It is international week once again, with England's hosting of South American giants Brazil leading the bill on Wednesday in Europe
|By PAUL GOUGH
The early money is evenly split between England and Brazil ahead of their much-anticipated friendly at Wembley on Wednesday - the stand-out fixture amongst a host of internationals being played across the globe this week.
Brazil are the early $2.42 favourites for the match at Betfair and shorter at sportsbet.com.au at $2.25, with England priced at $3.25 with Betfair and $3.10 at sportsbet.com.au, while the draw is paying $3.40 across the board.
However, despite England losing key pair in Tottenham striker Jermain Defoe and Manchester United midfielder Michael Carrick to ankle injuries in the English Premier League on the weekend, the Three Lions are being well backed to take it up to the five-time world champions and hosts of the 2014 World Cup.
Betfair's Daniel Bevan said the early money on the match is just in favour of England although the bulk of money - nearly half of that wagered so far - is on the draw.
England could also be without another key striker in Liverpool's Daniel Sturridge due to a thigh injury, but at least United star Wayne Rooney is available again and back in form since returning from his own recent injury problems for the current EPL leaders.
But England are still a risky betting proposition in this one against a Brazilian squad featuring their European-based stars such as Barcelona pair Daniel Alves and Adriano and Chelsea trio David Luiz, Ramires and Oscar, and with all players desperate to make a good impression in Luiz Felipe Scolari's first game back in charge of the national team since his last stint [which included the 2002 World Cup triumph] 11 years ago.
England's only win in their past four matches was a victory over minnows San Marino, while one has to go all the way back to 1990 for their last win against Brazil.
But despite England's injury woes, Brazil will struggle to beat The Three Lions at home, although a draw does look the most likely result, with a 2-2 draw paying the attractive early odds of $17 at Betfair.
|The Netherlands to win v Italy at $2.18 at Betfair
||England to draw 2-2 with Brazil at $17 at Betfair|
South America's other big guns Argentina and Uruguay are also in friendly action in Europe on Wednesday, against Sweden and reigning World and European champions Spain respectively.
But while Argentina, which will have their European based stars such as Barcelona's mega star Lionel Messi in their line-up, are the $2.30 favourites at Betfair to win away against Sweden at $3.10, Uruguay are unfancied at $6.20 to win away against the world's dominant team these days in Spain at $1.66.
And the Netherlands and Italy - each already well on their way to qualifying for Brazil 2014 - meet in Amsterdam.
The Oranje - having won all four games so far in World Cup qualifying and held Germany to a 0-0 draw in their most recent friendly - are deserved favourites at $2.18 at Betfair against an Azzuri side [$3.65] whose last match was that 2-1 loss to France in mid-November
* Note prices subject to change