Five-time World Cup winners Brazil are in the midst of a blistering run of form and are looking to inflict England’s first defeat on home soil since March last year. Tite’s side are competing against a European nation for the first time since March 2015 and are looking to build up a head of steam prior to next summer’s World Cup – where they have already been placed as favourites by some bookmakers.
Now ranked second in the world according to FIFA, Brazil flew through the CONMEBOL qualifying group, embarking on a 17-match unbeaten run after losing their opening fixture to Chile.
England, meanwhile, are aiming to build on an underwhelming display against Germany last Friday, in which they held the reigning World Champions to a goalless draw.
In the absence of a host of regular starters, Gareth Southgate handed chances to a number of inexperienced squad members last time out such as starts for Ruben Loftus-Cheek, Harry Maguire and Tammy Abraham as well as substitute appearances for Jack Cork and Joe Gomez.
The manager has been forced to dip into the U21 squad for players this week after losing more initial squad members to injury; goalkeeper Angus Gunn, Dominic Solanke and Lewis Cook have all been given their first senior call-ups.
Recent Form (Last Five)
England have lost just once in their last eight games as they soared to World Cup qualification with relative ease. A 0-0 draw with Germany came after four consecutive qualifying victories as The Three Lions claimed home wins Slovakia and Slovenia in between away wins in Lithuania and Malta. England have looked relatively unimpressive in their wins and a test against Brazil is what they need in preparation for next summers World Cup as they get used to a higher calibre of opposition.
Brazil have won three of their last five whilst remaining undefeated in those games. Two frustrating defeats to Colombia and Bolivia came in between qualifying victories against Ecuador and Chile. A 3-1 friendly victory over Japan on Friday means Brazil have lost just once in their last 16 games.
After his man of the match debut, it is likely that Ruben Loftus-Cheek will keep his place in the side. Phil Jones is unlikely to be risked after suffering a thigh injury against Germany, with Gary Cahill expected to return as a result, or maybe a start for Everton’s Michael Keane. Jordan Pickford made key saves against Germany and is likely to start ahead of Joe Hart once again.
Kyle Walker and Ryan Bertrand could replace Kieran Trippier an Danny Rose in the full back roles if Southgate fancies a reshuffle. Recently recalled Dominic Solanke could also see some game time, but that is likely to come off the bench as Manchester United’s Marcus Rashford looks the likely replacement for Tammy Abraham.
Premier League stars Ederson, Philippe Coutinho and Roberto Firmino are all set to start for Brazil as they were all unused substitutes in the 3-1 win over Japan on Friday. Paulinho, Miranda and Marquinhos are also set to come in after not being involved on Friday. Star players Neymar Jr, Gabriel Jesus and Marcelo will presumably keep their places even if Tite chooses to reshuffle his team. Jemerson, Giuliano and Willian look to be the players expected to miss out on a start at Wembley.
Score Prediction: England 0-2 Brazil