Erling Haaland continues to dominate headlines.

The Borussia Dortmund sensation is one of the most sought-after players in Europe.

Manchester City and Real Madrid are reportedly going head-to-head to sign the Norwegian.

 

TOP STORY – AGUERO OUT, HAALAND IN?

Manchester City want to sign Borussia Dortmund star Erling Haaland as a replacement for veteran forward Sergio Aguero, according to Bild.

Aguero, who has been hampered by injury this season, is out of contract at the end of the current campaign.

Haaland is a player in demand, having been linked to Manchester United, Real Madrid, Barcelona, Liverpool, Chelsea, Paris Saint-Germain, Juventus and Bayern Munich.

But Haaland dominates the front pages of Thursday's Marca, Diario AS and Mundo Deportivo in Spain amid Madrid's interest.

The Norway international reportedly wants to listen to Madrid, who will need €150million to prise Haaland to the Santiago Bernabeu.

 

ROUND-UP

- Calciomercato reports Lyon star Houssem Aouar remains on the radar of Juventus. Aouar has previously been linked with the Serie A champions, as well as Arsenal.

Chelsea are interested in Monaco's defensive midfielder Aurelien Tchouameni, claims ESPN.

- O Jogo says Liverpool could reignite their interest in Sporting CP defender Nuno Mendes. Juve, Madrid and Milan have also been tracking the 18-year-old, who has a £60m (€70m) release clause.

Edinson Cavani is open to extending his United contract, according to Fabrizio Romano. Cavani joined United as a free agent on a one-year deal at the start of the season. The former PSG star has been linked with Boca Juniors.

What does the future hold for Andre Silva?

Silva has scored 18 Bundesliga goals this season, second only to Bayern Munich's Robert Lewandowski.

He could find himself at Manchester United if Eintracht Frankfurt reportedly pursue a permanent deal for Luka Jovic.

 

TOP STORY – SILVA BOUND FOR MANCHESTER?

Manchester United could be offered the chance to sign Eintracht Frankfurt star Andre Silva if Edinson Cavani leaves Old Trafford, according to The Sun.

Silva is taking the Bundesliga by storm this season, but Eintracht are reportedly looking to raise funds to re-sign Luka Jovic – who is currently on loan in Frankfurt – permanently from Real Madrid.

Portugal international Silva could become available if veteran forward Cavani departs after the former Paris Saint-Germain star arrived on a one-year deal at the start of the season.

 

ROUND-UP

- Eurosport claims Chelsea are growing increasingly confident of winning the race to sign Borussia Dortmund star Erling Haaland. The Norway international forward has been linked with Madrid, BarcelonaManchester City, Liverpool and United, as well as Paris Saint-Germain and Juventus.

Everton have joined United and Bayern Munich in trying to sign Norwich City full-back Max Aarons, reports Fabrizio Romano.

Tottenham will target Burnley goalkeeper Nick Pope if PSG make a move for Hugo Lloris, says the Daily Mail.

- The Sun claims United veteran Juan Mata is being tracked by Serie A trio, Juventus, Inter and Roma.

Anthony Martial's Manchester United debut is one of the club's most memorable in the modern era of the Premier League. His jinking run left Liverpool's defence in knots before he coolly slotted into the bottom-right corner to help secure a 3-1 win over his new team's bitter rivals.

It was a stunning start and one that promised much for the future, producing the ultimate response to the many pundits who had questioned his signing and reported £36million transfer fee.

Yet, five and a half years on, it's difficult to say Martial's debut resembles a microcosm of his United career, with those spectacular moments remaining fleeting rather than developing into sustained excellence.

Of course, 2019-20 was surely the closest he's come to finding consistency as he scored 17 times in the Premier League. Finally, the penny had seemingly dropped and Martial was developing the decisiveness he had previously teased in flashes.

But 2020-21 has been largely disappointing for the Frenchman and has fans wondering if he is their best option. Was last season just another false dawn?

 

THE REGRESSION

United fans will hope Martial's lively appearance off the bench in Tuesday's remarkable 9-0 demolition of Southampton is a sign of things to come – he got two goals and also won a penalty, albeit a questionable one.

