Dunga Need More Authority


Brazil's failure to capture gold at the Olympics, and worse, losing to Argentina on the way, has put coach Dunga under yet more pressure for their World Cup qualifier in Chile on Sunday.

High-profile striker Robinho has also joined the squad following his move to Manchester City from Real Madrid and Dunga has him at his disposal to help them move up from fifth place in the 10-team South American table in this seventh round of the 18-match qualifying series.

No coach's job is harder than that of Brazil, a record five-times World Cup winners and who are the only team to have played in every World Cup finals.

"We have to win. I know that," said Dunga.

"The Chile game will be difficult but we must look for the three points."

Brazil, who if they stayed in fifth place would have to playoff with a Concacaf side for a place at the South Africa finals in 2010, have only won two of their six games to date and are four points behind leaders Paraguay and two adrift of Argentina, in second spot.

Dunga faces a selection poser over which two strikers - out of Ronaldinho, Robinho and Luis Fabiano - to use up front.

Reports claim Dunga will not leave Robinho on the bench because he was one of the few stars to shine in winning the Copa America in Venezuela last year, with Robinho scoring all three goals in their 3-0 victory over Chile.

Manchester City's new man has played 30 times and scored nine goals since his debut in 2006.

Argentina coach Alfio Basile, fresh from claiming Olympic gold last month, has a myriad of options and talent available for Saturday's top-of-the table clash against Paraguay in Buenos Aires.

He could play Boca Juniors' Juan Riquelme as the playmaker behind Lionel Messi of Barcelona with Liverpool's Javier Mascherano in a forward position.

He also has Sergio Aguero and Carlos Tevez at his disposal, plus Napoli's German Denis and Newcastle's Jonas Gutierrez as players giving his side attacking impetus.

In midfield, Basile has the revelation of the Olympic games in Benfica's Angel De Maria, Lisandro Lopez of FC Porto, plus Boca Juniors' Sebastian Battaglia and Esteban Cambiasso of Inter Milan as possible starters.

Keeper Roberto Abbondanzieri of Spanish club Getafe would be expected to start the game with Juan Pablo Carrizo as understudy. The defensive line is clearer in selection terms with Martin Demichelis, Fabricio Coloccini, Gabriel Heinze and Javier Zanetti likely to be the back four.

The game, which kicks off at 1900GMT in the Monumental stadium in Buenos Aires, is expected to be sold out.

About 23,000 of 30,000 tickets which went on sale on Tuesday were snapped up on the same day, and seven thousand Paraguayans, who live in Argentina, are likely to attend, according to the Argentinian football federation.

Meanwhile, Paraguay's former goalkeeper Jose Luis Chilavert said he believed his country could win the fixture, claiming their position at the top of the table was merited.

"Hopefully Paraguay will have a great game," said the goalkeeper at the 1998 World Cup finals in France. "They have the team capable of winning."

And on Paraguay's team, he added: "If we could enter a time tunnel, I would love to have had some of the players at the World Cup in France," referring to Roque Santa Cruz, Salvador Cabins and Oscar Cardozo.

Paraguay held their own in the second round against eventual 1998 champions France, finally losing 1-0 to a Laurent Blanc goal after Chilavert had had the match of his life in Lens.

Other matches taking place this weekend see Ecuador against Bolivia, Colombia facing Uruguay, and Peru v Venezuela.

The teams will have a couple of days or so to regroup before further battles in midweek.

Paraguay host Venezuela on Tuesday, with Wednesday fixtures comprising Uruguay versus Ecuador, Chile against Colombia, Peru entertaining Argentina and Brazil at home to Bolivia.


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