It is tempting in this day and age of excessive friendlies, to give England games a wide berth. They are generally lacking in entertainment factor – something that anybody who has watched the Three Lions play for the past two decades will recognise, and very rarely do they actually achieve anything of note.
But Tuesday’s encounter with Brazil is rather different. The boys with the samba magic in their feet tend to always bring their best when playing England – home or away – and as the history books tell us, matches between the two sides are very rarely lacking in incident.
So here are five very good reasons for you to tune in to the friendly at Wembley on Tuesday, even if your other half has their heart set on a Game of Thrones marathon.
#1 – Goals…..Lots of Them
Who doesn’t love to see the old pig bladder’s rocket into the onion bag? Goals are what football fans crave, and encounters between England and Brazil tend to serve up a sackful.
The two sides have met on 25 occasions, and there has only been a pair of 0-0s in all that time – the last coming in 1977.
Three of the last five matches have gone over the 2.5 goal mark (the same result here is available at even money with the bookmakers this time around), and 80% of the last ten clashes have witnessed two or more goals.
So if nothing else, you can expect plenty of goalmouth action on Tuesday.
#2 – The Worldie
The last time England beat Brazil was in February 2013, when Frank Lampard curled home a cracking goal to give the Three Lions a memorable – albeit only a friendly – victory.
And while you might expect the Brazilians to have a wonder goal up their sleeve or two, it is actually an Englishman who bagged what is surely the best goal in England vs Brazil contests.
In 1984, it was John Barnes who afforded the Three Lions some continental flair, and he scored an unforgettable goal in a friendly that player from the South American country would be proud of.
Cutting in from the left hand side, Barnes beat one man, two, three and then, before rounding the keeper and slotting home. If there has been a better goal scored in the white shirt, please make it be known.
#3 – The Calamity
David Seaman was a goalkeeper known for three things: being part of the infamous ‘1-0 to the Arsenal’ backline under George Graham, that darn ponytail and, of course, the occasional clanger between the sticks.
Seaman was lobbed by Nayim from the halfway line in a Cup Winners’ Cup final back in the early 90s, but surely you learn the lessons of making a mistake like that, right?
If he had of done, then perhaps England’s decent run at World Cup 2002 would have progressed past the quarter final stage, but, alas, he had not.
It was Ronaldinho who dealt the killer blow on this occasion, floating what should have bee a harmless cross into the box from around 40 yards out. But with Seamen in goal, there was no such thing as ‘harmless’….
#4 – England Expects
Remarkably, England have only lost once in eight meetings against Brazil on home soil -an incredible record given that the Brazilians have dominated international football for decades.
That 2-1 win mentioned above, with Lampard curling home a fine winner, was directly preceded by a pair of 1-1 draws.
The unbeaten run was curtailed in the mid-90s when some fella called Ronaldo scored in a 3-1 win during the much-forgotten Umbro Cup.