There was certainly plenty to like about his performance, with both goals coming from the central zone of the penalty area, and the first saw him use his strength to see off a defender prior to finding the net. For a player whose suitability as a number nine has been questioned, it was a promising development.

But while there were undoubtedly reasons for optimism, we cannot disregard his previous struggles this season on the basis of that 9-0 win. Saints became subjugated essentially as soon as Alexandre Jankewitz was sent off after 82 seconds, and Martial's second came when Ralph Hasenhuttl's side were down to nine men.

Before Tuesday, Martial's shot conversion rate this season (5.9 per cent) had been lower than any of his previous campaigns with United. Even when you take into consideration his two latest goals, which lifts it to 13.3 per cent, he's still well down on 2019-20 (21.3 per cent) and 2018-19 (25.6 per cent).

His issues don't appear to come down to a lack of clear opportunities either, as prior to Tuesday he was actually averaging roughly the same amount of big chances per 90 minutes this season as in 2019-20 (0.7). However, he had been proving more wasteful from such situations, with Martial's big chance conversion rate of 0.15 per game down from 0.3.

Martial particularly excelled with regards to expected goals in 2019-20, with his xG rating of 11.3 meaning he netted six more than he would have been expected to – by comparison, ahead of the Southampton win, he had two goals from an xG of 4.5.

Positionally, Martial has generally occupied the same spaces as he did in 2019-20 but given his emphatic out-performing of xG was seemingly unsustainable, perhaps this is part of the problem.

A NEW THREAT

Edinson Cavani's signing, while initially criticised as a knee-jerk or 'panic' acquisition, was always likely to be a positive move for United as it offered them a new dynamic in attack. Martial may like to play at being a number nine, he may wear that shirt, but his characteristics are much different to those of Cavani.

Even though Martial has been regularly deployed as the focal point of Ole Gunnar Solskjaer's attack over the past 18 months, his positional maps still prove a predilection to operate from the left.

 

Being involved more towards the left than the right flank is understandable in one sense, given United carry greater threat there with Luke Shaw than they do on the opposite side with Aaron Wan-Bissaka.

But Cavani takes up central positions with greater regularity than Martial. As such, the Uruguayan's far greater goal frequency this term (one every 133 minutes, compared to one every 312.5 minutes for Martial) cannot be a surprise, even if Martial actually averages more touches of the ball in the area (7.6 per 90 mins, to 5.3).

There is also a school of thought that Martial's mentality becomes affected when he feels threatened. It's not a secret that he had long seen his future as a central striker, but Louis van Gaal felt he was better suited to playing on the flank and Jose Mourinho openly questioned his suitability to the number nine role.

The latter's arrival in 2016 coincided with the signing of Zlatan Ibrahimovic, who essentially killed Martial's chances of playing as a striker, and his form subsequently suffered almost across the board after a positive first season.

Although he showed signs of improvement in 2017-18 despite Romelu Lukaku's arrival, Martial was no more productive than when he first joined.

And now there's Cavani, who is out-scoring Martial five to four despite playing less than half the number of minutes in the Premier League this season. It seems he's treading on Martial's toes rather than keeping him on them.

CAVANI THE MORE DEPENDABLE OPTION?

For what it's worth, Martial's dip in form hasn't impacted United massively – after all, they've a better xG differential this term (5.7) than they did in 2019-20 (3.2) and are challenging at the top of the table, something they haven't really managed since Alex Ferguson's retirement.

 

Tuesday's mauling of Southampton might have been just what the doctor ordered for Martial, who had previously gone a month without a goal in all competitions, though few would have any complaints if Cavani was just starting out on a run as United's first choice in attack.

He may not possess the pace of Martial or indeed his ability on the ball, but he has proven more clinical as evidenced by his greater conversion rate of big chances (45.4 per cent, over 33.3), such as his nonchalant header against Southampton.

The experienced Uruguay international is also being presented with more big chances (1.5 per 90 minutes) than Martial (0.9), suggesting Cavani boasts a greater ability to create openings with his movement.

