Scolari meets England on Brazil return
Teams who lose regularly to the same opponents are known as customers in Brazilian soccer and Luiz Felipe Scolari could not have picked more reliable ones for his comeback with the five-times world champions.
Euro Sport understands that the man known as Big Phil kicks off his second stint as Brazil coach against England, a team he saw off in three major tournaments in a row between 2002 and 2006, at Wembley in one of around 40 international friendlies being played this week.
Other heavyweight clashes include world and European champions Spain against South American champions Uruguay in Qatar, France’s meeting with Germany at the Stade de France and Netherlands against Italy at the Amsterdam Arena.
Elsewhere, Lionel Messi, who last year equalled Gabriel Batistuta’s calendar year scoring record of 12 goals for Argentina, will take aim at Sweden while Portugal are hoping for a reversal of fortune against in-form Ecuador.
Portugal have failed to win in their last three matches while Ecuador are unbeaten in six games and enjoying a best-ever 12th place in the Fifa rankings, six places above 2014 World Cup hosts Brazil.
“This is the last test before two extremely important matches next month against Israel and Azerbaijan,” Portugal coach Paulo Duarte said. “The objective is to improve in-game situations that have been failing.”
Ecuador coach Reinaldo Rueda, whose side are second in the South American World Cup qualifying group, added: “Portugal will be a good yardstick.”
Spain is a popular venue with Chile facing Egypt at Madrid’s Vicente Calderon stadium, Russia and Iceland clashing in Marbella and Romania taking on Australia in Malaga.
Chile will be looking for their third successive win since Jorge Sampaoli, regarded as a disciple of their former coach Marcelo Bielsa, replaced Claudio Borghi.
Belgium’s much-heralded new generation host Slovakia but will be without injured defender Vincent Kompany.