Hulk in Brazil’s starting line-up against China

September 10th, 2012 - 12:36 pm ICT by IANS  

Rio de Janeiro, Sep 10 (IANS) Forward Hulk is poised to replace Leandro Damiao in Brazil’s starting line-up for Monday’s international football friendly with China in Recife.

The Zenit St.Petersburg star scored the winner in Brazil’s 1-0 victory over South Africa in Sao Paulo last Friday having been used as a second-half substitute, reports Xinhua.

While Damiao was Brazil’s leading scorer at this year’s London Olympics with six goals, coach Mano Menezes is yet to settle on the team’s centre-forward position.

Hulk has mainly been used as a winger at club and international level but Menezes is considering deploying the former Porto man in an advanced role ahead of Neymar.

The 26-year-old, who participated in first-team training on Sunday, said he was looking forward to his first international match in Brazil’s northeast region.

“I’m from Paraiba which is very close to Recife and for that reason the match is going to be extra special for me,” Hulk said.

“The fans here love watching the national team and I have no doubt they are going to give us plenty of support.”

Meanwhile, Menezes believes the team is 70 percent ready for next year’s Confederations Cup, considered a warm up event for the 2014 World Cup.

Brazil is scheduled to play 10 more international matches - including Monday’s friendly against China - before the tournament starts next June.

“We have to have the team ready by the Confederations Cup next year, that’s the limit for the team to be prepared for the World Cup,” Menezes said.

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