It is, of course, always handy to have players with varying skillsets and it offers Solskjaer the ability to choose individuals based on his set-up or the opposition on a given day.

But on current form, the more consistent talents of Cavani might just offer United the greater reliability they need if they're to sustain a title challenge.

At the very least, he would seem a smart choice on Saturday if fit having already netted three times in two games for United against Everton.

Manchester United's forwards have their "mojo" back after leading Tuesday's remarkable 9-0 demolition of nine-man Southampton at Old Trafford.

It was only the third instance of a team winning a Premier League match by nine goals and the first time United have won by that margin since March 1995, when they beat Ipswich Town by the same score.

While Andy Cole was the five-goal inspiration in that 1995 win, this time United shared the goals around – seven players netted on Tuesday, making it only the second occasion so many different individuals have netted for the same team in a single Premier League match.

Among them were Marcus Rashford, Anthony Martial and Edinson Cavani, providing the perfect response to Solskjaer's pre-match comments maligning the loss of his forwards' "mojo".

"Yeah, of course they have," Solskjaer said with a laugh to BT Sport when asked if they had recovered that "mojo".

"You get lots of confidence from a performance like this and the result, scoring goals is always good for forwards and the team."

He added: "We have been waiting for them to show their magic and tonight was a night they could go and enjoy.

"We haven't had too many of those where you can sit down in the second half and enjoy the football, so they enjoyed it. There were some good performances."

Alexandre Jankewitz's red card for a shocking second-minute tackle on Scott McTominay – who was also among the scorers – left Saints with an uphill battle, and Jan Bednarek followed him down the tunnel in the second half in rather more controversial circumstances.

But the focus will be on United's scoring prowess in the contest, as they put Saints to the sword.

Rashford's goal saw him move on to 83 for the club, overtaking Eric Cantona, and Solskjaer took the moment to praise the England international as he has occasionally had to contend with critics urging him to concentrate on his football amid his charitable efforts during the coronavirus pandemic.

"That's not bad," Solskjaer said of Rashford surpassing Cantona. "Eric was a fantastic player to play with and Marcus has a great career ahead of him.

"What he's done this season, this year, it just shows he can still focus on his football as well."

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer believes Manchester United's dressing room is being "driven to success" by Bruno Fernandes, Edinson Cavani and Paul Pogba.

United sit top of the Premier League table on 40 points, six clear of defending champions Liverpool, who Solskjaer's team face in the FA Cup fourth round on Sunday, seven days on from a 0-0 draw at Anfield.

Liverpool have been eliminated from the FA Cup by United more than they have any other opponent in the competition's history, though the Red Devils have lost two of their past three against the Reds in the competition.

Integral to United's recent success has been the form of Fernandes, who has scored 19 league goals and created a further 14 from 33 top-flight appearances since joining from Sporting CP last year.

Veteran campaigner Cavani, meanwhile, has netted five times in all competitions since arriving as a free agent in October, while United's club-record signing Pogba has enjoyed a resurgence after a difficult start to the campaign, and scored a superb winner against Fulham last time out.

Buoyed by the performances of Fernandes, Cavani and Pogba, Solskjaer sees his squad having experienced a drastic shift in mentality, comparing the trio's influence to that of his former United team-mates Roy Keane, Gary Neville and Ryan Giggs.

"I think that runs through the squad and that's part of my thinking when you bring players in," Solskjaer told a news conference.

"You don't just bring big talents in, you research their character as much as you can to have the right types.

"Because there are always players who think 'there's a game next week and I'll still get my wages'. That's the mentality we had to get away from.

"I wanted players to come here to push the boundaries, the levels and drive it on from the inside. It can't come just from the outside. With players like Bruno, Edinson and Paul Pogba, I feel I have a dressing room that is driven to success. That makes my job easier – 100 per cent.

"When you talk the talk, you have to walk the walk. We had players here when I played – Roy Keane, Gary Neville, Ryan Giggs – they drove it on.

