RIO DE JANEIRO, Sporting Alert – Neymar starts, as expected, and will captain Brazil in the nation’s 2016 Olympic Games opening men’s soccer Group A match against South Africa at Mané Garrincha Stadium.
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The host country heads into the contest hoping to feed off the positive start from the women’s side on Wednesday’s opening day, and Neymar and Co. will start as the favourites to secure all three points on Thursday.
The Barcelona forward will lead the attack for Brazil, but will have a very talented supporting cast around him.
Manchester City new capture, Gabriel Jesus, one of the most talked about players in the build-up towards the Games and Gabriel “Gabigol” Barbosa will join Neymar in the attack and the trio will certainly score goals.
Marquinhos will provide some good experience at the back and will play alongside Douglas Santos, Rodrigo Caio and Zeca in defence.
Wéverton starts in goal, while Thiago Maia, Renato Augusto and Felipe Anderson will play in midfield.
Notable players on the bench for Brazil are Rafinha and Walace who are both expected to play some part in the game.
Among the players starting for South Africa are goalkeeper Itumeleng Khune, Lebo Mothiba and Gift Motupa.
Striker Keagan Dolly is the captain for the U23 and South Africa will be hoping to use the pace of Mothiba to catch Brazil on the back foot.
South Africa U23: Itumeleng Khune, Rivaldo Coetzee, Mothobi Mvala, Menzi Masuku, Eric Mathoho, Gift Motupa, Aubrey Modiba, Abbubaker Mobara, Deolin Mekoa, Lebo Mothiba, Keagan Dolly. Sub: Tyroane Sandows, Jody February, Kwandakwensizwa Mngonyama, Tashreeq Morris, Tebogo Moerane, Repo Malepe, Phumlani Ntshangase
Brazil U23: Wéverton, Rodrigo Caio, Marquinhos, Douglas Santos, Zeca, Thiago Maia, Renato Augusto, Felipe Anderson, Gabriel Jesus, Neymar, Gabriel. Subs: Uilson, William Furtado, Luan, Rodrigo Dourado, Rafinha, Walace, Luan