Brazil v England: A goal but no glory for Three Lions

2Jun 2013



Michael Lintorn expects Brazil to avenge their Wembley defeat despite a dismal start to 2013...


Brazil v England, Sunday 19:00, ITV, Match Odds: Brazil 1.63, England 6.0, The Draw 4.4


After a dollop of Thursday night drama to shift attention from England's apparent tactical ineptitude to Brazil's supposed organisational shortcomings, Sunday's  glamour friendly seems almost certain to go ahead.


Despite the usual hysterical reaction to an underwhelming friendly result, a degree of optimism accompanies England to the Maracana due to the growing belief that this  Brazil team are nothing special, a view enhanced by February's 2-1 victory over them.


They've won once in seven games - Luiz Felipe Scolari's return failing to prompt an instant upturn - flopped at the World Cup and Copa America and took Olympic silver  when tipped for gold. Neymar is their only attacking player rated world class at present, and even that view is contested in Europe.


On the flip side, they are unusually stacked in defence with Thiago Silva, David Luiz and Dante fresh from fine seasons and Marcelo and Dani Alves both full backs in  the adventurous Brazilian tradition.


The friendly marathon tries any upcoming tournament host's powers of motivation and focus. However, the fresh incentive of the Confederations Cup plus Scolari's  decision to pick ten players based in Brazil, where the domestic championship has just started, in his 23-man squad should prove beneficial.


It is also a novelty for Brazil to play at home, with this the second time since September 19 (during which period they've competed ten times) that they perform in the  country where next summer's World Cup will be hosted.


Brazil haven't lost in front of their expectant public since a 0-1 reverse against Paraguay in August 2002. Factor in that England are iffy travellers, their only wins  in five outright away matches since Euro 2012 coming against Moldova and San Marino, and the ingredients exist for a momentum-building Brazilian triumph.


Both teams to score


England's three clean sheets in their 10 fixtures since August arrived against Moldova and San Marino (twice) but they fired no blanks in that sequence. Brazil's  patterns are similar: they've netted past their last seven opponents yet all bar Bolivia struck back.


Half Time/Full Time


Strip away the San Marino strolls and Roy Hodgson's side have scored just one second-half goal in five games, so it is extremely unlikely that they will offer a  response if Brazil lead before the interval. Daniel Sturridge's unavailability and question marks over Danny Welbeck and Jermain Defoe's fitness add to the impression  that England must start well to stand a chance.


Best Bet: Back both teams to score @ 1.84

Other Recommended Bet: Back Brazil to lead at half time and full time @ 2.42



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Keywords: Brazil, England, Three Lions

Source: Betfair

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