"When they spoke you knew you had no leg to stand on to ­argue, because you knew that they did it every single day.

"That's what we need from our players. Many of us in the game have been in dressing rooms where people talk – but you think what are you ­talking about? 

"They talk the talk, but don't really walk the walk. But the players we're talking about – Pogba and Cavani and Bruno – they've been there, they know what it takes and they ­demand it off their team-mates."

The omens are good for United ahead of Sunday's encounter with their bitter rivals, who have reached the FA Cup fifth round only once during Jurgen Klopp's tenure.

United are also unbeaten in their past seven home games against Liverpool in all competitions (W3 D4) since a 3-0 loss in March 2014. They last had a longer unbeaten run against the Reds at Old Trafford between 1990 and 2000 (12 games).

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer wants Manchester United to harness the spirit of the 1999 treble-winning side when they face Liverpool in the FA Cup.

Solskjaer will make changes for the tie of the fourth round at Old Trafford on Sunday after a 2-1 win at Fulham on Wednesday, which put United two points clear at the top of the Premier League.

The Red Devils are still in the hunt for three trophies this season and face an out-of-sorts Liverpool side who are smarting from a shock 1-0 home defeat to Burnley on Thursday.

United dramatically beat the Reds 2-1 at the same stage of the FA Cup 22 years ago courtesy of late goals from Dwight Yorke and Solskjaer, then went on to complete a famous treble.

Solskjaer says dumping the Premier League champions out once again could be a big moment in what he hopes will be a glorious season.

"Of course we can transform a few things from that season. We know that there's tight moments, very fine margins. We know in that season we were close to going out against Liverpool," said the United boss.

"Peter Schmeichel saved a penalty from [Arsenal's] Dennis Bergkamp in the semi-final in injury time. Those moments, I think they gave us the mental advantage, especially in the semi-final.

"But against Liverpool as well in that fourth round, when you get that boost of turning 1-0 down to a 2-1 win against a big team it's massive.

"The FA Cup is a run we've got to enjoy as long as it lasts. We got to the semis last year and we're going to make a few changes but we'll put a team out there that I hope can go through."

Victor Lindelof is available to return from a back injury and Solskjaer will rotate his squad just a week after a drab goalless draw between United and Liverpool at Anfield in the top flight.

"Of course the focus is now on the FA Cup," said Solskjaer. "We know it's a difficult tie, I'm not the best on draws, I think they should try to get someone else in if they want an easy draw."

Solskjaer also said forwards Mason Greenwood, Marcus Rashford, Anthony Martial and Edinson Cavani could all feature in the same side at some stage.

He said: "I used to play in a decent team and the gaffer [Alex Ferguson] had four centre-forwards at least to choose from and with the four front men we've got, we have players to choose from who can get us goals in any game, against any opposition.

"I'm very pleased with the ones I've got and we’re working hard to get the relationships with all of them so we can use them in different ways and sometimes maybe all four of them will play."

Manchester United striker Edinson Cavani has been suspended for three games by the Football Association following a social media post where he used language that has been ruled racially insensitive.

Cavani posted a message in response to an Instagram story from a friend after United's 3-2 win over Southampton on November 29, in which he scored twice.

Uruguay international Cavani used a Spanish phrase in the post, which was later deleted after he was told of its potential to cause offence.

The Football Association (FA) charged the 33-year-old with bringing the game into disrepute earlier this month and on Thursday announced he must serve a suspension following an investigation.

He has also been fined £100,000 and must complete face-to-face education, the FA said.

An FA statement read: "A comment posted on the Manchester United striker's Instagram page was insulting, abusive, improper and brought the game into disrepute contrary to FA rule E3.1.

"The post also constitutes an 'aggravated breach', which is defined in FA rule E3.2, as it included reference, whether express or implied, to colour and/or race and/or ethnic origin.

"An independent regulatory commission was appointed to decide the sanction and its written reasons will be published in due course."

Cavani will miss United's Premier League clash with Aston Villa on Friday, as well as the EFL Cup semi-final against Manchester City and FA Cup third-round tie against Watford.

