England and Brazil will lock horns for the first time in over four years when the Selecao travel to Wembley on Tuesday night.
Gareth Southgate’s side were held to a 0-0 draw by Germany on Friday, but there were plenty of positives for the England boss to take from his side’s display. England did not always entertain or convince in their qualification campaign for the 2018 World Cup, but there is certainly an argument that this side is better equipped to play against the bigger teams, who will defend with a high line and seek to control the ball.
Brazil beat Japan in France on Friday, as goals from Neymar, Marcelo and Gabriel Jesus – all in the first half – made the difference at the Stade Pierre-Mauroy. It was another impressive performance from the Selecao, who are a completely different team under current head coach Tite than they were under predecessor Dunga. Indeed, Brazil now play modern, cohesive and possession-based football, and they deserve to be considered among the favourites to win the World Cup next year.
Phil Jones was taken off in the first half against Germany and will probably miss out here, with Southgate also missing Harry Kane, Harry Winks, Jordan Henderson, Raheem Sterling, Danny Drinkwater, Fabian Delph, Jack Butland and Dele Alli, as well as longer-term absentees Adam Lallana Nathaniel Clyne and Ross Barkley. After beginning on the bench last time out, Jack Cork, Kyle Walker, Michael Keane, Jesse Lingard, Marcus Rashford and Joe Hart will hope to start against the Brazilians.
Tite may opt to shuffle his pack a little, with Dani Alves, Paulinho, Philippe Coutinho, Renato Augusto, Marquinhos and Roberto Firmino all substitutes against Japan who could be drafted into the starting XI for Brazil’s final match of 2017. Douglas Costa, Alex Sandro, Joao Miranda and Taison will also hope to be given a chance to impress as the five-time world champions continue their preparations for next summer’s tournament in Russia, for which they qualified in style by topping the South American section.
Friendlies are always difficult to predict, but Brazil’s squad looks stronger than England’s and that could, therefore, result in an away win.