Forgot Password

 

Register

 

Create your Connect ID

This will allow you to login to all DStv websites & applications




or
Login using
x

Email Reset

 




Loading...
Loading Live Scoring...
*All times CAT (GMT+2)

Football | England

England ready for Brazil acid test



England manager Roy Hodgson admits he is relishing the chance to test out his England team against the best when they play Brazil in a friendly international at Wembley on Wednesday.

The match is part of the plans to celebrate the Football Association's 150th anniversary, with a rematch scheduled for Rio de Janeiro in June.

Hodgson said he was looking forward to matching his wits against new Brazil manager Luiz Felipe Scolari, but also to seeing how his side can handle themselves against one of the world's top teams.

"It is a game I am really looking forward to. It is always a momentous occasion when you play Brazil," Hodgson said.

"To play them twice in one year is exceptional. It is a great thing to have on your CV."

With World Cup-winning coach Scolari recently returning to lead the national side as they build toward hosting the World Cup in 2014, Hodgson said he had no doubt England would be given a stern test of their credentials.

"It is Scolari's first match in charge and Brazil don't like losing matches," he said.

"Looking at their last five or six matches, it is quite frightening how well they have done. They will be out to impress their new management team.

"There are six who play in Brazil and a couple of others who aren't that well known in England."

Hodgson will have to rethink his striking options, though, after Jermain Defoe and Daniel Sturridge both suffered injuries playing for their clubs at the weekend.

That leaves Wayne Rooney and Danny Welbeck as the only out-and-out strikers in the squad, though Arsenal's Theo Walcott, who wants to play up front, could step into the void.

The match will also be notable for the 100th appearance of full-back Ashley Cole, who will become only the seventh Englishman to join the elite "100" club.

Hodgson said Cole will definitely play, despite Everton's Leighton Baines pushing for a starting place, and praised the Chelsea player for his commitment.

"Reaching 100 matches is an incredible milestone, so he deserves an enormous pat on the back," Hodgson said.

"Hopefully he will celebrate his 100 games in the same way Steven Gerrard was able to against Sweden (in November).

"I am looking forward to congratulating him. He has been a pleasure to work with and a really good professional. It goes to show how consistent he is as a performer."

Hodgson also hinted that the match could see the return to the midfield of Fran Lampard, who at 34 has regained his place in the Chelsea side after injury.

"He has been doing extremely well since he got back from injury," Hodgson said. "We always believed he belongs in the squad.

"We missed him during the Euros and a couple of games since. When he has not been with us, it has been because he has not been available."

England and Brazil have met 23 times, including four times in World Cups, where Brazil won three of the matches and drew the other.

Of the 19 other games, England have won just three, with Brazil coming out on top in eight and the other eight being draws.

England's last win over Brazil came at Wembley in 1990 while Brazil won their last encounter in 2009.

Scolarti has recalled veteran Ronaldinho and the Brazil squad also features 29-year-old newcomer Dante, a centre back who has got plenty of attention since leaving Borussia Moenchengladbach for Bayern Munich in summer.

"I always believed in the moment," Dante said. "I don't know if I will play, but of course it would be nice to get a chance to play."

Shop

Gerrard: My Autobiography
Steven Gerrard is a hero to millions, not only as the inspirational captain of Liverpool FC, but as a key member of the England team.
R152.00
Rafa: My Story
Revelatory memoir from the greatest sportsman in the world today.
R182.00
FIFA 14
Xbox 360
R549.00
Mitre Ultimatch Soccer Ball - White
A high quality football, offering high performance at both training and during football matches.
R252.00


Comments

More expert analysis and opinion from Sport24
The opinions expressed by Sport24 experts and bloggers are theirs alone, and do not necessarily represent those of SuperSport

Live Video Streaming

Football's Greatest Managers - Bill Shankly
Squash - Women's/mixed Doubles Pools Day 2
Hockey - Women: New Zealand v Canada
Gymnastics - Artistic: Men's Individual All-Around Final

Sports Talk



Calvin Emeka Onwuka
Football arms race
Those of us old enough to remember the arms race and the cold war years can’t help but feel the...

Dr Errol Sweeney
World Cup refs return home 'battered and bruised'
The World Cup is over for another four years and already the post mortem has started into some...

Sunday Oliseh
What Germany did to become champs
The 2002 Japan and South Korea World Cup saw the Germans lose in the Finals to Brazil, thanks to...

Collins Okinyo
Amrouche is his own worst enemy
Thunder has struck twice with news of Harambee Stars coach Adel Amrouche being slapped with a...

Claudia Ekai
Save our Stars
First and foremost, it is not all over for Harambee Stars in the 2015 Africa Cup of Nations...

Carol Radull
The Harambee Stars' secrets
A week ago Kenya’s Harambee Stars hosted Burundi in our first international friendly this year. I...