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Preview: England vs Brazil – stats, team news, line-ups

England’s preparations for the 2024 European Championship commence with a mouth-watering friendly against Brazil on Saturday evening. 

Gareth Southgate’s men return to Wembley Stadium for the first time since easing past Malta 2-0 in their penultimate Euro 2024 qualifier in November 2023.

Despite capping off a near-flawless qualifying campaign (W6, D2) with an uneventful 1-1 draw at North Macedonia, a slightly changed Three Lions’ line-up heads into proceedings as favourites.

It’s been almost seven years since England and Brazil last faced off.

However, the attendees at Wembley in November 2017 had nothing to cheer for as the game ended in a tepid 0-0 draw.

Such was the narrative of Southgate’s early tenure, but beaten Euro 2020 finalists have dramatically improved since their last encounter against the Selecao. 

Improvement sits atop Dorival Junior’s assignment list as the 61-year-old braces himself for his touchline debut for the national team, led by Fluminense boss Fernando Diniz until recently.

A change was necessary, not just because the record-time world champions faltered at the 2022 World Cup but because they’ve endured one of the worst starts to tournament qualifying in the nation’s history.

Losing 1-0 to arch-rivals Argentina in their last 2026 World Cup qualifier condemned the Brazilians to a third consecutive qualifying defeat, demoting them to sixth in the CONMEBOL qualification group.

Match Preview

After back-to-back unconvincing performances against Malta and North Macedonia, Southgate’s men are keen to get back on track as their warm-up campaign for Euro 2024 ramps up.

The Three Lions are unbeaten in all ten internationals since a frustrating quarter-final exit in Qatar (W8, D2), but Brazil’s visit to London historically spells trouble. 

Except for a 2-1 win in an exhibition match back in 2013, the European heavyweights have gone winless in ten of their last 11 encounters between the sides (D6, L4).

Confidence stems from a sterling home form in the post-World Cup period, with England winning all five internationals on home soil via an aggregate score of 15-1.

As aforementioned, Brazil’s abysmal spell of form, highlighted by their first-ever home defeat in World Cup qualifying to Argentina, contrasts their hosts’ formidable run.

But the South Americans have excelled in friendly contests, winning nine of their ten such fixtures (L1) since their most recent visit to Wembley, though that only exception was in their last friendly against Morocco. 

That result forms part of the Selecao’s embarrassing form on foreign soil, including neutral ground, with the CONMEBOL giants losing five of their last six such games (W1).

All that explains the size of the task awaiting Dorival, who, despite boasting a wealth of experience in club management, embarks on his maiden international adventure.

He’ll bid to disrupt the Three Lions ahead of England’s next fixture against bitter continental rivals Belgium.

Team News

Injuries to Kieran Trippier, Trent Alexander-Arnold, Luke Shaw and Ben Chilwell, among others, have facilitated Joe Gomez’s return to the England squad after a four-year hiatus.

Southgate has rewarded up-and-coming talents Anthony Gordon, Jarrad Branthwaite and Kobbie Mainoo with their first senior call-ups, with Aston Villa ace Ezri Konsa making the cut as well.

Brazil, on the other hand, make this transatlantic journey without standout forward Neymar and Manchester United veteran Casemiro, with Dorival giving call-ups to numerous players from the domestic championship.

Real Madrid-bound Endrick is among the most exciting names on the list, headlined by Premier League stars such as Lucas Paqueta and Richarlison and La Liga powerhouses like Raphinha and Vinicius Junior.

England vs Brazil Potential Line-ups

England (4-3-3): Jordan Pickford; Kyle Walker, John Stones, Harry Maguire, Joe Gomez; Phil Foden, Declan Rice, Jude Bellingham; Jarrod Bowen, Ollie Watkins, Marcus Rashford.

Brazil (4-2-3-1): Bento; Danilo, Gleison Bremer, Lucas Beraldo, Wendell; Bruno Guimaraes, Douglas Luiz; Raphinha, Rodrygo, Vinicius Junior; Richarlison.

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