Neymar-less Brazil brace for Russia in Moscow
Moscow: Training between mounds of snow without Neymar, Brazil may be forgiven for feeling out of their element as they prepare to face hosts Russia in their penultimate World Cup warm-up.
The most expensive football player on the planet is back home, celebrating his sister's birthday with his famous right foot recovering from surgery in a protective boot.
But things are deadly serious in Moscow, where the Selecao play on Friday at the Luzhniki Stadium in which they will hope to lift a record sixth World Cup trophy on July 15.
Coach Tite will try to make sure his superstars have learned from the unmitigated disaster of their 7-1 drubbing by Germany, whom Brazil play on Tuesday, on home soil back in 2014.
That fateful World Cup semi-final four years ago was played without the injured Neymar or suspended centre-back Thiago Silva. Now, as then, Brazil are looking vulnerable in defence and missing their 26-year-old hero.
Paris Saint-Germain forward Neymar "is a different player. He is one of the top three in the world," said Tite. "But a strong team should not depend on specific names."