Brazil forward Hulk misses out on a starting slot in the hosts nation's second World Cup match, against Mexico in Fortaleza on Tuesday, after failing to shake off a hamstring injury suffered in training. As expected, the 27-year-old's place in the Brazil team is taken by Chelsea midfielder Ramires in the only change to the team that beat Croatia 3-1 in the Group A opener in Sao Paulo last Thursday.
Hulk, of Zenit St Petersburg, was deemed fit enough to be included among the substitutes. He had withdrawn from training early at the national team's base in Teresopolis on Sunday and did not take to the field in Monday's preparatory session at the Castelao Stadium despite travelling with the squad to his native north-eastern Brazil.
Coach Luiz Felipe Scolari is likely to start Ramires wide on the right of midfield, with Oscar reverting to a central role behind striker Fred and Neymar beginning on the left. Meanwhile, Mexico coach Miguel Herrera stuck with the same team that defeated Cameroon 1-0 in their opening game in Natal last Friday. The Mexicans will play with three central defenders, including veteran skipper Rafael Marquez, in a 3-5-2 formation.
This is the same venue where the sides met in the group stage of last year's Confederations Cup, when Brazil won 2-0 thanks to goals from Neymar and Jo. A win for either side will leave them on the brink of qualification for the last 16 with one game to spare. Croatia and Cameroon clash in Manaus on Wednesday.
Julio Cesar; Dani Alves, Thiago Silva (capt), David Luiz, Marcelo; Paulinho, Luiz Gustavo; Ramires, Oscar, Neymar; Fred
Coach: Luiz Felipe Scolari (BRA)
Guillermo Ochoa; Francisco Rodríguez, Rafael Marquez (capt), Hector Moreno; Paul Aguilar, Hector Herrera, Jose Vazquez, Andres Guardado, Miguel Layun; Giovani dos Santos, Oribe Peralta
Coach: Miguel Herrera (MEX)
Referee: Cuneyt Cakir (TUR)