Coutinho out of Brazil’s World Cup qualifying squad with injury

Barcelona midfielder Philippe Coutinho was dropped from Brazil’s squad for the two World Cup qualifying matches in November due to an injury.

The Brazilian football confederation said on Tuesday that Lyon forward Lucas Paqueta will replace Coutinho for matches against Venezuela on November 13 and Uruguay four days later.

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Coutinho injured his left thigh on Saturday in Barcelona’s 3-1 loss to Real Madrid.

Paqueta had initially been called up for Brazil’s Olympic team, which will play Saudi Arabia and Egypt.

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Liverpool midfielder Fabinho could also be in doubt for the qualifying matches. He picked up a hamstring injury on Tuesday during his team’s 2-0 Champions League win over Midtjylland.

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Brazil and Argentina lead the South American qualifying group with two wins from two matches.

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