England v Brazil preview: Gareth Southgate to unleash uncapped trio?
Last Updated: 14/11/17 7:40pm
England manager Gareth Southgate "will not hesitate" to throw Dominic Solanke, Lewis Cook and Angus Gunn into action against Brazil.
The young trio have been drafted in for Tuesday's glamour friendly at Wembley (kick-off 8pm) and, after handing five players a senior bow in Friday's encouraging goalless draw against world champions Germany, Southgate is again open to giving youth a chance.
"It's a very easy squad to settle into," Southgate said. "The senior players are very open, very welcoming. Most of the squad are young anyway so know each other from younger age groups.
"Those (three new) guys have fitted in off the field no problem which helps them to fit in on the field - and they're good players, so in training, they look fine.
"We have to see how the game progresses but I won't have any hesitation in putting them on the pitch.
"Angus has worked with the U21s with us, he's playing in the league. The other two - captain of the U20 World Cup winners (Cook) and Golden Boot winner in the U20s World Cup (Solanke). They've got good pedigree, and we won't hesitate to put them on the pitch."
Eric Dier will captain England once again after the Tottenham midfielder skippered the Three Lions for the first time on Friday.
Another player who impressed against the Germans with a man-of-the-match performance was Crystal Palace midfielder Loftus-Cheek, and the 21-year-old is keen to build on his display against Brazil.
"I think he obviously has taken a lot from the game, found it a great experience and that he was learning throughout it," Southgate added.
"It's incredible really that he's had so few 90-minute appearances in the league yet we're bringing him into that sort of environment.
"We believe in him. He did really well. But sometimes the first game is easier because nobody is aware of you."
Southgate has received a boost in defence with the news that Gary Cahill is fit to feature against Brazil. The Chelsea defender missed the draw with Germany but could return to the starting line-up in place of Phil Jones.
The centre-back was substituted just 25 minutes into Friday's stalemate with the world champions and has returned to Manchester United for treatment on a thigh problem.
Liverpool duo Philippe Coutinho and Roberto Firmino could come into the Brazil team after sitting out their 3-1 victory over to Japan in Lille on Friday.
Manchester City goalkeeper Ederson is expected to feature at Wembley after back-ups Alisson and Cassio played a half each against the Japanese.
Real Madrid midfielder Casemiro and Manchester City's Fernandinho played the full 90 minutes so may be rested against England.
- England have picked up just one victory in their last 10 international matches against Brazil (D5 L4) - winning 2-1 at Wembley in February 2013 under Roy Hodgson.
- Brazil have won only two of their previous 11 away trips to play England - winning 1-0 in May 1981 and 3-1 in June 1995.
- England have scored more than twice in just one of their 25 matches against Brazil, in their first meeting back in May 1956, winning 4-2.
- Both sides have found the net in eight of the last 10 clashes in all competitions (10 goals for England and 14 goals for Brazil).
- The last England goalkeeper to keep a clean sheet against Brazil was Peter Shilton in June 1984.
- Gareth Southgate has failed to win any of his four friendlies as England manager (D2 L2) but has won seven of his nine competitive matches (D2).
- Since beating Ecuador at the 2006 World Cup, England have won two out of eight matches against South American opposition (D3 L3), with this their first match against a South American side since losing 2-1 to Uruguay at the 2014 World Cup.
- Since the turn of the Millennium, England have lost more matches in the month of November than any other month, losing 43.5% of their matches (10 out of 23).
Of the two friendlies, this is a tougher task because the Germany scenario was facing an organised side in a nice friendly contest, which has never been the case in previous encounters between those two sides, where there has always been an edge.
Gareth Southgate has gone down the youth route and he deserves credit for being courageous. He's bold, I'll give him that, to throw these kids in but I just don't know if he's going to get the mix right and I'm not sure who he's going to pick in his best starting XI. What he's done though is build up a big group of players he can select from.
The concern for these young players is that Brazil will have more of a go at them at Wembley. Their attacking flair and flamboyancy will provide more opportunities for England, but the pace and movement they have also means they going to have a much tougher time defensively.
Everybody is talking about Neymar, will he end up at Real Madrid? That would be amazing, but he's never bored playing football and, in a team which is really fine-tuning for the World Cup, I think he and Gabriel Jesus will be too much to handle.
Charlie predicts: 1-3 and Neymar to score first (30/1 with Sky Bet)
Brazil are odds-on at 5/6 with Sky Bet to record the victory with England priced at 16/5 while the draw is a 13/5 chance. However, the Selecao are actually longer odds to win the World Cup at 6/1 than Wembley's last visitors, 5/1 outright favourites Germany. Neymar heads the first goalscorer betting at 100/30 followed by Gabriel Jesus at 7/2, while Tammy Abraham and Jamie Vardy are both 6/1 shots.