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Brazil leave nothing to chance for their last-16 meeting with Mexico | Nick Ames

Tite has provided his squad with a plan A and plan B for Monday’s match in Samara, one which had been pencilled in as a meeting with their 2014 nemesis Germany

Tite was expounding the need to make good use of his squad players when he landed upon one of his favourite metaphors. “The pack needs the wolves,” the Brazil manager said, not for the first time at the World Cup. “Sometimes you need wolves of different characteristics.”

Whether on the pitch or away from it, the scale of Brazil’s travelling retinue leaves little to chance. To preview Monday’s tie against Mexico they presented the assistant manager, Silvinho, and the fitness coach, Fábio Mahseredjian, alongside Tite and his captain Thiago Silva. Mixed in with the noise and clamour of the world’s most insistent media entourage it almost seemed smothering: so many faces, so many voices, a truckload of competing demands and the sense of something far bigger than everyone else present.

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