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France puts streak on line against Brazil
by Paul Kennedy, February 8th, 2011 9:28PM

TAGS:  brazil, denmark, england, france, germany, italy


[PREVIEW] Following the cancellation of its friendly against Egypt in Cairo, the USA is off on Wednesday, but fans have their choice of several exciting matches to watch. Here's a look at France-Brazil, Germany-Italy and England-Denmark, as well all Wednesday's viewing information ...

FRANCE-BRAZIL. France hasn't lost to Brazil in almost 20 years and will rely on a young team featuring Yann M'Vila, Yoann Gourcuff and Abou Diaby in midfield.

"We're one of the nations that bothers them the most," said France coach Laurent Blanc, who played on the last French team to lose to Brazil, in 1992. "The Brazilians are hard to analyze. It wouldn't surprise me if [Brazil coach Mano Menezes] is preparing for the 2014 World Cup with young players."

Mano called up the quartet of Robinho (Milan), Alexandre Pato (Milan), Andre (Dynamo Kiev) and Hulk (Porto) as forward options against France, but teenager Neymar remains in Peru, where he is playing for Brazil in the South America qualifying tournament for the 2011 Under-20 World Cup and 2012 Olympics.

Goalie Julio Cesar returns to the Brazil squad, but Inter Milan teammates Lucio and Maicon were again overlooked on defense.

GERMANY-ITALY. Italy goalkeeper Gianluigi Buffon, injured in Italy's opening game at the 2010 World Cup, is back with the Azzurri at the Signal Iduna Park in Dortmund, where they beat Germany, 2-0, at the 2006 World Cup.

Brazilian Thiago Motta has received the green light to play for Italy and will start in midfield with Stefano Mauri, Riccardo Montolivo and Daniele De Rossi.

Mesut OzilThomas Mueller and Sami Khedira are all expected to start in midfield for Germany, meaning that there was no place for veteran Michael Ballack on the roster.

DENMARK-ENGLAND. The Young Lions will be on display at Wembley as England faces Denmark.

Jack Wilshere, Arsenal’s 19-year-old midfielder, should get his first start for England, and fellow Gunner Theo Walcott is back in the England team after missing the World Cup.

“It will be interesting to see some of the younger players,” England coach Fabio Capello said. "They will be the future.

Another Arsenal attacker, Nicklas Bendtner, is back for Denmark for the first time since the World Cup.

Note: All times ET.

FRANCE-BRAZIL (live) 3 pm.

FRANCE-BRAZIL (live) 3 pm.

DENMARK-ENGLAND (live) 2:15 pm.
GERMANY-ITALY (live) 2:45 pm.
NORTHERN IRELAND-SCOTLAND-Carling Nations Cup (live) 2:45 pm.
FRANCE-BRAZIL (live) 3 pm.
SPAIN-COLOMBIA (live) 3:30 pm.

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