SANTIAGO • Brazil coach Dunga has called on his players to take on a boxer's mentality as they prepare to begin their 2018 World Cup qualifying campaign.
The Selecao will embark on the road to Russia against Chile at the Estadio Nacional in Santiago this morning (Singapore time).
Dunga has won all his seven matches against Chile during his two spells in charge of Brazil by an aggregate score of 24-3, but is aware that the latest fixture will be a different proposition against the Copa America champions.
He has vowed that his side would attack at every opportunity, even though they will be without talisman Neymar.
Whenever the Barcelona forward has been missing, Brazil have struggled. Three of their recent key defeats - the 7-1 rout by Germany in the World Cup semi-finals, then a 3-0 loss to Holland in the third-place match, and the Copa America loss in June to Paraguay - happened without Neymar.
In his absence the team only won once in a full international - 2-1 against lowly Venezuela.
"Modern football has showed us that if you only defend, you aren't going to win," Dunga said.
"With the quality of our forwards, we have to attack like a boxer. If we just defend it's only a matter of time before the opposition lands a punch."
Chile manager Jorge Sampaoli knows that Brazil are still heavyweights even after a host of disappointing results and has warned his team to beware of their wounded opponents.
"Starting the qualifiers against Brazil is the worst possible scenario," he said.
"They are still the greatest power in the footballing world, despite all the criticism, and they still have elite players."
Chile could also be missing stars of their own, with Alexis Sanchez and Arturo Vidal doubtful for this clash.
Vidal has been nursing a bruised knee while Sanchez tweaked a groin during his superb two-goal display in Arsenal's 3-0 win over Manchester United on Sunday.
"They are both in the same condition. I can't confirm at this stage if either will be fit to face Brazil," Sampaoli said.
"Of course they are very valuable to us but I am confident that if they are not available we have the squad to be competitive against Brazil or Peru."
AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE, XINHUA
CHILE V BRAZIL
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