Scolari could make surprise World Cup selections
The 65-year-old coach on Tuesday named a list of 16 foreign-based players for the friendly against South Africa in Johannesburg on 5 March. Scolari will add to it with two or three Brazil-based players just five days before the fixture.
Despite overlooking a series of hopefuls including Marquinhos, Miranda, Maicon, Maxwell, Hernanes, Philippe Coutinho, Lucas Moura, Kaka and Robinho, Scolari pointed out that his squad for the 20th World Cup will include four more members than the one which will visit South Africa.
"We will arrive (in South Africa) at midnight on Monday, train on the Tuesday and play on the Wednesday," said Scolari. "Why take 22 or 23 players? 18 or 19 is the maximum I will take.
"Then there is the option to take players I’ve called up many times before to the World Cup. Who is playing, who is training always has a chance – there could be a surprise or two."
Scolari decided to name the Brazil-based players at a later date, so as to give Fred, who led the line for the five-time world champions during their triumphant FIFA Confederations Cup campaign in 2013, every chance to recover from a thigh injury
The 30-year-old was, on Monday, examined by Brazil team doctor Jose Luiz Runco, who revealed his optimism the striker would be available for the South Africa game and, on Tuesday, Fred retuned to training with Fluminense.
Scolari confirmed that Fred, provided he regains match-fitness in time, and a goalkeeper will be among the Brazil-based players added to his party.
Hosts Brazil kick off the tournament against Croatia on June 12, and will also face Mexico and Cameroon in Group A.