PASADENA, CA, Sporting Alert – Veteran forward Jonas gets the nod to lead the Brazil attacking line in its Copa America opener against Ecuador in Group B at the Rose Bowl Stadium in Pasadena, Calif.
The 32-year-old will play alongside Philippe Coutinho and Willian in the Brazilian frontline, as regular starter Neymar misses the tournament to concentrate on playing at the Rio Olympics in front of his country supporters.
Jonas starts ahead of Santos 19-year-old talented forward Gabriel and another veteran Hulk.
Meanwhile, Renato Augusto, Casemiro and Elías start in the midfield, with Dani Alves, Marquinhos, Gil and Filipe Luis making up the backline.
Alisson Becker has been named the starting goalkeeper for this opener, as head coach Dunga opted to leave out Valencia’s Diego Alves and Gremio Marcelo Grohe, who are both on the bench.
Ecuador will look to English Premier League trio Enner Valencia, Jefferson Montero and Antonio Valencia to provide the bulk of the contributions.
Enner Valencia of West Ham will lead the attacking line alongside Miler Bolanos, while Swansea’s Montero and Antonio Valencia of Manchester United will operate from midfield.
Also in the starting lineup tonight for Ecuador are Walter Ayoví, Juan Paredes, Carlos Gruezo, Christian Noboa, Gabriel Achilier and Arturo Mina Meza, with Esteban Dreer starting between the sticks.
Brazil also has a very strong bench, which includes the likes of Hulk, Lucas Moura, Gabriel, Miranda, Ganso and Lucas Lima.
Dani Alves will captain Brazil.
Brazil has won four of the last five meetings against Ecuador, including a 4-2 win at the 2011 Copa America,
Brazil: Alisson Becker, Marquinhos, Gil, Filipe Luís, Dani Alves, Casemiro, Renato Augusto, Elías Philippe Coutinho, Willian, Jonas. Subs: Marcelo Grohe, Diego Alves, Miranda, Douglas Santos, Lucas Moura, Ganso, Rodrigo Caio, Lucas Lima, Hulk, Fabinho, Gabriel, Walace.
Ecuador: Esteban Dreer, Gabriel Achilier, Arturo Mina Meza, Walter Ayoví, Juan Paredes, Carlos Gruezo 6 Christian Noboa, Jefferson Montero, Antonio Valencia, Enner Valencia, Miller Bolanos