International Friendly: Brazil vs. Ireland (UPDATED)
With three months to go until the 2010 World Cup in South Africa, the qualified teams begin their final groundwork in a series of friendly competitions. And tonight Brazil takes on the Republic of Ireland at the Emirates in an exhilarating post-carnival, pre-World Cup match.
Dunga, the coach for Brazil, has revealed he will make a host of changes during the match to try to ensure his players do not pick up injuries. The likes of Alves, Robinho and Kaka are set to feature tonight, but the whole world is wondering whether AC Milan’s Ronaldinho will be finally selected for the World Cup.
The 29-year-old attacking midfielder has been in great form in the past few weeks, but Dunga wasn’t impressed with his performances and left him out ahead of the match.
Robbie Keane, on the other hand, has joined the Irish squad after recovering from a knee problem. The Celtic striker underwent an additional medical exam on Monday after aggravating a knee injury in the Bhoys’ Old Firm derby defeat by Rangers.
The South Americans are the clear favorites here, but the Irish may be capable of bringing a real upset if they can come out all-guns-blazing. The Boys In Green were denied a berth in South Africa in contentious circumstances and coach Giovanni Trapattoni will be hopeful that his team will see that as an injustice and put up a solid performance against Brazil.
The match kicks-off at 20:05 GMT (15:05 ET) at the Emirates Stadium in London, England.
UPDATE: An own goal from Blackburn Rovers midfielder Keith Andrews and a second half strike from Robinho were enough to give Brazil a 2-0 victory over Ireland.