Brazil using England clash as Confederations Cup rehearsal

Rio de Janeiro, June 2 (IANS) Brazil coach Luiz Felipe Scolari has revealed his starting line-up for Sunday’s friendly against England is likely to be the one used during this month’s FIFA Confederations Cup.

The duel at the revamped Maracana Stadium will be Scolari’s penultimate chance to fine-tune his team ahead of the Confederations Cup opener against Japan in Brasilia June 15. The Selecao’s final warm-up match will be a friendly with France at Porto Alegre’s Arena Gremio June 9, reports Xinhua.

“The side that I will put on the pitch tomorrow, if they give me the response we are looking for and if it is tactically balanced, will probably be the team that will start in the Confederations Cup,” Scolari said Saturday.

Both squads trained at the Maracana for the first time Saturday and Scolari allowed the media to observe only the final 15 minutes of Brazil’s session. The 64-year-old denied he was plotting any surprise tactics for the match.

“You all saw us train yesterday and it was shown on television. So it’s likely to be what you will see tomorrow.”

The team used by Scolari during a match simulation exercise Friday comprised goalkeeper Julio Cesar, defenders Daniel Alves, Thiago Silva, David Luiz and Marcelo, midfielder Fernando, Paulinho and Oscar with Lucas, Neymar and Fred forming the front line.

Meanwhile, Scolari praised England’s younger players such as Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and Phil Jones, saying they would play a major role in the side’s qualification hopes for next year’s World Cup.

“England beat us in London (in February) but they are struggling to get to the World Cup, so it is an important game. The English team have good players and although they have not been winning, they have a renewed team and good technical players. In the past 10-15 years, England has improved a lot technically and I think we will see a good game – not long balls,” he said.

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