Brazil vs England
14th November, 2009
Khalifa International Stadium, Doha, Qatar
Kick-Off: 17:00 GMT
The Khalifa International Stadium in Qatar will play host to an international friendly England vs Brazil football match on Saturday.
The friendly will serve as fine tuning for Fabio Capello’s England team as they await the World Cup 2010 Finals in South Africa next summer.
England were extremely dominant in qualifying for the finals after crushing the rest of Group Six. Capello’s men cruised through the field and won nine of the 10 matches against what must be considered a strong group, including Ukraine and Croatia.
Saturday’s Brazil vs England match will serve as an opportunity for Capello to assess certain aspects of his team that are still not set in stone. One area in particular that will fall under focus for the Italian manager is his striker situation.
Wayne Rooney and Emile Heskey have been the preferred partnership up front through qualifying. But with Heskey injured for this match, quality performances by Jermain Defoe and Peter Crouch of recent have made for a heated battle for who will partner Wayne Rooney in attack ahead of the World Cup Finals next summer.
Furthermore, with Darren Bent in fine form in the English Premier League, this England v Brazil match may give one of these strikers a real chance to put forward their case to manager Fabio Capello for World Cup 2010.
Brazil were equally as dominant in their road to qualifying for the World Cup in South America prior to this Brazil vs England football friendly.
Dunga’s men finished top of the table in the 10 nation qualifying set-up in South America and lost only two of their 18 qualifying matches. The 33-11 goal difference posted by Brazil in qualifying speaks volumes for how the nation disposed of its opposition.
With the tradition and players available to Dunga, Brazil will once again be heavily favoured to contend for the title in South Africa.
Saturday’s Brazil-England match will be a good opportunity for Dunga to face up against one of the most dominant European sides, something that his side has not had too much practice with leading up to the 2010 World Cup.
The pace and style will be completely different than in South America, and while Dunga will be carrying a squad short of a few stars, Kaká, Luis Fabiano, and Maicon, are all expected to feature.
The last Brazil vs England meeting came in 2007, in a friendly at Wembley Stadium which was the first international match to be played at the newly rebuilt stadium.
The match ended 1-1 with a 68th minute goal by captain John Terry cancelled out with an injury time equaliser by Diego.
Prior to this, England - Brazil met in the 2002 FIFA World Cup Quarter-Finals, with the Brazilians 2-1 victors thanks to a goals from Rivaldo and Ronaldinho, after an opener by Michael Owen.
As far as friendly matches go, this is about as good as it gets. Despite the venue, the football should be free flowing and there may very well be a fair share of goals.
Brazil vs England Prediction : Brazil 2 - England 2