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Mano Menezes raises doubt over Ramires for Japan friendly due to illness.

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Brazil coach Mano Menezes preparations for Tuesday's friendly against Japan in Poland have been hit a blow with the news that Chelsea midfielder Ramires may be ruled out through illness.

However, the Seleção coach will look to replace the former Benfica star with another midfielder, Tottenham's Sandro being most likely, rather than disturb the formation, which worked well in the 6-0 demolition of Iraq last week.

He told Terra: "We have not yet set on the players [for the game]. We will look at alternatives, but the thought is that I make the adjustment so not to mess with what we did in the previous game.

"With regard to Ramires, it is an open question, and hence we do not move tactically, just move the relevant player. Let's wait until tomorrow to see if we have to change or not."

Ramires, 25, looks to be an important part of the new 4-6-0 tactical system being tried out by Menezes and the coach was hoping to test it against Japan, a much stronger opposition than Iraq.

"We have been playing this formation and I need to see it against a quality, stronger opponent," he added.

If Ramires does miss out, then it will be the second blow that Menezes has had to deal with this week after Real Madrid defender Marcelo fractured the metatarsal on his right foot in training. It is expected that either Fluminense midfielder Thiago Neves or former Corinthians defender Leandro Castán will fill in at left back.


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