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Chile v Brazil: Dunga aware of qualifying difficulties

Dunga - Cropped Brazil coach Dunga (source: AFP)

Brazil coach Dunga is aware of the difficulties World Cup qualifying will pose as his team prepare to face Chile on Thursday.

The South American powerhouses do battle in Santiago, looking to make winning starts to qualifying in CONMEBOL.

While both are expected to advance as two of the top four that gain automatic places at Russia 2018, a loss would leave them with work to do.

Dunga has made a late change to his squad, with injured Liverpool star Philippe Coutinho replaced by Kaka.

Dunga knows how tough qualifying will be for his team, who come into their meeting with Chile on the back of two straight wins.

“You have to respect the opinion of each, but Brazil has quality players,” he told Globo.

“We work at it, we trust in our work. On the classification, it has always been difficult.”

Dunga added: “It’s a great opportunity for all of us.”

Dunga has been under pressure since Brazil’s disappointing Copa America campaign, during which they were eliminated in the quarter-finals.

Making things more difficult for Dunga, he will be without Barcelona star Neymar for the opening two qualifiers due to suspension.

He will need Hulk in particular to step up in the 23-year-old’s absence.

Brazil hold an incredible head-to-head record against Chile, winning 49 of the 70 meetings between the nations.

But they face a confident Chile, who are fresh from their Copa America success and a friendly win over Paraguay.

Jorge Sampaoli has an in-form Alexis Sanchez leading the line in front of what will be a vocal home crowd.

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