United said the striker would not contest the charge but stressed there was no "racist intent" behind his comment.

The club said in a statement: "As he has stated, Edinson Cavani wasn't aware that his words could have been misconstrued and he sincerely apologised for the post and to anyone who was offended.

"Despite his honest belief that he was simply sending an affectionate thank you in response to a congratulatory message from a close friend, he chose not to contest the charge, out of respect for, and solidarity with, the FA and the fight against racism in football.

"While it is clear that context and intent are key factors, we note that the independent regulatory commission was required to impose a minimum three-game suspension.

"The club trusts that the independent regulatory commission will make it clear in its written reasons that Edinson Cavani is not a racist, nor was there any racist intent in relation to his post."

The former Paris Saint-Germain striker has scored four goals in 14 appearances across all competitions since he joined United on a free transfer in October.

Manchester United striker Edinson Cavani has been suspended for three games by the Football Association following a social media post where he used language that has been deemed racially insensitive.

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer hailed Edinson Cavani's "big impact" at Manchester United after reaching the EFL Cup semi-finals.

Cavani drilled in a brilliant 88th-minute goal before Anthony Martial sealed United's 2-0 win over Everton at Goodison Park on Wednesday.

The Uruguay international's goal came from his fourth shot on target in the match, which was one more than Everton managed as a team.

Cavani has scored four goals in 12 games for United this season and Solskjaer praised the striker while dismissing any suggestions the 33-year-old had made a slow start at the club.

"I think you're wrong, I don't think he has had a slow start. I think he has done really well, he's been excellent," the United manager told a news conference.

"He's obviously been injured, anyone can be injured. He came late [in the transfer window] so I'm really pleased with his influence. In the dressing room, his habits that he brings to training, his attitude to the game. You can see how well he looks after himself.

"He's scored some very important goals for us and it gives us experience, he gives a lot. He's just going to be here, better and better of course because he was out for seven months. We've been patient with him and I think he's made a big impact."

As Cavani and Martial fired United into a semi-final against Manchester City, Paul Pogba produced a fine performance.

No player on the pitch had more key passes (three) or gained possession more often (eight) than the midfielder.

"Paul is getting fitter and fitter and that's the biggest thing with Paul because his last year and a half have been marred with injuries, and COVID, another injury in the international break," Solskjaer said.

"I'm very pleased with his performance, very pleased with his contribution to the team. He's playing better and better and probably will just improve and improve."

Sitting third in the Premier League table, United make the trip to Leicester City on Saturday.

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer dismissed suggestions Edinson Cavani might have been sent off before his game-breaking turn in Manchester United's 2-0 EFL Cup quarter-final win over Everton.

Cavani fired in a fabulous 88th-minute strike from outside the penalty area before Anthony Martial made sure of a repeat of last season's semi-final against holders Manchester City.

Earlier in the second half, Cavani appeared to shove Everton defender Yerry Mina to the floor after grabbing at his throat, but referee Andy Madley opted not to dish out any punishment with VAR not in operation.

Solskjaer told Sky Sports he felt Uruguayan and Colombian rivalries were in play at that point in a keenly fought contest.

"It’s two South Americans that have had a few battles before," he said.

"Not long ago they met [in World Cup qualifying].

"This was a proper game of football, with fans, some tackles, cards, chances at both ends – I enjoyed it.

"[Cavani] is a top striker – movement, quality and the left-foot strike was excellent."

A 1-0 win at the Etihad Stadium was not enough to avert a 3-2 aggregate loss in last season's semi-final and defeats at the same stage of the FA Cup and Europa League to Chelsea and Sevilla respectively meant 2019-20 was a tale of what might have been for Solskjaer and his players.

"It’s a worse game to lose, a semi-final, because when you get to a final you get that feeling, the build-up. So we’re going to do everything we can to get to the semi-final in a good state," he added, with City set to make the short trip to Old Trafford on the week of January 4 for what will be a one-off game this time around,

Shortly after the Cavani-Mina incident, Richarlison suffered a nasty blow to the head in an aerial challenge with Bruno Fernandes and Eric Bailly.

