Juninho: Scolari's loyalty can benefit Brazil

​Former FIFA World Cup winner Juninho has backed Brazil coach Luiz Felipe Scolari to guide the hosts past Chile and into the quarter-finals.

Brazil topped Group A after two wins from their three pool matches, and now face the Chileans in an exciting last-16 clash.

Scolari has shown faith in the likes of Fred and Paulinho in the group stages, even though they have not reached the heights many would have expected.

And Juninho believes that loyalty will build confidence in the squad, and the coach will be rewarded with match-winning displays in the knockout stages.

"When I played for him (Scolari) he was the same as he is now," the 41-year-old said.

"He had his base team, and a certain way of playing, and it was hard to change his mind on this.

"If things weren't working out the way you wanted them to, he is a manager that likes to give a lot of trust to his players and gave them confidence. 

"For example in the cases of Oscar, Fred, Paulinho, he has stuck by them. Sometimes he is criticised, but he's always there defending the players and the players feel this and respond positively to it."

Chile will cause problems for Brazil, according to the former midfielder, but he believes they will book a last-eight spot when they meet in Belo Horizonte on Saturday.

"I think they can win," he added. "I think Brazil grows in stature when the games get more difficult. 

"The game against Chile will be tough. Chile has started to play brilliant football in this World Cup. 

"They played a great game against the Netherlands, even though they lost. It's going to be a difficult opponent for Brazil.

"These are occasions when the expectation is bigger than in previous matches. It is for this reason that I think, step by step, Brazil is going to win."