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Tuesday, April 23
Mar 26, 2019 at 7.45pm UK
Czech Republic
1-3
Brazil
Pavelka (37')
FT(HT: 1-0)
Firmino (49'), Jesus (83', 90')

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Preview: Czech Republic vs. Brazil - prediction, team news, lineups

By , Senior Reporter | 1mo
Sports Mole previews Tuesday's international friendly between Czech Republic and Brazil, including predictions, team news and head-to-head records.

Brazil continue their preparations for the 2019 Copa America with a friendly against Czech Republic at the Eden Arena in Prague on Tuesday evening.

The Selecao were held to a surprise draw by Panama in their last outing and have just one official friendly pencilled in between now and the start of their Copa campaign on June 15.


Czech Republic

Czech boss Jaroslav Silhavy admitted prior to Friday's meeting with England that the best his side can hope for is a second-place finish in Group A behind the Three Lions, leaving them to battle it out with Montenegro, Bulgaria and Kosovo.

Not helped by finishing behind Ukraine in their Nations League campaign last year, the Czechs' only route to next year's Euro 2020 finals appears to be via the traditional method of finishing second in their qualifying group.

Friday's heavy loss at Wembley was not the best way to begin what is a big year for Silhavy's men, then, as they held out for 24 minutes before being blown away by England in a one-sided affair.

Raheem Sterling scored three times, Harry Kane netted from the penalty spot and Tomas Kalas put the ball into his own net to round off the scoring with a comical own goal late on.

That leaves the Czech Republic bottom of Group A on goal difference at this early stage, and the gap on the sides above them will grow in the coming days as they are the only team not in qualifying action on matchday two.

This midweek friendly with Brazil has therefore not exactly come at the best time for the European nation, who will much rather collect six points from six in back-to-back home matches against Bulgaria and Montenegro in June's qualifiers.

The 5-0 defeat to England also marked the second time the Czech Republic have conceded five goals in a match since September, having done likewise in a 5-1 defeat to Russia.

Taking all results over the past year into consideration, the Euro 1996 runners-up have won four and lost five, scoring five and conceding 17 during that mixed run. If they are to take anything from Tuesday's high-profile friendly with Brazil, then, an improvement is needed at both ends of the field.

Recent form: LWLWWL


Brazil

Heading into their friendly with Panama, a nation ranked 73 places below them in the latest FIFA rankings, Brazil had plenty of momentum on their side.

Last summer's World Cup quarter-final exit to Belgium may have been a huge disappointment, but in Tite the Selecao boast arguably the best national team manager on the planet right now.

Tite has geared his side up for this year's Copa America on home soil, which begins with a clash against Bolivia in Sao Paulo a little over two months from now.

Since exiting the World Cup, the five-times world champions had won six matches in a row without conceding prior to their trip to the Estadio do Dragao, seeing off the United States, El Salvador, Argentina, Uruguay and Cameroon in friendlies.

However, Tite's men struggled to break down Panama in Saturday's friendly in Portugal as they played out a 1-1 draw. Lucas Paqueta opened the scoring with a first-time finish after being picked out by an exquisite Casemiro pass, but Adolfo Machado hit back almost instantly for Panama.

Brazil deserved to win the match, having hit the crossbar through the lively Richarlison and Casemiro, but the bottom line is that they failed to convert their chances when they arrived. A similar outcome against Czech Republic on Tuesday and Tite will start to grow concerned.

The Selecao do still have Neymar to welcome back, of course, with the Paris Saint-Germain forward spending the last two months on the sidelines due to a foot injury, meaning that this is perhaps the last chance for some of the fringe attackers to impress.

These spring friendlies are all about getting the squad together in preparation for the Copa America. Drawing against Central American minnows Panama has halted Brazil's momentum, but they now have a chance to get back on track in the Czech capital.

Recent form: WWWWWD


Team News

Tite made eight changes for the draw against Panama, retaining only Ederson, Arthur and Roberto Firmino. All three may make way on Tuesday, which could mean a start through the middle for second-half substitute Gabriel Jesus.

Alisson Becker is in contention to take over from Ederson, while Felipe Anderson could potentially replace Barcelona midfielder Arthur, who is in need of a rest.

Ajax's David Neres will be hopeful of making his senior debut at some stage, meanwhile, and there could also be recalls for the likes of Thiago Silva, Danilo, Marcelo and Miranda.

Czech captain Borek Dockal missed the England match with a gastrointestinal issue and is expected to sit this one out, though Matej Vydra is pushing for a recall after starting the game at Wembley on the bench.

Silhavy will be targeting a positive result from this match to restore some confidence in his squad, so changes may therefore be kept to a minimum.

Lukas Masopust and Milan Skoda were second-half subs against England and could start this one, potentially giving Roma forward Patrick Schick a breather.

Czech Republic possible starting lineup:
Pavlenka; Kaderabek, Celustka, Kalas, Novak; Soucek, Pavelka; Gebre Selassie, Vydra, Masopust; Skoda

Brazil possible starting lineup:
Alisson; Danilo, Miranda, Silva, Marcelo; Coutinho, Anderson, Paqueta; Neres, Jesus, Richarlison


Head To Head



Brazil have met Czech Republic on just one previous occasion - a Confederations Cup clash in December 1997.

The Selecao won that match 2-0 in Riyadh thanks to a couple of second-half goals from Romario.

After overcoming the European participants in the semi-finals, Brazil went on to crush Australia 6-0 in the final, with the Czechs claiming third place courtesy of their narrow win against Uruguay.


We say: Czech Republic 0-2 Brazil



Brazil will be keen to bounce back from their weekend disappointment against Panama, and this trip to Prague offers them the chance to rebuild some momentum heading into the Copa America. Even with a handful of changes expected, the Selecao should be too strong for the hosts.






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