England - Brazil Preview: Ashley Cole set for 100th cap against World Cup 2014 hosts
The Three Lions are looking to celebrate the Football Association's 150th birthday with a win while visiting boss Luiz Felipe Scolari has a wealth of attacking options to call on
By Tom J Doyle
Johnson, Cahill, Jagielka, Cole
Walcott, Cleverley, Milner
Alves, Miranda, Dante, Adriano
Lucas Moura, Oscar, Ronaldinho
Forwards Jermain Defoe (ankle) and Daniel Sturridge (thigh) are out of contention for England, with Theo Walcott or Danny Welbeck likely to push for a place alongside Wayne Rooney in attack.
Michael Carrick (hip) has also been ruled out of the squad, meaning Jack Wilshere may make his long-awaited return to the starting XI after featuring as a substitute against Sweden in November.
Ashley Cole is in line to receive his 100th international cap if he is selected ahead of the in-form Leighton Baines, while Gareth Barry misses out despite his fine performances for Manchester City.
Real Madrid forward Kaka has missed the cut for Brazil, but Luis Fabiano and Ronaldinho have both been included by Luiz Felipe Scolari, as well as QPR goalkeeper Julio Cesar.
Chelsea defender David Luiz is set to miss out on the game as he is suffering from a calf strain.
|DID YOU KNOW?|
- England have won only three of their 23 games with Brazil, losing 11 and drawing nine.
- The Three Lions' winless run against the Selecao stretches back eight games - the last win came under Bobby Robson in 1990.
- England won that game 1-0 courtesy of a goal from Gary Lineker.
- Despite the poor run against Scolari's side, Brazil have only won two of their past 10 games at Wembley.
- England have scored in all but one of their 31 games at the new Wembley.
- Of their last 18 games, Brazil have won 15 and lost just twice.
- The last tie between the sides saw Brazil run out 1-0 winners in Doha in 2009.
- Neymar (pictured, right) will be the visitors' main threat with eight goals in his last six international appearances.
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Top 3 Predictions
England 1-3 Brazil
- 15.68 %
England 1-2 Brazil
- 14.63 %
England 2-1 Brazil
- 10.38 %
|International Friendlies (FR)||2 Jun 2013||Brazil 2 - England 2|
|International Friendlies (FR)||6 Feb 2013||England 2 - Brazil 1|
|International Friendlies (FR)||14 Nov 2009||Brazil 1 - England 0|
|5 Mar 2014||England 1 - Denmark 0||FR|
|19 Nov 2013||England 0 - Germany 1||FR|
|15 Nov 2013||England 0 - Chile 2||FR|
|15 Oct 2013||England 2 - Poland 0||WCQE|
|11 Oct 2013||England 4 - Montenegro 1||WCQE|
The influential Arsenal midfielder has struggled over the past two years with ankle injuries but, after featuring against Sweden in the 4-2 November defeat, the 21-year-old is set to make a long-awaited start for Roy Hodgson side. Despite the talents of Tom Cleverley and Michael Carrick, Wilshere offers a slick dynamism that England have lacked too often and his return to the team - especially against such a talented side as Brazil - will give England fans a good indication of how he could shape the side for challenges ahead.
Despite being earmarked for a big-money move to Europe in the last two transfer windows, the prodigiously-gifted Santos forward has elected to stay in Brazil to continue his development - and it is reaping dividends. He scored 43 in 47 appearances last season, has five goals in five league games this year and will prove a handful for England's back line. The 20-year-old is that rare blend of player that marries skill with end product, and should provide great entertainment at Wembley, having already shone on these shores during the Olympic Games.
Judging the score of a friendly is usually a fraught business, as the scoreline is often not the main motivation for either manager. While on paper Brazil should collect the victory, second-half substitutions will likely disrupt the flow of the game. Expect Roy Hodgson to keep his side disciplined and composed on the ball, and if there is no lead beyond the hour, it is likely the game will end as a draw.
Live Final scheduled Suspended Cancelled Postponed