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A possible World Cup final rehearsal?

Kick-off: Saturday, November 14, 2009 - 17:00 GMT
Khalifa International Stadium, Doha, Qatar

Despite the World Cup qualification process being complete for both nations, Brazil and England will not be entering this tie with friendly intentions.

While the Three Lions have been diplomatic in their press conferences, claiming it is an opportune moment to test themselves against world class opposition, the Brazil camp, meanwhile, has offered a mixture of opinions.

Lucas Leiva, the Liverpool midfielder maligned in England yet a threatening starter for Dunga's XI of late, stated that Fabio Capello has every chance of guiding England to what would be their second World Cup win.

Luis Fabiano, though, would scoff at such a claim. The Sevilla striker said earlier in the week that talent is a department in which England will be found lacking when they come against the Selecao.

The two nations share a mutual fondness for the sport, and have often collided. Brazil's first fixture is widely regarded to be against, of all sides, Exeter City, when players from Sao Paulo and Rio de Janiero joined forces to, according to mixed sources, either win by a 2-0 scoreline, or draw 3-3.

The old saying, "The English invented it, the Brazilians perfected it," perhaps rings true when one notes the countless successes the Verde e Amarelo have had over England. There have been 22 clashes; England have triumphed just thrice, while Brazil have won ten.

A golden era for both sides occurred in the 60s (they dominated the Jules Rimet between them that decade), with Brazil smashing five past England with only one response in 1964, when the English visited the Maracana for the first time to help celebrate the 50th anniversary of Brazil's football federation.

Drinks were put on ice, though, as England were still reeling from their humbling, and Brazil went on to lose the Taca des Nacoes to regional rivals Argentina.


Former champs | Romario with Dunga

Four years after England's route to lifting their only World Cup in 1966, one of football's most memorable images was snapped as Bobby Moore and Pele traded jerseys - the latter having already lifted two World Cups himself, adding a third in 1970.

FORM GUIDE

Brazil


Brazil 0-0 Venezuela
Bolivia 2-1 Brazil
Brazil 4-2 Chile
Argentina 1-3 Brazil
Estonia 0-1 Brazil

England

England 3-0 Belarus
Ukraine 1-0 England
England 5-1 Croatia
England 6-0 Andorra
Kazakhstan 0-4 England

TEAM NEWS

Brazil


Selecao coach Dunga elected to call-up a strong squad consisting largely of European-based players.

After Manchester City lost to a UAE side, Robinho made the short trip to Doha to join Brazil, but an ankle injury will likely see him limited to a bench role, at best.

Doni, Juan, Luisao and Ramires are all also injured, while Julio Baptista is unlikely to play.

Squad: Julio Cesar, Doni, Fabio Aurelio, Dani Alves, Michel Bastos, Naldo, Lucio, Maicon, Thiago Silva, Juan, Lucas, Kaka, Carlos Eduardo, Josue, Gilberto Silva, Felipe Melo, Julio Baptista, Fabio Simplicio, Alex, Elano, Robinho, Luis Fabiano, Nilmar, Hulk.

Last starting XI (vs. Venezuela): Julio Cesar, Maicon, Miranda, Luisao, Felipe, Gilberto, Lucas, Ramires, Kaka, Nilmar, Luis Fabiano.

England

Box-to-box midfielder Frank Lampard has withdrawn from the England camp, returning to Chelsea so that he can have his thigh injury assessed. Lampard is alleged to be out of action until the New Year.

Iconic midfielder David Beckham was prevented from linking up with his international team-mates due to commitments with LA Galaxy in the MLS play-offs.

Steven Gerrard, Rio Ferdinand, David James, Glen Johnson, Ashley Cole, Emile Heskey, John Terry, and Carlton Cole also dropped out.

Squad: Robert Green, Ben Foster, Joe Hart, John Terry, Wayne Bridge, Wes Brown, Matthew Upson, Joleon Lescott, Stephen Warnock, Gary Cahill, Gareth Barry, Shaun Wright-Phillips, Michael Carrick, Jermaine Jenas, Ashley Young, James Milner, Tom Huddlestone, Wayne Rooney, Jermain Defoe, Peter Crouch, Darren Bent.


Last starting XI (vs. Belarus): Foster, Johnson, Ferdinand, Terry, Bridge, Lennon, Lampard, Barry, Wright-Phillips, Crouch, Agbonlahor.

PLAYERS TO WATCH

Brazil


Sevilla hotshot Luis Fabiano is enjoying a hot streak of form in Spain, scoring ten goals from 13 appearances. The 29-year-old striker is just as productive in the colours of the Canarinho, and has already made public his opinion that the English are inferior opposition - perhaps an indication that he will be looking to add to his international tally…


Confederations Cup king | Fabiano wins a cuddle

England

There may be a plethora of England regulars sidelined, but golden boy Wayne Rooney - who will surely play a vital role in the summer should the Three Lions enjoy any success - will be eager to prove his worth against world class opposition. Usual partner Emile Heskey will likely be replaced with Tottenham Hotspur's beanpole targetman Peter Crouch.


Roo Beauty | 'Wazza' dazzled during qualification

PREDICTION

Fabio Capello almost masterminded a flawless qualification campaign, dropping only three points - against Ukraine. In a past friendly, against Spain, England showed they were still some way short of the highest-ranked countries, and with a far from full-strength side, they will find it tough getting a result against a sharp Brazil line-up.

Tactically, this game could be won via utilisation of the full-backs. Maicon could have a field-day against Wayne Bridge, while Glen Johnson's absence leaves Capello pondering whether to give steady performer Stephen Warnock a "baptism of fire" or to favour Wes Brown.

With the elevated positioning of the Brazilian full-backs, however, pacey winger Shaun Wright-Phillips has the option of running into space behind them - although the Man City star has endured criticism due to the standard of his delivery.

Brazil 3-1 England

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