Brazil take on Ghana in an international friendly on Friday.
The match will be played at Stade Oceane in Le Havre, France, helping reduce travel time for the majority of both nations’ European-based players.
After breezing through World Cup qualifying with 45 points from 17 matches in the CONMEBOL section, all Brazilian eyes are now firmly fixated on this winter’s World Cup in Qatar.
The five-time world champions have not lifted the Jules Rimet trophy since triumphing in South Korea and Japan in 2002, when Ronaldo’s brace saw them take down Germany 2-0 in the final.
Since then, their brutal 7-1 demolition at the hands of Die Mannschaft on home soil in the 2014 semi-final is the closest that they have come to adding to their record tally, but there is a growing feeling that this could be their year under Tite.
The 61-year-old announced earlier this year that he will step down from his position as head coach after the World Cup in Qatar, making the tournament his last chance to leave a truly lasting legacy with his country.
Friday’s friendly against Ghana will provide good preparation for facing Cameroon in their final match in Group G at the World Cup, with Serbia and Switzerland also drawn alongside them in a group which Brazil will be expected to dominate from the outset.
Ghana, meanwhile, qualified for their first World Cup since 2014 after beating Nigeria on away goals in the final qualifying round of the CAF section.
After playing out a drab 0-0 draw in Kumasi, Thomas Partey’s opener in the return leg in Abuja proved to be enough to send the Black Stars to their fourth ever World Cup, as Nigeria could not build on William Troost-Ekong’s equaliser from the penalty spot.
Those two matches were Otto Addo’s first and second in charge after the 47-year-old replaced Milovan Rajevac following a dismal Africa Cup of Nations showing, in which Ghana only gained one point from their three group stage matches.
The former Borussia Dortmund winger, who earned 15 caps for Ghana during his playing career, was upgraded from interim coach to full-time manager after his side’s hard-fought progression at the Super Eagles’ expense. Since then, he has helped guide Ghana to four points from two matches in AFCON qualifying, before losing to Japan and drawing with Chile in June’s Kirin Cup.
There is little doubt that Friday’s trip to France to take on Brazil provides Oddo’s biggest test in charge so far ahead of the winter World Cup, in which they will take on Portugal, Uruguay and South Korea in an extremely competitive looking Group H.
Brazil International Friendlies form:
Brazil form (all competitions):
Ghana International Friendlies form:
Ghana form (all competitions):
We say: Brazil 2-0 Ghana
Ghana should be boosted by the addition of a few top quality fresh faces, but we still expect Brazil to have too much for them on Friday.
Despite leaving Jesus at home, Tite has a scary array of attacking quality to select from while generally keeping his side well-stocked in terms of numbers behind the ball.