Brazil-France Preview: Confederations Cup hosts continue preparations against stuttering Bleus
Didier Deschamps takes his youthful side to Porto Alegre to face the Selecao, against whom they possess a solid record
By Mohammed Ali
Alves, Thiago Silva, David Luiz, Marcelo
Neymar, Oscar, Moura
Debuchy, Rami, Sakho, Mathieu
Cabaye, Guilavogui, Matuidi
Valbuena, Benzema, Payet
Brazil are without Leandro Damiao for the visit of France to Porto Alegre, as well as the Confederations Cup, after the Internacional striker limped out of training on Thursday.
Replacing Damiao in the squad is Atletico Minieiro's Jo, formerly of Manchester City, with the forward called up to the Selecao for the first time since the Olympic Games in Beijing in 2008.
Otherwise, coach Luiz Felipe Scolari is to field largely the same XI that grabbed a 2-2 draw against England in Rio de Janeiro last weekend, though Marcelo is expected to displace Filipe Luis in defence.
France coach Didier Deschamps is set to overhaul his stuttering side, with only Blaise Matuidi, Dimitri Payet and Mathieu Valbuena likely to remain from Wednesday's 1-0 defeat to Uruguay in Montevideo.
Joshua Guilavogui of Saint-Etienne is in line for a first international start after making his bow earlier this week, with Hugo Lloris to return ahead of Steve Mandanda.
|DID YOU KNOW?|
- Brazil have won just one of their last six games under Luiz Felipe Scolari (pictured, right), following their 2-2 draw against England in the newly refurbished Maracana last weekend.
- The five-time world champions and reigning Confederations Cup holders begin the defence of their title against Japan next Saturday.
- The Selecao have won just one of their last seven games against France, and have failed to score in the last three encounters.
- Didier Deschamps' men are searching for a first win in South America since 2001 following their 1-0 defeat to Uruguay in Montevideo on Wednesday.
- Les Bleus have won five and drawn two of their nine encounters against Brazil, including the 1998 World Cup final and the 2006 quarter-final.
- France have lost their last two games in a row, and have just one win in four games in 2013.
- The two sides last met in an international friendly in Saint-Denis in 2011, France prevailing 1-0 against their South American opponents thanks to Karim Benzema's winner.
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Top 3 Predictions
Brazil 2-1 France
- 21.04 %
Brazil 1-2 France
- 10.11 %
Brazil 3-1 France
- 9.16 %
|International Friendlies (FR)||9 Jun 2013||Brazil 3 - France 0|
|International Friendlies (FR)||9 Feb 2011||France 1 - Brazil 0|
|World Cup 2006 (WC)||1 Jul 2006||Brazil 0 - France 1|
|20 Nov 2013||Brazil 2 - Chile 1||FR|
|17 Nov 2013||Honduras 0 - Brazil 5||FR|
|15 Oct 2013||Brazil 2 - Zambia 0||FR|
|12 Oct 2013||South Korea 0 - Brazil 2||FR|
|11 Sep 2013||Brazil 3 - Portugal 1||FR|
The new Barcelona signing is obviously one of the biggest attractions in the glamour friendly against France this weekend, as Brazil aim to continue their preparations for next week's Confederations Cup, one tournament the former Santos star is expected to shine at. Neymar will take note of how France's defence crumbled when Luis Suarez was introduced on Wednesday, and the combination of speed and trickery may yet undo les Bleus once more.
The PSG midfielder captained France in midweek, but couldn't replicate the form which has seen him elevate to one of the most important players for club and country. Faced with his club captain Thiago Silva this weekend, the former Saint-Etienne midfielder will prove a tough opponent in the middle of the park.
France's recent form, coupled with the lack of star names in Didier Deschamps' current squad due to injuries suggest that they will have much work to do if they are to maintain their fine recent form against the Brazilians. Scolari's side appeared unplayable at times against England last week, and whilst they are favourites, their defensive frailties may yet be exposed once more.
Times In BST
Live Final scheduled Suspended Cancelled Postponed