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Main » 2013 » May » 31 » International Friendly : Brazil - England

International Friendly : Brazil - England

international friendlyHulk, Fred and Leandro Damiao are set to fight it out for the centre-forward position in Brazil's starting line-up to play England.
Brazil are set to host Roy Hodgson's at the Maracana on Sunday in the first international match at the famous Rio de Janeiro venue since its renovation and the hosts' head coach Luiz Felipe Scolari will have to make at least two changes to team which took on England in February.

Barcelona's left-back Adriano and Sao Paulo striker Luis Fabiano both played in February's 2-1 loss at Wembley but have been left out of Scolari's squad for the England friendly and the Confederations Cup in June.

While Atletico Madrid's Filipe Luis seems the obvious choice to replace Adriano, Scolari's history this year points to a tough decision about the lead striker.

Fred and Damiao have both started two of Brazil's five friendlies in 2013, while Hulk has been in the starting line-up once but, based on form, the Fluminense man looks to be in the box seat, having scored three international goals this year.

Brazil will host England at the Maracana for the sixth time on Sunday with a record of three wins and a draw, with the last meeting coming in 1984.

England won that game 2-0 but after a 1-1 draw against the Republic of Ireland on Wednesday, Hodgson's side will enter the Maracana with a cloud of negativity hanging over their heads.

Following Wednesday's draw, former England striker Gary Lineker claimed England had taken a "step into the dark ages" after Hodgson opted for a 4-4-2 formation against Ireland, with Daniel Sturridge and Wayne Rooney up front.

Hodgson has rejected the criticism but with Sturridge suffering an ankle injury at Wembley, England will need to find another striking partner for Rooney.

Theo Walcott is the most likely option due to other fitness concerns over Andy Carroll, Danny Welbeck and Jermain Defoe.

Sunday's game will go ahead despite initial safety concerns due to rubble surrounding the renovated stadium.

A Brazilian judge had issued an injunction on Thursday, suspending the match, due to concerns the rubble could be used as projectiles if there was a disturbance involving spectators but after the Rio de Janeiro state government finally provided required documentation, the game was reinstated.
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