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Tite confirms Arthur will not start Brazil’s Copa America opener against Bolivia

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The midfielder picked up a knock against Honduras

Brazil v Panama - International Friendly Photo by Octavio Passos/Getty Images

Brazil boss Tite has confirmed that Barcelona midfielder Arthur will not start the Selecao’s opening Copa America game against Bolivia.

The 22-year-old was forced off with a knee problem in a friendly against Honduras last time out, and Tite is not willing to risk the Barcelona star from the start on Friday.

“Arthur won’t start because he hasn’t had any full training session and I am not going to be irresponsible and put him in,” he said.

“The Brazilian national team is one of the favourites, but they aren’t the only one. There are great teams. And there is the surprise element in these competitions. We are aware of the responsibility to win, but we have to take responsibility with joy. I have a colleague who says that without joy it’s not worth it.”

Arthur’s absence will be a blow for the tournament hosts who are also without star man Neymar due to an ankle injury.

The duo’s absence means there will be even more scrutiny on Philippe Coutinho to step up and shine with Brazil favourites to lift the title on home soil.