Marcelo expects tough match against Bafana

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Brazilian defender Marcelo says playing against South Africa in the weeks leading up to the 2014 Fifa World Cup will provide a stern test for the five-time World Champions. Picture: Shaun Roy/Gallo Images

Johannesburg - Brazilian defender Marcelo says playing against South Africa in the weeks leading up to the 2014 Fifa World Cup will provide a stern test for the five-time World Champions.

Brazil take on Bafana Bafana in an international friendly in Johannesburg on Wednesday evening, in what will be their final friendly before the Brazilians' 23-man squad is announced before the tournament.

“We know playing against Bafana Bafana in their own country will be tough,” Marcelo said ahead of the game at FNB Stadium.

“As Brazil, the pressure is always on us to perform, but we are prepared for that.”

Tuesday marked 100 days until the start of the World Cup, hosted by Brazil, and Marcelo acknowledged the importance of the Samba Boys winning in front of their own supporters.

There will be a bit of added pressure because we won the (2013) Confederations Cup and because the World Cup is in Brazil,” the Real Madrid left-back said.

“This is a very important game for the players because it's our last friendly before they choose the squad for the World Cup, so all the players want to perform well in order to be in the squad.”

Meanwhile, Manchester City playmaker Fernandinho, who on Sunday helped City lift the Capital One Cup in England, added that the visiting Brazilians will look to put in a good showing on Wednesday, as preparations for the global spectacle reached fever pitch.

“Brazil is a team with a lot of quality. Wednesday night will be very important for me and the rest of the squad as well,” Fernandinho said.

“As preparation for the World Cup, it's very important to win tomorrow, and we're not thinking about losing.

“We know, against South Africa, they have very good players and we need to be prepared for that.”

Late Tuesday, SA Football Association (Safa) head of communications Dominic Chimhavi confirmed that more than 60 000 tickets had already been sold for the game.

Sapa


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