NEWCASTLE, England — Coach Mano Menezes is expected to rest some of Brazil's regular starters in the team's final Group C match in men's Olympic football on Wednesday.

Brazil won its first two matches and is already in the competition's quarterfinals, so Menezes will likely give time off to some starters and play several on his bench.

The coach had said Paulo Henrique Ganso was expected to play but the midfielder may not be fit because of a minor muscle injury. Brazilian doctors say the problem on his left thigh doesn't appear to be serious but he practiced separately from the rest of the team on Tuesday.

"My goal is to use Ganso to give him some playing time," Menezes said. "He is coming off a knee surgery and the more time he can play the better for him and for the team if we need to use him again later in the tournament."

The 22-year-old Ganso came off the bench in the first two matches Brazil played, a 3-2 win over Egypt in the opener and a 3-1 victory against Belarus on Sunday.

The playmaker had been considered Brazil's starter at midfield until missing several matches because of arthroscopic surgery on his right knee just before the Olympics. Newly signed Chelsea midfielder Oscar took over the position after playing well in Brazil's preparations and in the first two matches. He scored the team's final goal in the win over Belarus.

Menezes said that FC Porto striker Hulk, who got a yellow card in the match against Belarus, may be one of the players sitting out against New Zealand on Wednesday at the St. James' Park Stadium.

The coach said he was waiting for information from organizers to know if the yellow cards will be cleared or will still count after the group stage.

Menezes made only one change in the starting lineup after the first match, replacing striker Leandro Damiao by AC Milan forward Alexandre Pato.

"Each game demands different types of players and we make the changes accordingly," Menezes said.

Neymar, who set up two goals and scored from a free kick against Belarus, said he hopes he gets to play again against New Zealand.

"It's up to Mano to do what he feels is best for the team," Neymar said. "But I always want to play, I want to be out there helping the national team even if we have already advanced to the next round."

Menezes said he will wait until game time before announcing the lineup changes.

"It's a strong group," reserve defender Alex Sandro said. "Anyone who gets to play will be able to do a good job and help Brazil no matter who we play against."

New Zealand lost its opener 1-0 to Belarus and then drew Egypt 1-1. It can only advance with a victory against the Brazilians, which lead the group with six points. Belarus has three points and Egypt and New Zealand one each after two matches.

New Zealand is trying to win its first match in an Olympic or World Cup tournament. This is the team's second consecutive time participating in the Olympics. It has also played in two World Cups, in 1982 and 2010.

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