Tuesday 14th November. 8PM. ITV
England end a testing but ultimately successful calendar year with another chance to test themselves against one of the world’s elite, and the home of football should be buzzing as it welcomes the most successful nation in World Cup history.
The result might not be overly important, although both sides will want to end 2017 on a high. However, a big performance will be desired in the final game before the draw for next summer’s tournament. It should be a fascinating encounter.
Transitional England Showing Signs Of Progress
Gareth Southgate’s hand may have been forced a little, even down to the point of handing Jordan Pickford a debut following Jack Butland’s injury, but the Three Lions boss can be very pleased with what he saw against Germany on Friday night. A similar performance on Tuesday would see the hosts end 2017 on a high.
England were far from faultless against the current World Cup holder, but they showed great spirit and discipline at the back while they could’ve scored a couple on another day too. Ruben Loftus-Cheek’s impressive debut will see fans hoping to see him retain a starting berth, although he may have to settle for the bench as some of the more regular faces.
Joe Hart, Gary Cahill, and Kyle Walker are just three names who could be set for returns while Marcus Rashford and Jesse Lingard could start as Southgate is expected to revert to 3-4-3. Whatever happens, though, this is another great opportunity for some of the lesser stars to test themselves against one of the favourites for next year’s World Cup.
After a year of disillusionment, a positive show could see England get the fans back on board in time for Russia. Then again, we’ve been in this cycle before.
Brazil Building For World Cup Challenge
While their barren spell on the biggest stage hasn’t been anywhere near as long s England, Brazil are under big pressure to win their first World Cup since 2002 next summer, which is why Tite will be eager to see his men perform at Wembley. And he certainly has the players at his disposal.
Where Germany arguably lacked a cutting edge in the final third, Brazil boast bags of quality. The talismanic Neymar notched his 53rd international goal in last week’s 3-1 win over Japan in France while Gabriel Jesus was on the scoresheet. With Philippe Coutinho in contention for a return to the starting XI too, England’s defence, which is likely to be without Phil Jones, will be in for a testing night.
Aside from the Samba style, this Brazil squad is blessed with the defensive talents of Casemiro to screen a strong defence. Even without David Luiz in this one, the Brazilians can hope to keep England’s chances to a minimum.
Brazil always head into tournaments with high expectations back home, but there is a real feeling that they have the tools needed to end Europe’s recent dominance next summer. This could be the perfect chance for them to fire yet another warning to their rivals.
England v Brazil Betting
The visitors enter Tuesday’s clash as the odds-on favourites at 3/4 with Ladbrokes while England are priced 16/5 to upset the Samba boys. Alternatively, punters who fancy the Three Lions to record second draw in five days can take odds of 13/5.
While England did impress against Germany, Friday’s opponents were guilty of missing a few chances. If Brazil create opportunities for their attackers, it seems likely that they will punish the hosts.
There’s no doubt that this Brazil side can score from various sources, but Neymar remains the main man. Having ended a mini drought for the Selecao last Friday, were backing him to get another goal at Wembley.
Despite the 0-0 at Wembley on Friday, there should be goals here. If Brazil hit top form, there’s every chance they can clear the 2.5 goal line on their own. Meanwhile, the hosts are also capable of chipping in too.
The last two head-to-head encounters have been BTTS winners with at least one side hitting two on each occasion. That would suggest there will be over 2.5 in this final international of the year, and that’s exactly where our money is going.