June 17, 2018 / 5:30 PM / 9 months ago

Neymar starts for Brazil against Switzerland

Soccer Football - World Cup - Group E - Brazil vs Switzerland - Rostov Arena, Rostov-on-Don, Russia - June 17, 2018 Brazil's Neymar during the warm up before the match REUTERS/Darren Staples

ROSTOV-ON-DON (Reuters) - Brazil forward Neymar will make his first competitive start since injuring his ankle and metatarsal in February after being named in coach Tite’s starting line-up for the five-times winners’ World Cup opener against Switzerland on Sunday.

The world’s most expensive player had a painful end to his last appearance at a World Cup when he suffered a back injury in a quarter-final game against Colombia in 2014 and on Sunday he was named in the starting 11 for the Group E game even though Tite admitted the day before that he was “not 100 percent”.

Danilo has kept his place at right back following Dani Alves’s withdrawal due to injury and Gabriel Jesus was named as expected as centre forward, with Philippe Coutinho joining Casemiro and Paulinho in a midfield trio. Willian will play on the right of attack and Neymar on the left.

Switzerland coach Vladimir Petkovic will play a 4-2-3-1 formation and has kept faith with striker Haris Seferovic even though the forward did not start a league game for Benfica in 2018, while veteran attacking midfielder Blerim Dzemaili plays ahead of Remo Freuler.

Reporting by Richard Martin, editing by Neil Robinson

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