Tite will announce the squad for Brazil’s October friendlies against Saudi Arabia and Argentina tomorrow, September 21, at 11 AM Brazil time (10 EST). I’m going to be on the road all day and all weekend, so I’m posting this now.
What should we expect? Well, Tite has promised not to call any players involved in the Copa do Brasil finals, and while the second legs of the semis won’t be settled until next week, we should expect that this will keep out Dedé and Lucas Paquetá. I can’t think of too many other players on Corinthians, Flamengo, Cruzeiro, and Palmeiras who are likely to be affected (maybe Fagner, but surely Fabinho and Éder Militão are pushing him out anyhow)—none were called up for the last round of friendlies, anyhow. We may see a few more players from the likes of Grêmio, since last time Tite agreed to only take at most one player from each team still in contention in the Copa do Brasil at the time.
Ederson should be back, and since Hugo was the U-20 player called up as part of an agreement to give the youth more familiarity with the senior squad, expect him to be the one who makes way.
The knee injury that forced Pedro to be cut from the last squad has turned out to be very serious, and he’ll miss 6-8 months, which likely means that Richarlison and Roberto Firmino will continue up front.
Elsewhere, I don’t expect a whole lot of change, seeing as there’s only been two weeks of club action since the last round of friendlies, and most of the promising names who weren’t called up last time haven’t had a chance to make much of an impact, with the exception of Lucas Moura. With Malcom out injured, Vinícius Júnior yet to debut for Real Madrid, and Felipe Anderson playing for West Ham, Moura is probably the most likely to take over should Tite cut one of Willian (for playing poorly at the World Cup and in September’s friendlies) or Douglas Costa (for some truly disgraceful behavior). I’d also give an outside shot to the 17-year-old Rodrygo, who has been playing well for Santos and could come in as part of the U-20 agreement.
Other positions that are potentially in jeopardy might come in midfield, where Paquetá might have to sit out and Andreas Pereira seems to have been mothballed after starting Manchester United’s first two games, and at left-back, where there’s a whole bunch of up-and-coming options begging to be tried. I think there’s a good chance we see Tite bring in another defensive-minded midfielder to back up Casemiro, and this would be a fine time to give Luan another opportunity. I’m going to predict that one of Filipe Luís and Alex Sandro will be dropped, but whether for a youngster or for Marcelo I cannot say.
Lastly, with Dedé likely out, I’m really not sure who’s around to replace him. Rodrigo Caio has been out since April, Marlon Santos hasn’t played much for Sassuolo, and coaches rarely pay much attention to CBs at the likes of Lazio. We might see a veteran like Geromel get the nod in their stead.