England goal

England v Brazil Match Preview

Gareth Southgate’s Three Lions come face to face with the Seleção for the first of two friendlies at Wembley.

The final international break of the 2023/24 football season is now in full swing, and over the course of the final few days of March, Gareth Southgate’s England are set to go toe to toe with two of the best international teams in the world at Wembley Brazil and Belgium.

Brazil are up first for the Three Lions, with England set to play against the Seleção first under the arch at Wembley Stadium on Saturday, 23rd March, in what will be a 19:00 kick-off in the evening. Belgium will then follow a few days later, on Tuesday, 26th March 2024. This second and final friendly will be kicking off at 19:45 on that Tuesday evening next week.

First up, though, of course, is Dorival Junior’s Brazil on Saturday night in the English Capital. Whilst this is a friendly that will see a number of players in Southgate’s squad given the chance to impress, it is still set to be an enthralling and competitive game with both sides full of world-class players looking for a morale and confidence boosting victory.

As of the time of writing, both England and Brazil occupy spots in the FIFA World Rankings. Starting with the visitors, the Seleção currently occupy 5th place with 1,784.09 points. The five-time World Cup Winners are two spots behind the Three Lions, who, with a total of no less than 1,800.05 points, sit as high as third in the current FIFA World Rankings.

The only national teams above England are France, in second place with 1,845.44 points, and 2023 FIFA World Cup winners Argentina, in first place with a total of 1,855.2 points.

The most recent international match played by England took place back on 20th November 2023, which was a 1 – 1 draw against North Macedonia in the tenth and final UEFA EURO 2024 Qualifier. This result followed a 2 – 0 win at Wembley in the game before that against Malta.

As for Brazil, they went head to head with South American rivals Argentina, where they lost 1 – 0 in a World Cup Qualifier at the iconic Maracanã on 22nd November 2023. This followed defeats away from home against Colombia (2 – 1) and Uruguay (2 – 0).

The first-ever international match between England and Brazil took place at Wembley on 9th May 1956 in what was a friendly game. On this occasion, it was a 4 – 2 victory for Walter Winterbottom’s Three Lions in front of a 97,000 strong crowd. The goals for the hosts came courtesy of Tommy Taylor (3’, 65’) and Colin Grainger (5’, 83’). The two goal scorers on the day played for Manchester United and Sheffield United, respectively, at that time.

Overall, these two national teams have met 26 times in friendlies and other competitions over the years, and it is the Seleção with the superior record of wins with 11 compared to the Three Lions’ 4. There have also been 11 draws played out over the years as of the time of writing.

The most recent clash between these two international football heavyweights took place back on 14th November 2017 at Wembley in what was a 0 – 0 draw in a friendly. The previous occasion before that was also a friendly, this time at the Maracanã on 2nd June 2013. It was a 2 – 2 draw between these two teams that day – it was Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain (67’) and Wayne Rooney (79’) who scored for Roy Hodgson’s Three Lions. The goal scorers for hosts Brazil that day were Fred (57’) and Paulinho (82’).

In terms of team news, we start with England, and they may be without Liverpool’s Trent Alexander-Arnold, Crystal Palace’s Marc Guehi, Manchester City’s Jack Grealish and Newcastle United’s Kieran Trippier due to injury concerns. Meanwhile, Bukayo Saka is not playing in any of the England friendlies after an injury, which has seen him return to Arsenal on Thursday.

There are minor concerns of an ankle injury to Harry Kane, so Ivan Toney and Ollie Watkins could get some minutes. There are also going to be potential senior England debuts for Newcastle United’s Anthony Gordon, Everton’s Jarrad Branthwaite and Aston Villa’s Ezri Konsa.

As for Brazil, they have been depleted by a number of injuries, and as such, they will be without big names such as Al Hilal’s Neymar, Arsenal’s Gabriel Martinelli, Manchester United’s Casemiro, Liverpool’s Alisson Becker, Manchester City’s Ederson and Paris Saint-Germain’s Marquinhos. However, Real Madrid’s Vinicius Junior and Rodrygo, as well as Spurs’ Richarlison, are all amongst the players that are more than likely to be ready to go and, therefore, start this friendly game at Wembley against the Three Lions. Soon to be Real Madrid player Endrick is also available for the Seleção on Saturday evening.

Excitement and anticipation are building ahead of the latest international matches, and for the resumption of the 2023/24 Premier League season on Saturday, 30th March 2024.

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