Schwarzer: Expectation on Brazil's shoulders
By Football News
Mark Schwarzer said all the pressure is on Brazil ahead of Australia's friendly against the 2014 World Cup hosts in Brasilia on Saturday.
Holger Osieck's team are set to take on a host of star names at Estadio Nacional Mane Garrincha this weekend, including Barcelona forward Neymar and Schwarzer's Chelsea team-mates David Luiz, Oscar and Ramires.
Coached by the man behind their 2002 World Cup triumph, Luiz Felipe Scolari, Brazil romped to victory in the Confederations Cup on home soil in June, defeating reigning world and European champions Spain 3-0 in the final.
And while the Socceroos are certain to be up against it in Saturday's game, veteran goalkeeper Schwarzer believes the onus is entirely on the home team to produce.
"They're a very young side, a side that have got world stars all over the field," he said.
"They're off the back of winning the Confeds Cup and deservedly winning it, beating Spain convincingly in the final.
"There's a lot of expectation on their shoulders. They're hosting the World Cup next year as we all know. And the expectation in this country for the national team is always enormous. It's going to be even greater now... as the host nation."
The message that the game against Brazil is being treated as a learning experience has been coming loud and clear from the Socceroos' training camp all week, with Schwarzer also 'on message'.
"This is a vital part of our preparation," he said.
"It's an important game to see where we stand at the moment with regard to one of the best teams in the world and probably the most in-form team at the moment on the planet.
"We're not underestimating how big a challenge it's going to be. It's going to be a very busy day for all of us."
Experienced midfielder Mark Bresciano echoed the sentiments of Schwarzer and his team-mates, while also singling out Brazil as the team to beat at the FIFA showcase next year.
"Put in a good performance," he said, when asked what Australia's objectives are for the match.
"It'll be a good test for us to see what level we are at. We're coming up against, I would say, the favourite to win the World Cup."
The match between Brazil and Australia kicks off at 5.15am on Sunday (AEST).