England national team play host to one of the most exciting teams in the world Brazil in what is a highly-anticipated international friendly. With both managers expected to rotate their respective squads, we are likely to witness and openly-contested affair with fringe players attempting to impress and earn their place in the starting line-ups ahead of World Cup.
Gareth Southgate had hoped to have a full squad list for the November friendlies which brought two high-profile friendlies for the Three Lions. Things could not have gone worse for the England manager who faced a number of injuries to his senior representatives ruling them out of both Germany match and Brazil test.
England ended up picking the most inexperienced side since 1980 for the clash against Die Mannschaft with Everton goalkeeper Jordan Pickford and Ruben Loftus-Cheek excelling as two of three debutants in the starting XI and five overall. England started the game shy but grew confidence as time went by, putting in a respectable display in a goalless draw against reigning world champions which will have been a morale-boosting result against South American giants.
Gareth Southgate added Liverpool striker Dominic Solanke and Bournemouth midfielder Lewis Cook for the Brazil friendly, after previously including Manchester City goalkeeper Agnus Gunn to replace Jack Butland who suffered a broken finger.
Manchester United defender Phil Jones picked up an injury and was forced to withdraw from the squad.
Brazil Gunning for Gold
South American heavyweights were one the first nations to secure the 2018 FIFA World Cup promotions having only lost once – to Copa America champions Chile – and will be one of the biggest contenders to claim a gold medal in Russia next summer. The strong qualifiers have helped Tite’s man gain valuable self-confidence which ultimately helped them to a comfortable 3-1 friendly win over Japan at Stade Pierre-Mauroy in Lille on Friday night.
Brazil opened the scoring through PSG under-pressure star Neymar who put his side up after only ten minutes. The world’s most expensive player missed a penalty seven minutes later but Brazil almost immediately doubled the lead through Marcelo who fired a strong long-range shot straight into the back of the net. Manchester City striker Gabriel Jesus wrapped things up after only 36 minutes to extend Brazil’s unbeaten run to six matches on the trot. Brazil are seen as firm favourites to win at Wembley in what is also expected to be an exciting clash.
Brazil head coach Tite is expected to field a combined squad with Neymar and Jesus leading the way in attack.
Liverpool star playmaker Philippe Coutinho is expected to be given a place in the team straight from the off.
Brazil boast individual quality and hold the upper-hand against the injury-troubled England. The forthcoming fixture will be an important learning curve for Gareth Southgate’s fledgeling squad and we expect the Three Lions to embrace a chance to whine against one of the world’s best sides.
Top pick: Brazil 1.83 (5/6) @SkySport
Alternative pick 1: Both teams to score – yes 1.76 (13/17) @888sport
Alternative pick 2: Over 2.5 goals 1.86 (6/7) @Unibet