Football.com - everything football

International Friendly Preview: Brazil v Zambia

By Football News



Brazil will gun for a fourth straight victory when they go head-to-head with managerless Zambia in Beijing on Tuesday.

The 2014 FIFA World Cup hosts' most recent success came in a 2-0 victory over South Korea in Seoul on Saturday.

Luiz Felipe Scolari's side were off the pace in the victory, but a sublime Neymar free-kick and a strike from Oscar ensured a comfortable triumph.

That victory came on the back of consecutive victories over Australia and Portugal in September, and means Brazil head into the fixture at the Beijing National Stadium in high spirits.

The five-time world champions will be without goalkeeper Julio Cesar (finger), defender Thiago Silva (thigh) and striker Fred (thigh) against the 2012 Africa Cup of Nations champions.

Scolari may opt to name the same side that faced South Korea as he looks to determine his strongest XI ahead of the World Cup, or he could decide to give the likes of Alexandre Pato, Ramires and Hernanes an opportunity to stake a claim for a regular starting place. 

Brazil appear to be hitting form at the right time ahead of next year's showpiece having lost just twice in 2013, against England and Switzerland, while they also won the FIFA Confederations Cup with a comprehensive 3-0 final victory over world champions Spain in June.

Zambia, meanwhile, head into the game without a permanent manager after Herve Renard ended his time in charge of the nation to take over at French club FC Sochaux last week.

Renard failed to take the country past the pool stages in World Cup qualifying as they finished second behind Ghana in Group D of the African section. 

Zambia's fate was sealed after they lost a final-game showdown with the Black Stars 2-1 in September, which left them four points adrift of James Kwesi Appiah's charges.

Renard's former assistant Patrice Beaumelle has taken the reins on a temporary basis and will be in the dugout for the Brazil fixture. 

FC Utrecht forward Jacob Mulenga is likely to lead the line for Zambia, and could provide the biggest threat to a Brazil defence missing the leadership of captain Thiago Silva.