Brazil boss Tite makes biggest Raphinha call yet on eve of Leeds United's clash at Southampton

Leeds United winger Raphinha makes his full debut for Brazil in the World Cup qualifier at home to Uruguay in the early hours of Friday morning (kick-off 1.30am).

Friday, 15th October 2021, 12:57 am

Raphinha has made a massive impact from the Brazil bench during two World Cup qualifiers in the space of three days this week against Venezuela in Caracas and Colombia in Barranquilla.

The Whites winger was brought on during the interval of Friday's clash against Venezuela and quickly bagged two assists whilst also starting the move that led to a converted penalty as Tite's side turned a 1-0 deficit into a 3-1 win.

Raphinha was also named amongst the substitutes for Sunday's contest against Colombia but was finally brought on in the 61st minute and again created chances as part of a goalless draw.

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Tite has now opted to hand the 24-year-old his first start against Uruguay in a clash that kicks off 37.5 hours before United's return to Premier League action through Saturday's 3pm kick-off at Southampton.

Raphinha has replaced Gabriel Barbosa in the Brazil XI and lines up alongside Paris Saint-Germain star Neymar and Manchester City's Gabriel Jesus as part of the front line.

Asked at Thursday's pre-match press conference whether Raphinha would play against the Saints, Whites head coach Marcelo Bielsa said: "There is no doubt that there is a short turnaround.

"The options that he has to participate in the game on Saturday depends on whether he plays this final game tonight, how many minutes he plays, how he finishes the game after he has participated in it, how efficient the rest he can have in the next 36 hours is considering that a third of those hours he is going to spend it flying.

Leeds United's Brazil international winger Raphinha, centre. Photo by Guillermo Legaria/Getty Images.

"If there is any risk that that fatigue could cause injuries than we won’t risk it. There are so many aspects to consider that I can’t offer you any certainties either way.”

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Thank you Laura Collins