Barnes urges us to be humbler: International Football Friendlies – England v Brazil

England continue their preparations for the World Cup in Russia with the second of two international football friendlies, taking on Brazil at Wembley Stadium on Tuesday.

John Barnes, our Bonus Code Bets ambassador urges us to be humble when predicting the potential of the young English team against the world class Brazil. “It’s a young, inexperienced team, so we can’t get too carried away about how good our potential is. You have to let them play and if they fail, they fail but support them and don’t over-emphasis how good you think they are now. Look at what happened when we played Iceland, we thought we were too good for them. We need to be humbler.”

England have won only one of their last 10 meetings with Brazil, a 2-1 success at Wembley in February 2013. They met again four months later at the Maracana, with England securing a 2-2 draw at the same venue where John Barnes, then of Watford, scored his famous wonder goal in 2-0 victory back in 1984. The last six international friendly meetings have produced four score draws.

Barnes was very modest about what many consider one of the greatest British goals; “The goal I scored against QPR for Liverpool, I think, is equally as good but it’s probably the most impactful goal for England against Brazil as it was the first time we won there, in the Maracanã Stadium, so from that point of view yes, but I’ve scored other goals I’ve appreciated equally.”

International Football Friendlies – England V Brazil

International Football Friendlies England Brazil

*Odds subject to change.

Brazil have been rebuilding under new coach Tite since the summer of 2016, with Dunga having struggled to revitalise the team in the wake of their devastating 7-1 World Cup semi-final defeat to Germany in Belo Horizonte. Under Tite they have dominated the South American qualifying competition to book their place in Russia, winning 12 and losing only one of 18 matches.

In 2014 Brazil had only one genuine superstar in Neymar. His back injury in the quarter-final win over Colombia tore the heart out of the team. The Paris St Germain “world class” forward now has top quality support in Philippe Coutinho and Gabriel Jesus. They have established themselves as first choice picks and will cause England all sorts of problems if selected next Tuesday.

Coutinho scored 15 goals for Liverpool last season. He is fighting back from a thigh injury in a bid to be selected. While Jesus has scored seven goals in his first 10 full internationals. The Manchester City striker is something of a talisman, having not lost a game for club or country in over a year.

Like Germany, Brazil visit Wembley as favourites, with Betway offering best odds of 11/10. They are unbeaten in four matches this season, winning twice at home and drawing twice away. They have lost only one of 15 under Tite – a 1-0 friendly defeat to Argentina in June.

Brazil have drawn four of their last six international football friendlies against England. However, that 2-2 draw at the Maracana four years ago was their last international friendly to end in stalemate. They have won 25 and lost two of 27 since then, keeping 20 clean sheets. It’s clear from those statistics that they take all matches seriously.

The five-time world champions have won on only one of their last seven visits to Wembley, a 3-1 Umbro Cup success in 1995. They have drawn twice since then before losing to goals from Wayne Rooney and Frank Lampard on their most recent visit. Joe Hart, Jack Butland, Kyle Walker and Cahill are the only potential survivors from England’s victorious squad on that occasion.

If we look at this game as a possible precursor to the form of England going into the World Cup, Barnes warns us to be realistic; “They always have a chance but you can’t talk about winning the World Cup when you’re not even in the top 5/6 in the world. Yes, you can do it because nobody expected Portugal to win the Euros but I don’t expect them to. What I expect is to go through the group but we can’t say we can go to the semi-finals because we don’t know who we may draw.”

Barnes added; “I’m not saying they’re [England] going to win but I think they’ll be very competitive.”

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2019-09-27
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