The domestic football season may be over for Manchester United, Chelsea, Arsenal et al, but that’s no reason to panic and burn all your possessions (you can do that next week) because before that there’s the clash between Brazil and England to enjoy.
Roy Hodgson’s men were heavily criticised for their below par performance in midweek as they stuttered to a 1-1 draw with the Republic of Ireland at Wembley.
However, they have a chance to redeem themselves before the summer break as they take on the Brazilians in their own back yard, the newly renovated Maracana Stadium.
There were question marks as to whether this clash would even happen after safety concerns were raised, but the game has been given the go-ahead, so let’s get betting on it.
Luiz Felipe Scolari is under pressure to lead Brazil to glory at their own World Cup next year and so will be looking to his team to excite their home fans in their polished national stadium.
And with the likes of Oscar, David Luiz and Barcelona new-boy Neymar on show, there is sure to be a keen eye on this match – so we’ve taken a look at some of the key stats that could decide who, if anyone, comes out on top.
1. Of the ten games they have played since Euro 2012, England have drawn 1-1 in four of them. The odds on this game ending with the same outcome sit at 13/2.
4. England’s win over the 2014 World Cup hosts at Wembley earlier this year was their fourth in 21 meetings with the men in yellow and blue. Hodgson’s charges are 4/1 to pick up an away win here.
7. Brazil have won seven of their 13 games in the same time, including six in a row during the second half of 2012. Big Phil Scolari’s men are 3/5 to overcome the Three Lions.
20. Neymar has bagged 20 goals in his 32 caps for his country to date, and Lionel Messi’s new teammate is 7/2 to open the scoring in the Maracana on Sunday.
28. Despite the negative words from Gary Lineker this week, England have scored 28 goals in the ten games since Euro 2012. They are 23/10 to score over 1.5 goals in Rio.
If you think that Neymar could be the man to unlock the England defence to bag the first goal in Rio then you can back the odds of 7/2 with the free £20 bet you get for opening a bwin account today, netting £70 in returns.