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International friendly preview: Brazil v Australia

A stern test awaits Holger Osieck's men when they go up against the Selecao, with Australia set to learn where they stand ahead of the FIFA World Cup next year

  PROBABLE LINEUPS
AUSTRALIA

Schwarzer
Wilkshire, Ognenovski, Neill, McKay

Jedinak, Milligan,
Oar, Holman
, Kruse
Kennedy
BRAZIL

Julio Cesar
Maicon, Thiago Silva, Dante, Marcelo
Paulinho, Luis Gustavo,
Oscar
Neymar, Alexandre Pato, Lucas Moura

Brazil have been weakened by injuries but their depth should still mean they are good enough to overcome Australia on Saturday.

Full-back Dani Alves (knee) and striker Hulk (thigh) have been ruled out of the clash through injury, while the Socceroos are missing star forward Tim Cahill (ankle).

The Socceroos have friendlies against Brazil and France as their next two clashes in what is the start of a testing build-up to the 2014 World Cup.

Australia coach Holger Osieck will learn plenty about where his team sits and has named close to a full-strength squad for the encounter in Brasilia.

The Socceroos defence will be tested by a star-studded Brazil side, which includes Neymar, Oscar, Lucas Moura and Ramires.

Confederations Cup winners Brazil are also preparing for a friendly against Portugal and may start with a more experimental line-up against Australia.

But, even then, they are a formidable outfit under Luiz Felipe Scolari and should be considered among the favourites to lift the World Cup in front of their home fans.

Osieck is likely to start his preferred back four of Luke Wilkshire, Lucas Neill, Sasa Ognenovski and Matt McKay.

Under the German, the Socceroos have shown they are capable of sitting back and getting results, highlighted by their 1-1 draw away to Japan in a World Cup qualifier in June.

With Cahill injured, Josh Kennedy is likely to get a start up front, while Central Coast striker Mitchell Duke, who impressed at the East Asian Cup, may get an opportunity off the bench.

But expect Brazil's flexible midfield to control the contest and they should provide more than enough opportunities for their attackers.

Scolari's men have only lost twice this year – including a 1-0 defeat against Switzerland last time out – as they prepare for the World Cup.

In Barcelona attacker Neymar they have one of the world's best players, while Chelsea duo Oscar and Ramires and Tottenham's Paulinho should control the centre of the park.

Alves' absence means Maicon may start at right-back with David Luiz and Thiago Silva to patrol the back four.

Even if some of their bigger names are rested with an eye on the Portugal clash, Brazil are likely to send Australia a warning about what to expect from a top side at the World Cup.

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