In this week’s midweek action, we preview a number of the international friendlies taking place across Europe as well as action from Brazil. The world’s footballing attention will turn to the various national outfits this week, with some of the world’s footballing giants going head-to-head.
England will host Brazil and and although the Europeans are ranked sixth in comparison to A Selecao’s 18th place on the world rankings, the South Americans cannot be written off. Who will win?
Eighth ranked Netherlands take on sixth ranked Italy in another of the major clashes happening on Wednesday, while Ireland and Poland play against each other.
France welcome Germany, while the world’s number one ranked nation, Spain, face Uruguay, and Sweden take on Argentina. Who is your money on?
In Brazils’s Paulista A1 league, Palmeiras face Atletico Sorocaba. Who will come out on top?
If you are a betting person, here are tips ahead of the weekend action brought to you by Soccer 6 and guest predictor, Chippa United striker, Stanton Lewis.
ENGLAND V BRAZIL
Fifa ranking: England 6th and Brazil 18th
Useful facts: England haven’t been that convincing under Roy Hodgson and
much improvement is needed from the Three Lions, especially against high
profile opposition. This friendly encounter against a star-studded Brazil
outfit could be a chance to really find their form.
Stanton Lewis: England win at home.
NETHERLANDS V ITALY
Fifa ranking: Netherlands 8th and Italy 4th
Useful facts: After their disastrous showing at Euro 2012, the Netherlands are a team under reconstruction by coach Louis van Gaal. Italy, finalists of the same competition last year, may fancy their chances at the Amsterdam Arena.
Stanton Lewis: Netherlands have too much depth. You saw what they can do when they get it right at the 2010 World Cup. Win for Holland.
IRELAND V POLAND
Fifa ranking: Ireland 41st and Poland 56th
Useful facts: Ireland aren’t a team packed with much world class talent and generally will have to punch above their weight to achieve anything at international level. Poland are no great shakes either so this could be a tight affair in Dublin.
Stanton Lewis: Ireland should win.
FRANCE V GERMANY
Fifa ranking: France 17th and Germany 2nd
Useful facts: France have a team filled with plenty of quality, but Les Bleus are a temperamental outfit, prone to putting on a poor display if they’re not up for it. This means a well organised Germany could be favourites at the Stade de France.
Stanton Lewis: That¹s a tough one! I’ll go for a win for Germany.
SPAIN V URUGUAY
Fifa ranking: Spain 1st and Uruguay 16th
Useful facts: Spain are simply the best when it comes to the game of football. They have a rich arsenal of world class talent in virtually every position. The current world champions will be strong favourites as they take on a decent Uruguay outfit in Doha.
Stanton Lewis: This is obvious, win for Spain.
SWEDEN V ARGENTINA
Fifa ranking: Sweden 19th and Argentina 3rd
Useful facts: Sweden are a team in form having won four of their last five matches played. They notably beat England 4-2 in November last year as well. However, Argentina are a different animal altogether and could really take the game to the Blue-Yellow.
Stanton Lewis: Sweden are a tough team. I’ll go for a draw.
PALMEIRAS V ATLETICO SOROCABA
League position: Palmeiras 8th and Atletico 11th
Useful facts: In this league clash in Brazil, Palmeiras will be hoping Hernan Barcos can keep scoring plenty of goals. Mid-table Atletico Sorocaba will have to put on a good display away from home. This could be a tight affair in the Estadio Palestra Italia.
Stanton Lewis: Palmeiras win.