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England v Brazil: Scolari to mark second debut with a win

| 06.02.2013

England are likely to send out a strong side for their friendly with Brazil as Roy Hodgson bids to fine tune his tactics ahead of the crucial World Cup qualifiers to come, though neither this, nor home advantage, have done enough to ensure that the Three Lions start the game with the team ranked 18th in the world as favourites.

Luiz Feilipe Scolari is expected to ring in his second stint at the Selecao helm with a win at Wembley, or so the Brazilians’ 7/5 dictates. The hosts are on offer at 2/1, while 9/4 says the two nations will not be separated.

With England still acclimatising to life under Hodgson, Brazil have been blazing the trail with 14 wins in 17 games and, with mercurial talent Neymar in attack, it’s not difficult to see why the visitors are fancied here.

The highly-sought after Santos star is a 5/1 shot to open the scoring under the Wembley arch and, after toasting his last five caps with an impressive eight goals, this must be worth a punt.

There’s also the returning Ronaldinho to consider. He played a key role in Brazil’s 2002 World Cup win, scoring the decisive goal in the quarter-final against England. One of Big Phil’s first acts of reign number two was to get the former Balon D’Or recipient back involved with his country and he’s available at 8’s to break the deadlock.

In terms of England’s hopes to score first, Theo Walcott could prove an interesting selection at 9/1. Having impressed through the middle at club level, there’s a chance he could be handed a similar role for the Three Lions after voicing his desires to be used in a central role at international level too.

Of England and Brazil’s last 16 renewals, there have been 14 clashes that have yielded fewer than 2.5 goals and, with Hodgson’s prerogative being to keep things tight at the back first and foremost, there’s every chance that we’re in for a continuation of that trend here. This is available to back at 4/5, though when combining fewer than 2.5 goals with a Brazil win the odds increase to a very tempting 4/1.

All odds and markets accurate as of publication’s time and date



James Middleton