Saturday, June 9, 2012

Argentina - Brazil, The (not) friendly derby

It's a common phrase, a cliche, but it doesn't make it less true: there are no friendlies when Argentina and Brazil, arguably the biggest derby in international football, meet.

The honor is always at stake between these two giants of world football who have curiously a very tight H2H with 34 wins for each team and 24 draws.

The meeting this time is at New Jersey, USA, and even though the world is focused on the Euro championship that started yesterday this is a game nobody wants to miss.

Coach Alejandro Sabella decided to make a change from the team that played a great game and beat Ecuador 4-0 for the World Cup Qualifiers: Jose Sosa (Metalist Karkiv and ex Estudiantes) will replace Sergio "Kun" Aguero to form a 4-4-2 lineup, not as offensive as last Saturday's team but obviously still very dangerous with Lionel Messi and Gonzalo Higuain in attack.

Brazil is getting ready for the London Olympic Games and comes from a couple of irregular performances in the previous friendlies. This is their U-23 team with 3 older players as the Olympic Games rules allow, but as usual it's a very strong team with names like Neymar and Hulk amont others.
After easily beating Denmark (3-1) and USA (4-1) they were defeated by Mexico (2-0) but will try to recover against their all time rival.

Coach Mano Menezes didn't confirm the lineup because Milan's defender Thiago Silva had a minor injury but he's expected to play.

The two rivals will play the derby for the first time in the United States at 7pm CET with this expected lineups:

Argentina: Sergio Romero; Pablo Zabaleta, Federico Fernández, Ezequiel Garay, Clemente Rodríguez; José Sosa, Fernando Gago, Javier Mascherano, Ángel Di María; Lionel Messi, Gonzalo Higuain.

Brasil: Rafael; Danilo, Thiago Silva or Bruno, Juan, Marcelo; Sandro, Rómulo, Oscar, Hulk; Neymar, Leandro Damiao.

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