Philippe Coutinho and Roberto Firmino named in Brazil squad for March qualifiers

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Liverpool duo Philippe Coutinho and Roberto Firmino have both been included in Tite’s latest Brazil squad for their World Cup qualifiers this month.

The pair have been firm fixtures under the new Brazil manager over the past year, with Coutinho in particular playing a key role for the 55-year-old.

And with their country facing World Cup qualifying clashes with Uruguay and Paraguay in March, they have been called upon again, as they push to secure a place in Russia in 2018.

Coutinho and Firmino have been named alongside two other Premier League representatives in Man City‘s Fernandinho and Chelsea‘s Willian.

Familiar faces such as Dani Alves, Marcelo, Filipe Luis, Thiago Silva, Paulinho, Neymar and Douglas Costa are also included, along with two surprises in Diego and Diego Souza.

Brazil will take on Uruguay on March 23 and Paraguay on March 29, and they already have a four-point lead on the former as they sit top of the CONMEBOL qualifying table.

Given the resurgence the Selecao have experienced since Tite’s arrival last year, they will be one of the favourites to seal World Cup glory in 2018, with Liverpool potentially set to benefit.

Brazil's Roberto Firmino celebrates after scoring a goal during a friendly soccer match against Honduras in Porto Alegre, Brazil, Wednesday, June 10, 2015. Brazil is preparing for the Copa America which begins Thursday in Chile. (AP Photo/Nabor Goulart)

With Man City youngster Gabriel Jesus absent due to injury, Firmino could have an opportunity to start in both games, with the 25-year-old typically left to settle for a place on the substitutes’ bench.

Coutinho and Neymar are established as regulars in Tite’s starting lineup, and the addition of Liverpool’s No. 11 could provide Brazil with another dimension in attack.

And he could have Jurgen Klopp to thank if he does play a more focal role, with Tite explaining recently how he had discussed the best way to utilise Coutinho and Firmino in his forward unit.

“Klopp said Coutinho is like a kid, he needs quiet talk. Firmino is like a street boy, you can scream to him and he will answer,” he said.

“I discussed with Liverpool coach Klopp, about Coutinho and Firmino. I asked him questions so I use them in the best way for Brazil.”

This could see Firmino come in as Brazil’s centre-forward, with Coutinho on the left and Neymar on the right, in what looks to be a devastating three-man attack.

Liverpool’s other internationals are likely to be announced later on in March, while Klopp will take those not called up to Tenerife, for another warm-weather training camp at the end of the month.

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