Fred braced for Brazil's semi-final

Monday 05 July 2021 12:42

While all eyes in England are on Wednesday's Euro 2020 semi-final at Wembley, Manchester United midfielder Fred is preparing for a different last-four tie thousands of miles away.

The Reds' no.17 is expected to start for the fifth time in Brazil's six Copa America matches so far, as the hosts meet Peru at the Estádio Olímpico Nilton Santos in Rio de Janeiro this evening.

The two teams in action tonight have already met in this tournament, with Fred featuring for the full 90 minutes as his side enjoyed an emphatic 4-0 win in their second group-stage game. Brazil went on to top that pool with 10 points from four matches before defeating Chile 1-0 in Friday night's quarter-final.

"I think it's obvious that we are favourites for being at home," said Fred, in a press conference to preview the semi-final.

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The Brazilian has his eyes set on something other than the popular choices of coaching and the media.

"But we have to know how to deal with it and not take it on to the field. We have to keep doing the work we're doing. We have to arrive on the field and just play and show our strength."

Peru reached this stage of the competition by beating Venezuela and Colombia - the quarter-final conquerors of Edinson Cavani's Uruguay - and drawing with Ecuador in their other group games, prior to knocking out Paraguay 4-3 on penalties in the last eight. 

The latter tie was a titanic tussle which ended 3-3 in normal time, following incidents including a goal at both ends by Gustavo Gomez in the first 21 minutes, red cards for both Gomez and Peru's Andre Carillo, and a 90th-minute equaliser for Paraguay.
All of that drama is being interpreted as a warning for Brazil, that they will not find Peru to be pushovers second time around with a place in Saturday night's final against either Argentina or Colombia at stake.

"It's going to be the game of their lives - a Copa América semi-final against Brazil at our home," said Fred.

"Peru will try to play a great game. They are a team with great consistency and they also try to play.
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"We have to be prepared for everything: the pitch, weather and their team, whether they come out playing or defending more. Let's prepare so that we are not surprised and we can come out with the victory."

Brazil v Peru kicks off at midnight UK time tonight and we'll post an update in our Copa America blog tomorrow morning.

Good luck, Fred.

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