LONDON (AFP) - Brazil coach Luiz Felipe Scolari admits Monday's friendly against Russia is a vital part of his preparations for the 2014 World Cup because he still doesn't know his strongest line-up.
Scolari is yet to secure the first win of his second spell as Brazil manager after losing to England 2-1 and drawing with Italy 2-2. And the former Chelsea boss concedes he is a long way from knowing who will make up his team come the Confederations Cup later this year or, more importantly, the World Cup, which will be hosted by Brazil next year.
That makes every warm-up fixture a valuable exercise for Scolari and he will continue to experiment against Fabio Capello's Russia at Stamford Bridge. "We are playing in friendly games trying to get together a group, sort out our system and the way we are going to play," Scolari said on Sunday.
"I have played only two games so far with this squad. I'm happy as we are improving little by little and I believe that maybe in four months' time, when we have played the Confederations Cup, we will have seen more than 60 players for the World Cup and we may have an idea toward who will be the ones.
"At the moment I can't say too much as after two games, we are still trying to organise everything.
"As soon as I have my system in place and the way I think we should play then I am going to get the players to fit in.
"For tomorrow's game I have to choose the players that I think are going to do well and also players I may use for the Confederations Cup." Brazil striker Hulk will come up against several of his Zenit St Petersburg colleagues when the teams face off on Monday and he knows the five-time World Cup winners will have to be at their best to get the better of his club team-mates.
"I know the Russian team quite well because six of the players play with me at Zenit," he said.
"I believe they are very strong team. They haven't let in goals and keep clean sheets in qualifying." Brazil's Chelsea stars David Luiz and Oscar will be playing on home turf - although club team-mate Ramires has been ruled out through injury - and defender Luiz is looking forward to the occasion.
"It's always special to play with the international team, to wear the national shirt and there is a great pride and a great privilege for me to play with the international team," he said.
"Tomorrow is obviously going to be another special day for me to play with my national team and play with my home stadium. But our focus is to win the game.
"I believe Brazil needs to play almost perfect to win and that's what we are going to try do."