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Time out for Oscar

Saturday, June 07, 2014

TERESPOLIS, Brazil - Brazil coach Luiz Felipe Scolari yesterday put the national squad through their paces in training with Willian in the first eleven after Chelsea team-mate Oscar was given leave ahead of the imminent birth of his daughter.

Oscar headed off into Sao Paulo state to check on latest developments while his colleagues prepared for today's final World Cup warm-up friendly against Serbia at Sao Paulo's Morumbi stadium.

Next Thursday they will be across town at the much-delayed Corinthians Arena taking on opening Group A opponents Croatia.

Scolari indicated earlier that he intended to have a final workout with "100 per cent of the team who will start the match against Croatia," suggesting Willian, 25, will get the nod.

In training he was again impressive as he had been in scoring against Panama in Tuesday's 4-0 romp in Goiania, producing some defence-splitting passes and long-range efforts.

On Tuesday, Scolari had said of Oscar's impending paternity: "I hope his daughter is born by the end of the week so he can be calm and play to the best of his abilities."

Oscar aside, Scolari fielded the side which won last year's Confederations Cup dress rehearsal with skipper Thiago Silva and midfielder Paulinho back after being rested for Tuesday's friendly.

Physical trainer Anselmo Sbragia made up the numbers yesterday's session, donning a reserves bib while Hulk set up the only goal for Neymar, who had made his goal against the outclassed Panamanians.

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