Brazil v Ghana – All eyes on the Selecao
It is the nature of modern football that in any match involving Brazil, the spotlight rests solely on their ambitions for their next title.
This time, as hosts of the next World Cup, they have only friendlies (and the Confederations Cup) to fine-tune their preparations in the next 3 years and as such, every friendly will be an examination of Brazil’s credentials to lift the World Cup on their home soil.
Brazil manager Mano Menezes has made a number of changes to his squad following a disappointing Copa America. Leandro Damiao and Ronaldinho have been recalled due to their consistent performances in the Brasileiro and could be rewarded with starting spots. Marcelo is likely to start in defence following the withdrawal of Barcelona’s Adriano. Robinho also withdrew from the squad due to injury but no replacement was needed as Menezes judged his remaining attacking options sufficient.
The Selecao are looking for their first win in three games after defeat to Paraguay on penalties was followed by a loss to Germany. Brazil came out on top the last time the two teams met. Vagner Love netted the only goal of the game in a friendly match in Sweden. Brazil have won their last five games on British soil against a variety of opponents. Their last defeat in the UK came almost 20 years ago in 1991. The match took place in Cardiff and Wales earned a 1-0 victory.
Daniel Alves, Lucio, Thiago Silva, Marcelo
Lucas Leiva, Fernandinho, Ganso
Neymar, Leandro Damiao
Following a number of changes to the starting line-up ahead of their 2-0 AFCON qualification victory over Swaziland, Goran Stevanovic may stick to a similar side. Norway-born goalkeeper Adam Kwarasey kept a clean sheet on his debut so may well hold on to his position. The Black Stars will be without two key players in Asamoah Gyan and John Mensah due to injury, with the latter being replaced in defence by his namesake, who plays his club football for Evian in France.
Ghana are currently unbeaten during their AFCON qualification campaign. The African side have impressed with their performances recently and have only lost one of their last nine games. That defeat coming at the hands of South Korea in a friendly match. In their last outing in the UK, Ghana put in a spirited performance against the English national team at Wembley. The Black Stars performed well and earned a 1-1 draw. However, the Black Stars have never defeated Brazil in a senior international game.
Paintsil, Mensah, Vorsah, Opare
D. Boateng, Agyemang-Badu
Adiyiah, A. Ayew, Muntari
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