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Ruben Loftus-Cheek was England’s man of the match in the 0-0 draw versus Germany at Wembley on Friday night, prompting Gareth Southgate to say the young debutant is “capable of anything.”
The youngster may get another chance to impress on Tuesday night at the national stadium as the Three Lions welcome Brazil for an international friendly. England are still short of their first choice midfield, and Southgate has taken the opportunity to give some under-21 players experience in the full squad, by calling up Liverpool’s Dominic Solanke, Bournemouth’s Lewis Cook and Man City keeper Angus Gunn. England’s young players certainly didn’t let anyone down in the stalemate with Germany, and it will be intriguing to see how they cope against Brazil’s all-stars.
Neymar and Jesus were both on the scoresheet as Brazil beat Japan 3-1 in a friendly on Friday night, and both are expected to play a part on Tuesday at Wembley. Brazil will join England at the World Cup next year but this game will probably offer few clues to the potential of either side in the tournament. It is more likely to have the feel of an exhibition match as both coaches test out a selection of squad players.
In other friendlies on Tuesday night, world champions Germany host France in a mouth-watering game, while Spain travel to Russia to play next year’s tournament hosts. France have quickly become one of Europe’s top sides again after a brief spell of under-achievement, and this game could take on a more competitive edge as reputations go on the line. Spain have also overcome their spell in the doldrums and are back among the favourites to win major competitions. They are strongly fancied to beat a Russian side that is not in great shape ahead of their home tournament next year.
England v Brazil
There were several presentable chances for both teams on Friday night but neither England or Germany could take them. This game is expected to be more of an open affair than that one due to Brazil’s attacking style and supporters could be in for a very entertaining match.
Marcus Rashford sat on the bench for most of Friday night’s game while Tammy Abraham impressed on his debut, but the Manchester United striker is likely to come back into the side on Tuesday. He could partner Jamie Vardy in the attack which will mean the Three Lions will have plenty of pace on the counter-attack. That could be crucial because it would be no surprise to see Brazil dominate possession. Jordan Pickford also made an impressive debut in goal for Southgate’s side with a number of excellent saves. Joe Hart could come back in to replace him, but neither keeper would be fancied to keep out Brazil’s potent attacking force.
Brazil were held to draws away at Colombia and Boliva in recent World Cup qualifying fixtures, but they were already clear and eventually won the South American group by ten points. Since those two stalemates they’ve beaten Chile 3-0 at home in their final qualifier and beat Japan 3-1 in that friendly on Friday night. Brazil have scored in 14 of their last 16 matches and it would be some achievement if an under-strength England team can keep them out.
The 0-0 with Germany was the first time England have failed to score in the last 18 matches at Wembley and although Brazil have improved at the back over the last year, their style of play always leaves them open to conceding. Both teams to score is a solid bet which will let us sit back and enjoy the fireworks.
Germany v France
The value call in another cracking game is the draw when France visit Germany at odds of 12/5 3.40 +240 2.40 2.40 -0.42 with BetVictor.
France beat Germany 2-0 on their way to the Euro 2016 final and they won a friendly by the same scoreline in November 2015. However, that defeat in the semi-final of the tournament in France was Germany’s last loss. They’ve won 16 and drawn 4 of their 20 international fixtures since then.
France have also been largely consistent since Euro 2016, their only two defeats coming in a friendly loss to Spain and a shock 2-1 away defeat in Sweden in a World Cup qualifier – memorable for Hugo Lloris’ late mistake which handed victory to the Swedes.
This is a clash of two of Europe’s best and neither will want to give the other a psychological advantage ahead of next year’s World Cup. A tight stalemate is the prediction.
Russia v Spain
Spain have been in exceptional form of late and should be too good for Russia at 53/100 1.53 -189 0.53 -1.89 0.53 with Bet365.
The hosts of next year’s competition are struggling for form and the signs don’t look good for a positive tournament on home soil. They held the Confederations Cup over the summer but were beaten by both Portugal and Mexico, with their only win coming against New Zealand. Russia have since beaten South Korea 4-2 but were held to a 1-1 draw by Iran and lost their most recent friendly to Argentina on Saturday.
Spain, meanwhile, have won their last six games scoring 22 goals in the process. They cruised to a 5-0 victory over Costa Rica on Saturday and should have too much attacking prowess for Russia to deal with.
England v Brazil – Both teams to score
Tuesday 14th November, 20:00 GMT
Odds: 18/25 1.72 -139 0.72 -1.39 0.72
Germany and France to draw
Tuesday 14th November, 19:45 GMT
Odds: 12/5 3.40 +240 2.40 2.40 -0.42
Spain to beat Russia
Tuesday 14th November, 18:45 GMT
Odds: 53/100 1.53 -189 0.53 -1.89 0.53
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