Brazil - South Africa Preview: Selecao continue World Cup preparations with first full international at home in a year
Mano Menezes will get a taste of what it will be like when they host international football's greatest tournament in two years' time as they welcome the Bafana Bafana to Sao Paulo
By Tom Webber
Alves, Thiago Silva, Luiz, Marcelo
Lucas, Oscar, Neymar
Gaxa, Khumalo, Fransman, Tshabalala
Mahlangu, Dikagcoi, Letsholonyane, Serero
Brazil will play their first full international in front of their home fans for the first time in over a year when they host South Africa at the Morumbi.
Mano Menezes could make a few changes from his regular side that suffered Olympic heartbreak last month by affording Lucas Moura, Ramires and Paulinho starting berths after the trio trained together in an eight-a-side game. Dede was also paired alongside David Luiz for the drill but he may not oust Paris Saint-Germain's Thiago Silva from the back line.
Daniel Alves could start at right-back despite undergoing some less intense training alongside midfielder Sandro but should he not be fit enough for the Selecao boss then his Barcelona team-mate Adriano could be another option.
Gordon Igesund has seen his squad ravaged by injury in the build-up to Friday's game with both Siyabonga Nomvete and his replacement Edward Manqele forced to withdraw from the squad. Their absences however have enabled Benni McCarthy to return to the South Africa set-up and possibly win his 80th cap.
Steven Pienaar has also been ruled out with George Maluleka coming in in his stead while Siboniso Gaxa has also flown out to Brazil to replace Anele Ngcongca.
|DID YOU KNOW?|
- Brazil's last game in front of their own fans, excluding the Superclasico de las Americas game against Argentina which was not recognised by Fifa, came on June 7, 2011, with a 1-0 win over Romania.
- Lucas Moura and Oscar will be no strangers to the atmosphere at the Morumbi as they are both products of the Sao Paulo youth academy.
- Carlos Alberto Parreira led the Samba Boys to World Cup glory in 1994 but was unable to do the same whilst in charge of South Africa when they hosted the competition two years ago.
- The last time these two teams met Brazil emerged victorious with a late Dani Alves strike knocking the Bafana out in the semi-final of the 2009 Confederations Cup.
- The fixture represents a tough challenge for Gordon Igesund in his first game as South Africa coach.
- Kgosi Ntlhe could make his debut at just four months elder than the youngest ever Bafana international, Aaron Mokoena, who first appeared in 1999 aged 18 years, two months and 26 days.
- This friendly will be the first time that the Bafana have faced Brazil outside of their own territory, but they have yet to win in three attempts against the Canarinho.
- Benni McCarthy will win his 80th cap should he be handed a role by Igesund. The former Porto and Blackburn Rovers striker's last appearance came over two years ago in the 2-1 win over Colombia in May 2010.
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Top 3 Predictions
Brazil 3-0 South Africa
- 21.76 %
Brazil 4-0 South Africa
- 9.38 %
Brazil 3-1 South Africa
- 9.18 %
|International Friendlies (FR)||7 Sep 2012||Brazil 1 - South Africa 0|
|World - FIFA Confederations Cup (FCC)||25 Jun 2009||Brazil 1 - South Africa 0|
|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|
|16||Itumeleng Isaac Khune||Goalkeeper|
|-||Siboniso Pa Gaxa|
|8||Lawrence Siphiwe Tshabalala||Midfielder|
|17||Bernard Melvin Parker||Striker|
The Internacional striker has been in sublime form in recent months following his six-goal haul at the Olympic Games. A European move yet again failed to materialise for Leandro Damiao this summer but he is being closely monitored by some of the continent's biggest clubs and for good reason. His back-to-goal play has improved greatly this year but it is his potency in the penalty area that make him a real threat. The South Africa defenders will need to watch him closely as it will not take many chances for him to find the back of the net on one of his better nights.
|Lawrence Siphiwe Tshabalala|
The 27-year-old is of course remembered for his stunning goal against Mexico in the opening game of World Cup 2010 and he could well play a key role against the Brazilians too. Tshabalala enjoys bombing down the left flank and if he can pluck up the courage to keep that up he could help expose some gaping holes in the Canarinho defence. It is a risky strategy as it could afford Dani Alves more room in the wide areas but if he can get the Barcelona man on the back foot than the Bafana Bafana could have a far more enjoyable evening.
Although there are some unfamiliar names in the Selecao squad for this match they should still have more than enough quality to see off a vastly inferior South Africa side. Brazil will likely use the defence that should be in place at World Cup 2014 whilst their attack boasts immense talent. The likes of Neymar, Oscar, Lucas Moura and Leandro Damiao could well prove too much for Gordon Igesund who would be lucky to leave the Morumbi with as little as a goal.
Times In GMT
Live Final scheduled Suspended Cancelled Postponed