International Friendly: Zimbabwe V Brazil – Wednesday, 2nd June

31st May 2010 | World Cup Betting category: Football World Cup News
Football World Cup News

Zimbabwe V Brazil

Wednesday, 2nd June – 14:30 GMT
International Friendly
Harare, Zimbabwe

 

It is always interesting to see which teams the coaches hand-pick to face their team in preparation for a major tournament. Generally, coaches choose teams which will provide their players with a more than adequate test, allowing the manager to assess his entire squad ahead of some important upcoming games. At the weekend we seen England take on Japan, Paraguay clash with Ivory Coast and New Zealand record a surprise victory over Serbia. So surely Brazil, the second favourites to win the 2010 FIFA World Cup, will be unphased by whichever prospect comes their way, but even their scheduled game against one of Africa’s minnows will have surprised the locals, and perhaps even the squad.

ON Wednesday, June 2nd, a little under two weeks before Brazil take on Portugal in their opening World Cup encounter, Selecao will meet with a nation ranked 112 places below them in the FIFA Rankings, Zimbabwe. Even we were caught off-guard by Dunga’s decision to pencil in a warm up date with a country more renowned for their cricket than their football exploits, as well their controversial politics. Of course, some will say Brazil are that good that they don’t need to be tested to the max, that their envious strength in depth and a squad full to the brim of world-class talent will deliver the goods regardless of whether or not they are put through their paces just days before the finals.

This could actually turn out to be a neat little ploy for Dunga, who has come under fire of late for his decision to not include some of Brazil’s flair players, the likes of Adriano, Pato and Ronaldinho omitted, and instead opt for a more rounded team, with just as many quality replacements in defence than in midfield and up front, the two latter areas are where the fans pin most of their attentions on as they’re used to seeing some magical football from Brazil in the final third of the pitch, but Dunga wants stability over exuberance, putting more emphasis on nailing down some solid foundations rather than building a side with all-out flair and forward thinkers, and is willing to put his reputation in jeopardy over it. The plus point though of this game is Brazil could score a good five or six, possibly even more, and that may well be enough to keep the critics at bay for now. Then again, were Brazil to register a tight win over a nation which has never qualified for te finals of a World Cup, the backlash could be enormous. It’s a gamble and one Dunga can only win with an emphatic victory.

 

Dunga is expected to name a strong starting eleven, although a weak Brazil eleven would appear an impossible feat. The Inter Milan pairing of Lucio and Maicon are expected to start after winning the UEFA Champions League title 11 days ago, as well should Julio Cesar in goal. Despite the low stature of their opponents, Felipe Melo and Gilberto Silva are in line to start in midfield behind Kaka. A headstrong Robinho, after enjoying his loan spell to Santos in Brazil, may be rewarded with a spot in left-midfield/left-wing while Elano should start on the right. However, Andre Santos is the usual left-back for Brazil, but for this game we could see Michael Bastos of Lyon handed a left-back trial, as that is the position where Dunga has allocated for Bastos. Striker Nilmar will definitely play a part in proceedings at some stage, also.

 

So, who exactly are Zimbabwe in regards to international football?

  • Nicknamed ‘The Warriors’, Zimbabwe have never qualified for the finals of a World Cup and didn’t participate in their first African Cup of Nations until 2004 where they were knocked out in just the first phase of the tournament.
  • Two of their regulars in the national team ply their trade over in England, with Manchester City’s Benjani the more notable star. Plymouth Argyle’s Onismor Bhasera is another who features for Zimbabwe.
  • Their all-time leading scorer also has the most caps, with Peter Ndlovu scoring 38 goals in 100 appearances although has been retired from the international game since 2006.
  • The closest Zimbabwe came to qualifying for a World Cup was back in 1994 when they finished second in a three-team Group, two points behind Cameroon.
  • Zimbabwe are currently ranked 113 according to the FIFA Rankings.

 

Match Odds:

Zimbabwe – 17.00 VCbet
Draw – 8.00 bWin
Brazil – 1.13 Bet365




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