Coutinho and Alex Sandro return to Brazil squad

The Liverpool midfielder and the Juventus full-back were named among Dunga’s 23-man panel for the upcoming qualifiers against Uruguay and Paraguay

Brazil coach Dunga has handed Philippe Coutinho and Alex Sandro international returns by including them in his squad for World Cup qualifiers against Uruguay and Paraguay.

Liverpool midfielder Coutinho was left out of the group for October’s fixtures against Argentina and Peru, while Juventus left-back Alex Sandro has earned his first call-up since November 2014.

Valencia goalkeeper Diego Alves also returns to the international fold, replacing Botafogo shot-stopper Jefferson, who has been left out of the squad entirely for the first time since Dunga’s July 2014 appointment.

China-based duo Gil and Renato Augusto retained their places in the squad, despite concerns that their decisions to head to the Far East could cost them their international futures.

Dunga stalwarts David Luiz and Marquinhos were named among the defenders but there was once again no place for their Paris Saint-Germain colleague Thiago Silva, who has not appeared for the Selecao since last year’s Copa America.

There was also no room for Benfica’s Jonas, who had been linked with a call-up by local media, with 35-year-old Ricardo Oliveira retaining his place.

The five-time world champions host Uruguay on March 25 before travelling to Asuncion to clash with Paraguay on March 29.

Brazil squad:

Goalkeepers: Alisson (Internacional), Marcelo Grohe (Gremio), Diego Alves (Valencia).
Defenders: David Luiz & Marquinhos (PSG), Miranda (Inter Milan), Gil (Shandong Luneng), Danilo (Real Madrid), Dani Alves (Barcelona), Filipe Luis (Atletico Madrid), Alex Sandro (Juventus).
Midfielders: Luis Gustavo (Wolfsburg), Fernandinho (Manchester City), Renato Augusto (Beijing Guoan), Philippe Coutinho (Liverpool), Oscar & Willian (Chelsea), Lucas Lima (Santos), Kaka (Orlando City), Douglas Costa (Bayern Munich).
Forwards: Neymar (Barcelona), Hulk (Zenit), Ricardo Oliveira (Santos).

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