The Everton forward was substituted and manager Carlo Ancelotti confirmed he had followed the advice of medical staff amid concerns over concussion.

"Richarlison is fine, fortunately," he told Sky Sports.

"He had a bad knock to the head, but we will see in the next few days [how he recovers].

"Of course the doctor [made the decision]. Now he is okay."

Edinson Cavani fired Manchester United into the semi-finals of the EFL Cup as his superb late goal inspired a 2-0 win over Everton

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer's side have been imperious on the road this season and headed to Goodison Park having won all eight of their domestic away games by scoring at least three times on each occasion.

They peppered the Everton goal during the first half but had nothing to show for their efforts before the game became a more physical and fractious affair after the interval.

One such occasion saw Cavani grab at Yerry Mina's throat but the former Paris Saint-Germain star remained on the field to arrow a wonderful left-footed strike into the bottom left corner from 25 yards, with Anthony Martial making sure as Everton left themselves exposed chasing an equaliser.

Manchester United striker Edinson Cavani has been charged with misconduct by the Football Association following a social media post where he used language that could be deemed racially insensitive.

Cavani posted a message in response to an Instagram story from a friend after United's 3-2 win over Southampton on November 29, in which he scored twice.

Uruguay international Cavani used a Spanish phrase in the post, which was later deleted after he was told of its potential to cause offence.

The Football Association (FA) opened an investigation and on Thursday announced the 33-year-old had been charged with bringing the game into "disrepute". It could lead to a ban if Cavani is found guilty of the charge.

An FA statement read: "It is alleged that, contrary to FA rule E3.1, a comment posted on the Manchester United player's Instagram page was insulting and/or abusive and/or improper and/or brought the game into disrepute.

"It is further alleged that the comment constitutes an 'aggravated breach', which is defined in FA rule E3.2, as it included reference, whether express or implied, to colour and/or race and/or ethnic origin."

United have reiterated their earlier stance that there was no "malicious intent" behind Cavani's message.

The club said in a statement: "Manchester United and all of our players are fully committed to the fight against racism and we will continue to work with the FA – along with other governing bodies and organisations, and through our own campaigns – in that regard.

"We note the FA decision today to charge Edinson Cavani for his social media reply to a friend's message of congratulations, following the Southampton game.

"Edinson and the club were clear that there was absolutely no malicious intent behind the message, which he deleted and apologised for, as soon as he was informed that it could have been misconstrued.

"The player and the club will now consider the charge and respond to the FA accordingly."

The former Paris Saint-Germain striker, who has scored three goals in 10 appearances across all competitions since he joined United on a free transfer in October, has until January 4 to respond to the charge.

Edinson Cavani looks set to remain sidelined for Manchester United's trip to Bramall Lane on Thursday due to a muscle injury.

The Uruguayan striker had to be withdrawn at half-time in United's 3-1 win at West Ham earlier this month due to the issue and has not played since.

He missed the games against RB Leipzig and Manchester City, but did return to training last week.

An update on the 33-year-old on United's official website earlier on Wednesday said Cavani's recovery "appears to have progressed well".

Yet Solskjaer seems doubtful that he will be able to feature on Thursday.

He told reporters: "We have to be mindful of little strains and niggles and decisions have to be made from kick-off of Sheffield United to kick-off at Aston Villa, so it's going to be very tight.

"Edinson has done well in rehab, we still have to make the decision if we should risk him, it is a little risk to go too early, so I doubt he'll be available to pick tomorrow."

Although United's recent games against Leipzig and City were concerning, victory at the Blades will see them become only the fourth side in top-flight history to win 10 away league games in a row.

They will fancy their chances too, seeing as Sheffield United have lost seven home matches in the league in 2020 and have accumulated just one point in 2020-21.

But the Blades' troubles were not focused on by Solskjaer, who instead expressed his gratitude to the club for their handling of Dean Henderson during his two-year loan spell prior to returning to Old Trafford in pre-season.

"Well, it just shows how beneficial some loan deals are," he said. "Dean has worked his way up through the ranks, through the system and the two years at Sheffield United, it's made him come back as a mature, quality keeper.

