponent of the beautiful game.

Saturday, September 3, 2011

Robinho's Absence From Ghana Friendly Throws Stars Wide Open For Brazil Formation

Robinho will miss Brazil's friendly against Ghana on September 5 due to a groin injury. The injury to the AC Milan striker sets up a constellation of mouthwatering formations for Mano Menezes and the Selecao. Given Robinho's absence, Mano may decide to play a 4-2-2-2 instead of a 4-2-1-3, with Ganso and Ronaldinho behind Neymar and Pato. Another option would be for Mano to stay with his favored 4-2-1-3 formation by dropping Ganso from the starting line-up, and playing Ronaldinho behind Neymar, Hulk and Pato or Neymar, Leandro Damiao and Pato. Alternatively, Mano could retain Ganso in midfield and push Ronaldinho into the center forward position between Neymar and Pato or Neymar and Hulk. A three pronged attack of Neymar, Ronaldinho and Hulk would keep Hulk in the right winger position that he plays at FC Porto.

Here's a summary of the Brazil line-up options, where AMF refers to attacking midfielder and F stands for Forward:

4-2-2-2 formation:

(1) Ganso (AMF), Ronaldinho (AMF), Neymar (F), Pato (F)

4-2-1-3 formation:

(2) Ronaldinho (AMF), Neymar (F), Hulk (F), Pato (F)
(3) Ronaldinho (AMF), Neymar (F), Damiao (F), Pato (F)
(4) Ganso (AMF), Neymar (F), Ronaldinho (F), Hulk (F)
(5) Ganso (AMF), Neymar (F), Ronaldinho (F), Pato (F)

Ronaldinho has been in blistering form for Flamengo of late, scoring goals most recently against Avai, Internacional and Atletico PR. That said, the web is buzzing about Ganso's one touch strike against Sao Paulo this week, in which the youngster played a one two with Alan Kardec to send a sublime left footed rocket into the roof of the net. Add to all this Leandro Damiao's sensational form for Internacional and The Hulk's hunger for a place in the Brazil starting line-up, and it's easy to see how Mano faces a tough set of choices against an attack oriented Ghana team. Ghana's Black Stars may be without striker Asamoah Gyan due to a thigh injury suffered in Friday's Africa Cup of Nations Qualifier against Swaziland.

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