Two of the most successful nations in footballing history will go head to head in friendly action in London on Friday when Brazil face Uruguay.
This will be the 76th time in history that the Selecao have faced their South American counterparts, boasting 35 victories and having suffered a mere 20 defeats.
However, Uruguay claimed victory in the nations’ biggest meeting, the 1954 World Cup final, which left an indelible scar upon football in Brazil and, at least until the 7-1 World Cup semi-final loss to Germany in 2014, was regarded as the most chastening day in the country’s sporting history.
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|US TV channel||Online stream|
|beIN Sports||fubo TV (7-day free trial)|
|Goalkeepers||Alisson, Brazao, Ederson|
|Defenders||Danilo, Miranda, Marquinhos, Filipe Luis, Alex Sandro, Dede, Fabinho, Pablo|
|Midfielders||Arthur, Allan, Renato Augusto, Rafinha, Paulinho, Willian|
|Forwards||Douglas Costa, Gabriel Jesus, Neymar, Firmino, Richarlison|
Brazil coach Tite has made numerous changes to his side since the World Cup, handing out as many as nine debuts in the four friendlies that have been played since their exit in Russia at the quarter-final stage against Belgium.
Napoli midfielder Allan is the most high-profile of the new arrivals in the squad for these fixtures, with Cruzeiro goalkeeper Gabriel Brazao the other uncapped presence.
Marcelo and Philippe Coutinho have dropped out due to injury, while Real Madrid midfielder Casemiro has also been forced to withdraw.
Possible Brazil starting XI: Alisson, Danilo, Marquinhos, Miranda, Filipe Luis; Walace, Arthur, Renato Augusto; Douglas Costa, Neymar, Firmino.
|Defenders||Caceres, Laxalt, Lemos, Velazquez, Cabaco, Mendez, M. Suarez|
|Midfielders||Lodeiro, Sanchez, Vecino, De Arrascaeta, Bentancur, Torreira, Valverde|
|Forwards||Cavani, L. Suarez, Rodriguez, Gomez, Pereiro|
Uruguay approach this fixture missing a number of experienced players, including captain Diego Godin. Fellow defenders Jose Gimenez, Sebastian Coates and Marcelo Saracchi are also injured, as is Galatasaray goalkeeper Fernando Muslera.
The defensive line is set to be extremely inexperienced. Aside from Martin Caceres, who has 84 international appearances, the combined total of caps for goalkeepers and defenders is 27 shared among eight players.
The uncapped Erick Cabaco will not play against Brazil but may be fit to face France.
Cristhian Stuani, who has been in prolific form with Girona in Spain, is their other casualty.
Possible Uruguay starting XI: Campana; M. Suarez, Caceres, Velazquez, Laxalt; Bentancur, Torreira, Vecino, De Arrascaeta; Suarez, Cavani.
Brazil are priced at 8/15 favourites by Bet365. The draw is available at 3/1 while Uruguay are rated a 5/1 shot.
Selecao boss Tite is approaching the task by assessing as many options open to him as possible. He has used the post-World Cup friendlies to test a number of untried players, and yet despite the inexperienced nature of some of his teams, success has inevitably followed.
Under his guidance, Brazil have been incredibly successful. He has overseen 28 matches, of which 24 have ended in victory and only two in defeat. One of those came in the World Cup quarter-finals against Belgium, where a late Renato Augusto strike was mere consolation in a 2-1 defeat.
But in Russia, the Selecao had only a half-fit Neymar. When they take to the field on home soil in next summer’s Copa America, they hope to have their star man back firing again as they seek to win an eighth South American crown.
Uruguay, meanwhile, continue to be led by the redoubtable Oscar Tabarez.
The veteran coach has led the nation to sixth in the FIFA Ranking, which given they boast a population of around 3.5 million is a quite staggering achievement.
He is not generally noted for his willingness to experiment, favouring a pragmatic approach to the game, and as such has tended to be reliant on a number of stalwart players over the years.
The likes of Edinson Cavani, Luis Suarez, Fernando Muslera and Diego Godin have, therefore, all won over 100 caps for their nation.
For these fixtures against Brazil and France, though, the hand of the manager has been forced. Injuries, particularly those in the defence, have stripped him of vital players and will force him to experiment.
Uruguay will be taken out of their comfort zone for these matches – but it may do them long-term good with the Copa America in mind.