6/10/2018 1:14:42 PM

Neymar set for start as Spain also labour in warm-ups

Neymar set for start as Spain also labour in warm-ups

Moscow: Neymar is set to make his first start since February in Brazil's final World Cup warm-up on Sunday as he battles for full fitness after Cristiano Ronaldo touched down in Russia with European champions Portugal.

And as the clock ticks down to Thursday's World Cup opener in Moscow between hosts Russia and Saudi Arabia, fancied teams France and Spain failed to impress in their final friendlies.

Neymar, who broke a bone in his foot in February, made an explosive return to action against Croatia in Liverpool last weekend, scoring a stunning goal in a 2-0 win for the five-time world champions after coming on as a substitute.

The Paris Saint-German star declared himself "80 percent" fit and Sunday's run-out in Vienna should leave him fully primed for Brazil's opener against Switzerland on June 17.

Brazil coach Tite is approaching Sunday's game with a certain amount of trepidation.

"Emotionally, this match could be the most difficult," he said. "That's because it falls one week before our first World Cup game, and there's a risk of injury, of a loss of confidence."

Although Neymar has trained normally this week, he may not play the full 90 minutes in Vienna, according to the Selecao's doctor, Rodrigo Lasmar.

Drawn in Group E, Brazil, who are second behind defending world champions Germany in the FIFA rankings, will face Costa Rica and Serbia after Switzerland.

Ronaldo's Portugal arrived on Saturday to begin final preparations for a campaign that pits them against arch-rivals Spain in Group B.

The European champions play their Iberian neighbours in the 2014 Winter Olympics host city Sochi in the opening match for both nations on Friday.

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