"He had experiences with a great promotion and his year in the Premier League was valuable for us and him.

"He's made his England debut, he's learning more and more the Manchester United style, our play is a bit different, we have a couple of different demands of him, but we're very grateful to Sheffield United and Chris [Wilder, manager] that they gave him a chance to develop as they did."

Uruguay coach Oscar Tabarez admitted there was a sense of "relief" to be facing a Brazil side without Neymar in World Cup qualifying.

Brazil's perfect record in World Cup 2022 qualifying will be put to the test in Montevideo on Tuesday, and they will be without Neymar due to a thigh injury.

Uruguay will be without a key player of their own after star forward Luis Suarez tested positive for coronavirus.

While unsure if Neymar's absence would give Uruguay an advantage, Tabarez said he was relieved.

"Neymar is among the great players of today and beyond fulfilling obligations of tasks that he has to do at the defensive level, in attack he is very prominent … it shows that in Brazil space is given to his individual creativity," he told a news conference.

"That makes the Brazilian attack stronger because of his speed, his technique, his one-on-one decision, his persistence and his winning mentality. He is very happy when he wins and hot when he loses. This is the type of player who feels like football and plays to achieve things.

"That he is not here tomorrow, I do not know if it will be an advantage for us, but if it is some relief, apart from the fact that Brazil have great forwards.

"We face the best team of these qualifiers, of the past and of many more."

Uruguay have grabbed six points from their opening three qualifiers, but they are winless in their previous 10 meetings with Brazil.

They are coming off a 3-0 win over Colombia as Edinson Cavani, Suarez and Darwin Nunez scored.

Tabarez revealed Cavani was dealing with a blister while playing 78 minutes against Colombia, having had limited game time since joining Manchester United.

"Edinson Cavani, after having had a long time away from the pitches and training, since March of this year, he reappeared at Manchester United in the last minutes of the games and in one of them he scored a goal, which is very important for a scorer like him," he said.

"That was the immediate previous experience, and now he played 78 minutes with some problems, a very annoying blister, but he showed great dedication and a lot of intelligence in his interventions."

Marquinhos has warned his Brazil team-mates to be "100 per cent" focused on the threat of Uruguay striker Edinson Cavani in Tuesday's 2022 World Cup qualifying clash.

Cavani spent seven years playing alongside defender Marquinhos at Paris Saint-Germain after they both joined the Ligue 1 giants in July 2013. 

The Uruguayan left PSG at the end of the 2019-20 campaign as the club's all-time record goalscorer having found the net 200 times. 

Indeed, only Lionel Messi (432) and Cristiano Ronaldo (416) have scored more goals in Europe's top five leagues since Cavani (250) debuted for Palermo in 2007.

Brazil have won all three of their qualifiers so far, but Marquinhos says they need to be acutely aware of the danger posed by Cavani – who joined Manchester United on a free transfer in October – in Montevideo if they are to extend their perfect start.

"For me, it was very good to work with Cavani because he is a great attacker," he said. "In confrontations you had to be very careful with him and try to cancel him in the best way. 

"I really like to face great attackers, to be able to raise my level and train in the best way. That is what makes you improve and grow every day. 

"Cavani is a very decisive player and one who gives a lot to his teams. We know how important he has been for his team. He plays everywhere on the field, attacks and defends. 

"We will have to be 100 per cent focused because at the slightest mistake, he can score a goal."

Cavani scored his 51st international goal in Friday's impressive 3-0 qualifying win over Colombia and will likely start up front alongside Luis Suarez against Brazil, the Atletico Madrid striker also scoring in the victory in Barranquilla.

Marquinhos is well aware of the danger posed by the potent pair, but he remains quietly confident Brazil's defence has enough experience to keep them quiet.

"We are always concerned with the great attackers," he added. "They are players that I will have to face individually, but ours is a collective work. 

"There are many things we can do to make the game difficult for those players and make it easier for us in defence. Sure, we are concerned, but collectively we will try to limit them."

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