England vs Brazil – Tuesday, November 14, 20:00 GMT /21:00 CET – Wembley Stadium, London.
With both sides expected to rotate there will be a number of opportunities for players to impress their national side coaches. Hosts England come into this fixture off the back of a draw with World Champions, Germany, whilst their South American visitors arrive in London after dispatching Japan in France on Friday afternoon.
Gareth Southgate will have expected a stronger squad of players for the November international friendlies, but withdrawals from some of his senior representatives have presented a number of fringe and U21 individuals the chance to stake a claim for a slot in Russia next June. Friday’s game against Germany saw several young players impress – most notably Ruben Loftus-Cheek and Tammy Abraham.
Although it is envisaged that England will now rest those involved at the weekend, they will welcome more youth players to the party. Liverpool striker Dominic Solanke and Bournemouth midfielder Lewis Cook have been drafted into the squad for Tuesday’s friendly against Brazil. Southgate has made his way into the England head coaching role after impressing as the U21 boss – he now looks to be trying to imprint a style of play that will ensure a talented crop of youth players can seamlessly make the transition into the senior setup. With Brazil hotly tipped for success in Russia this summer, Southgate’s young Lions will once again face an international powerhouse – two in the space of a week will separate the wheat from the chaff.
Tite brings his Brazilian side to London off the back of a comfortable win against Japan on Friday. The game was played out to a modest 16’000 crowd – those that attended the game in Lille saw PSG’s world record transfer, Neymar, open the scoring after just 10 minutes. The fixture as a contest was sewn up on 36 minutes as Gabriel Jesus added a third goal after Marcelo’s stunning strike had doubled the Canarinho lead on 17 minutes.
Brazil had little challenge on their way to qualification for Russia, their only defeat came way back in 2015 – a two-goal loss to the Copa America champions Chile. Since that defeat it has been plain sailing for the five-time World Cup winners, eventually winning their group by 10 points and finishing with a goal difference of +30. The South Americans will quite rightly fancy their chances of success at Wembley on Tuesday night, and if they manage to overcome a young England side it will be the first yellow and blue victory at Wembley for 22 years. Tite is expected to give Liverpool’s Phillipe Coutinho a start on Tuesday night, the 25-year-old was an unused substitute for the game against Japan but is predicted to start of the right of Brazil’s midfield four, replacing fellow Premier League player Willian.
England vs Brazil – Players to look out for:
Joe Hart #25 – England (West Ham United)
With all the talk of England’s new-look youthful line-up, it may come as a surprise that the 30-year-old has been chosen as the one to watch. However, with Jordan Pickford impressing on his full debut against Germany, many will now be watching Hart see what his response is. Tuesday will be the goalkeeper’s 75th cap, but his time with the national side has been littered with mistakes. Shipped out by Pep Guardiola – identified as surplus to Manchester City requirements, he tried to rebuild his game in Italy with Serie A minnows Torino. Once again though it was errors in his game which brought the headlines for Hart. Now back in England with West Ham he will be acutely aware of the threat to his position Pickford now brings. A less than perfect display against Brazil could see the balance of power shift to the goalkeeper who already owns the ‘number one’ squad number.
Gabriel Jesus #33 – Brazil (Manchester City)
The 20-year-old has been a revelation for club side Manchester City since his arrival in England back in January of 2017. A scintillating start was cut short by a metatarsal injury which saw him miss March and April of last season. Notwithstanding this absence, the native of São Paulo has 16 goals and six assists in only 27 games – a remarkable return for a player of such tender years. His run of good form isn’t restricted to just his club side, for Brazil the striker has yielded eight goals in the 12 games he has featured in since his September of 2016 debut. A return such as this and you would think he has already earned his place in Russia for next year’s World Cup – however, Jesus himself is a little more reserved “When they say that I already have a guaranteed place to be called to the World Cup, I think it is a bit too hasty because this is the Brazilian team. I don’t see it this way” – England should be wary as this fixture could present the red-hot striker the platform he desires to once again impress for the national side.
England vs Brazil – Match Stats
- This is the first time in four years that the two sides have met
- England’s record against Brazil is P25 W4, D10, L11
- The last time Brazil beat England at Wembley was 1995 – 1:3 in the Umbro Cup
- Seven of Brazil’s squad currently play for an English Premier League club
Futbolgrad Network Prediction: England vs Brazil – 1:1
England vs Brazil – Possible Lineups
Hart; Cahill, Stones, Keane; Bertrand, Cork, Dier, Walker; Rashford, Vardy, Lingard
Coach: Gareth Southgate
Alisson; Alves, Marquinhos, Miranda, Marcelo; Casemiro; Paulinho, Augusto, Coutinho, Neymar; Jesus
Chris Williams is a freelance European football journalist. Covering the Bundesliga, Premier League and both of UEFA’s European club competitions. Published in both local and international publications, he also contributes to television and radio across the globe. A member of the UK’s Sports Journalist Association and the International Sports Press Association (AIPS) he lives and breathes football. Follow Chris Williams on Twitter @Chris78Williams