International Football Preview: Brazil v England
Despite the controversy about safety concerns at the Maracana Stadium at the end of last week, England will play Brazil in their final international match of the season in Rio de Janeiro.
A court order on Thursday suspended the game but a duty judge then over-ruled the decision as a safety report satisfied health and safety concerns relating to the renovation of the stadium.
The 77,000 capacity stadium was one of a handful of stadiums to receive a face lift ahead of next year’s world cup in Brazil and although the interior of the stadium had been completed, unfinished concourses and paths around the stadium prompted concerns ahead of the international match.
Excavation machines and workmen are still finishing off car parks and walkways around the stadium but the match has been given the go-ahead as Roy Hodgson’s side look to finish the campaign on a high.
A lacklustre performance from England on Wednesday saw them held to a 1-1 draw with Ireland with many fans demanding a more spirited performance from the players.
They are without Daniel Sturridge for the game who is absent after damaging ankle ligaments in the Ireland game. Danny Welbeck has not made the trip either after failing to recover from a knee problem.
The two sides only met a few months ago as England were 2-1 winners in another international match back in February.
Goals from Wayne Rooney and Frank Lampard either side of the break cancelled out Fred’s 48th minute goal but Roy Hodgson’s side go into this evening’s game as underdogs.
In terms of betting, Stan James provide the best odds of 6/10 of Luiz Felipe Scolari’s team winning this evening. 11/2 is also being offered by Stan James for an England victory whilst Bet Victor have a draw at 10/3, which would be England’s third consecutive draw.
The Brazil squad features a mix of youth and experience ahead of their Confederations Cup campaign which starts in less than two weeks’ time.
Recent Barcelona acquisition Neymar leads the new crop of Brazilian talent with Chelsea’s Oscar and Gremio’s Fernando, both 21, included in the team.
Neymar is the bookies favourite to get on the score sheet first tonight with Paddy Power offering the best odds of 9/2.
Other international matches today see Ireland take on Georgia at the Aviva Stadium in Dublin at 5:30pm. Giovanni Trappatoni’s side are favourites to win the game with Stan James offering 6/10 whilst Ladbrokes provide the most competitive odds on a Georgia victory at 6/1.
Later on at 7:30pm, USA host Germany, who defeated Ecuador 4-2 on Wednesday, in Washington DC. The German’s are favourites for victory, Bet Victor offering 20/23 whilst Sporting Bet provide the best odds for an America win at 18/5.
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