• Date: Wednesday, 6th February
  • Venue: Wembley Stadium
  • K/o: 19:30

Team News

England manager Roy Hodgson will be without a trio of players ahead of tonight’s international friendly against 5 time World Cup Winners Brazil.

Manchester United midfielder Michael Carrick (hip), Tottenham’s Jermain Defoe (ankle) and Liverpool’s Daniel Sturridge (thigh) have dropped out, and Hodgson has opted not to call up any replacements.

Chelsea left-back Ashley Cole will start in defence, gaining his 100th England cap in doing so, becoming only one of seven internationals to achieve such a feat for the Three Lions.

Brazil have included former Barcelona and AC Milan midfielder Ronaldinho in their 23-man squad tonight. Julio Cesar will likely start in goal following his impressive performances for Queens Park Rangers recently, while Luiz Felipe Scolari’s team boats three current Chelsea players in the form of David Luiz, Ramires and Oscar.

Luis has been announced as the club’s captain and it is hoped he will overcome a calf complaint in time to play.

Prodigious Santos striker Neymar is likely to spearhead the attack alongside Zenit St. Petersburg’s Hulk.

Match Preview

Five-time FIFA World Cup winners Brazil will kick-off The Football Association’s 150th anniversary year when they visit Wembley Stadium tonight, a warm up for Roy Hodgson’s men ahead of next month’s World Cup Qualifiers against San Marino and Montenegro.

Chelsea left-back Ashley Cole will definitely start tonight, according to the England manager, who has been shorn of attacking options following the late omissions of Daniel Sturridge and Jermain Defoe through injury.

Wayne Rooney is likely to get the nod up front tonight alongside fellow Manchester United teammate Danny Welbeck, though Arsenal’s Theo Walcott is also being considered as an attacking option.

This will be the 24th meeting between the pair, and it has usually been a one-sided encounter. Of the 23 meetings so far, Brazil have prevailed in 11 of them, compared to England’s 3 wins and 9 draws. Brazil have also outscored England since their first encounter in 1956, scoring 31 to England’s 19 strikes.

That, coupled with the fact that Brazil are the most successful team in World Cup history, will make this one as stern a test as any for England.

It will hardly be made any easier with the inclusion of Santos striker Neymar, who last year banged in 43 goals in 47 appearances and has already scored five in five appearances in 2013, too.

The word “prodigious” was tailor-made for players such as this.

This encounter could serve as a barometer as to where England stand in terms of facing world class opposition, and may provide us with some indication as to their chances at the 2014 World Cup, hosted by tonight’s visitors.

Likely Line-Ups

Hart, Cole, Cahill, Jagielka, Johnson, Lennon, Lampard, Gerrard, Walcott, Rooney, Welbeck

Cesar, Alves, Luiz, Miranda, Adriano, Oscar, Ramires, Ronaldinho, Moura, Neymar, Hulk

Source: Sky Sports

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