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Ah, the glorious international break. Teams are experimenting heavily with lineups and players at this point in the international schedule since nothing really matters from this game. Lucky for us fans, we get to take in the magic and see upcoming stars in the previously dreaded France Jersey or the much sexier looking Brazil jersey. At any rate, we should have a terrific match-up for the day a great amount of star power on hand, both old and new.

Both sides didn’t enjoy the best of World Cups in South Africa, to say the least. France looked embarrassing (and I think that’s being nice) and were truly a disgrace to soccer while Brazil was surprisingly knocked out by World Cup runner-ups Netherlands in the quarterfinals. New managers will boss each side around today and both squads have looked much improved since South Africa. Brazil have humbled the US, Iran, and Ukraine in a new look feel akin to their old samba style while France knocked off England late in 2010 (granted England played terribly, but it’s a start, nonetheless).

Players to watch for in the game for France:

  • Samir Nasri: The young midfield maestro has been on stunning form for Arsenal during the EPL campaign thus far and has already been called “the future of French football” by arguably the greatest French international to play, Zidane. He’s young so he’ll have plenty of time to prove himself but look for him to be a leader on the pitch today with his darting runs and dribbles that should trouble the stout Brazilian defense at one point or another
  • Karim Benzema: He should get at least some playing time for the day’s contest, despite his wildly inconsistent form. Les Blues desperately need a true striker and the young Real Madrid striker will have a bit of something to prove today. Greatest flop for France and Real Madrid? He’ll try to prove his numerous critics wrong today.

Players to watch for Brazil:

  • Alexandre Pato: Another young talent that has been on the scene for a while now, despite being just 21 years old, the AC Milan striker has a chance to show he’s better than his experienced teammate Robinho today. He should get some playing time next to Robinho and if he gets a chance on goal, expect the man to take it.
  • Ramieres: Though he hasn’t quite settled into the English Premier League or the Chelsea squad yet, he’ll be the most experienced midfielder out there today for Brazil. He should be used to France’s creative style of play thanks to his previous and current club so expect him to be a ball-winner and a decent distributor

Prediction: Brazil wins 2-1 over France.


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One Comment

  1. Nasri is out what will most likely be another 2 weeks with a hamstring injury. Watched him pull it in person against Huddersfield Town, FA Cup 4th round January 31, 2011. Would have been nice to see him in this game, he is in great form for Arsenal. Either way should be a great game!