Jack Lang is expecting the in-form Seleção to triumph at Wembley on Tuesday night...
"The Seleção have won 13 of their 16 matches since Tite took over, the only loss coming when only domestic-based players were used in a game against Argentina"
England v Brazil
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Test for Southgate's pick-and-mix side
A 0-0 draw in a friendly is hardly a result to set the pulse racing, but there were some green shoots for England against Germany. Forced to switch things up with half of his squad absent with chronic cynicism, Gareth Southgate handed game time to Tammy Abraham, Ruben Loftus-Cheek and Joe Gomez, and must have been fairly pleased with what he saw.
Against Brazil on Tuesday, the Three Lions could be even more patched up. Phil Jones has left the squad - an actual injury, that one - and there will be a temptation to test some of those who did not start on Friday night. There are those who will argue that such experimentation is misguided with the World Cup fast approaching, but the truth is that Southgate has not been left with much choice.
Seleção at full strength
Having booked their place at the World Cup back in March, Brazil are putting great stock in a series of friendlies that they hope will prepare them for campaign next summer. After a shaky start, the Seleção were rarely tested in a poor South American qualifying group, meaning that games against England, Russia and Germany will be useful yardsticks - and that there will be some disappointment that their hosts on Tuesday are not at full strength.
Brazil warmed up for this game with a straightforward win over Japan in Lille, easing off after scoring three times in the first half. Coach Tite tested a couple of variations in that one - Danilo impressed at right-back; Fernandinho and Giuliano had run-outs in midfield - but should name his strongest side at Wembley, with Daniel Alves, Miranda, Paulinho and Renato Augusto returning. Philippe Coutinho has been passed fit to play but may not displace Willian.
The state of the England squad has pushed the odds on the home win out to [4.6], with the draw at [3.8]. That seems fair: the Three Lions are without most of their best attacking players and are facing a side who have come on leaps and bounds since Tite took the reins in mid-2016. The Seleção have won 13 of their 16 matches since, the only loss coming when only domestic-based players were used in a game against Argentina.
Brazil will be taking this seriously and while a price of [1.88] is perhaps not the most tempting, the away victory looks the most likely outcome.
Brazil have been among the goals since Tite's arrival, scoring at a rate of almost 2.5 per game under Tite. But their defensive frugality (five conceded in 16) is a factor against backing the overs at [1.7], as are the absences of Harry Kane, Raheem Sterling and the rest. England's best bet will probably be keeping Neymar and co quiet for as long as possible, so if anything the unders might be the way to go.
Paulinho a reliable goal threat
Neymar's record of 53 goals in 82 Brazil games suggests that there could be value in backing him at around [2.3] to net anytime. But the man to side with at a price of 7/2 on the Sportsbook is Paulinho. He will be raring to go after being rested against Japan, has a point to prove in England and has netted six times since Tite's arrival, benefitting from the freedom to make late runs into the box.