Fabio Capello said managing Russia is an entirely different challenge compared to his tenure as England boss.The Italian, speaking after his side secured a 1-1 draw with Brazil at Chelsea's Stamford Bridge on Monday, returned to England for the first time since resigning as England manager in February 2012.
Brazil head coach Luiz Felipe Scolari has insisted his side are on the right path after a 1-1 friendly draw with Russia in London on Monday.The South Americans needed a last-gasp goal from Fluminense attacker Fred to salvage something against Fabio Capello's men in their Stamford Bridge clash.
Brazil left it late to come from behind and earn a 1-1 draw against a resilient Russian side at Stamford Bridge.Fabio Capello's men had the better start to proceedings but neither side truly tested the other in a tame first half.
Brazil left it late to come from behind and earn a 1-1 draw against a resilient Russia at Stamford Bridge.
Fabio Capello's men had the better start to proceedings but neither side truly tested the other in a tame first half. The Selecao saw a lot more of the ball after the break but were unable to unlock a stubborn Russian defence, until Fred's late equaliser cancelled out Viktor Fayzulin's 73rd-minute opener for the draw.
Although their World Cup qualifier with Northern Ireland was postponed twice at the weekend, Russia began positively and called Julio Cesar into action after just three minutes. A thunderous free kick from Sergei Ignashevich was just kept out of the bottom corner by the sprawling Canarinho keeper.
Momentum stayed with the European side, and not long after Aleksandr Kerzhakov threatened the Brazil goal but his rifled shot soared wide of the target.
Just three minutes later it took some last-ditch defending to keep Russia off the scoresheet. Roman Shirokov failed to connect with a cross from the right and it took a fantastic block from Thiago Silva to stop Kerzhakov from slotting home at the back post.
Luiz Felipe Scolari's men eventually settled into the game but Neymar was unable to get a convincing effort on goal despite two chances falling his way before the half-hour mark.
The tempo of the game soon dropped off as an intensely contested midfield battle limited the room within which either side could feed their attackers.
Moments before the break an incisive move initiated by Fayzulin looked exceptionally dangerous, but after sprinting 60 yards for the return pass from Kerzhakov he saw Julio Cesar tip his effort around the post.
The Selecao enjoyed a far better start to the second half but for all their improved retention of possession they were unable to test Vladimir Gabulov before the hour mark.
Contributing to this was the compact and organised nature of the defence of Capello's side. Red shirts swarmed upon the Brazilian players whenever they came close to entering the final third.
The Russian resilience finally paid off as they took the lead against the run of play in the 73rd minute. A quick break down the left resulted in a goal-mouth scramble and, with the Selecao defenders back protecting the line, Fayzulin was left unmarked to slot home after Shirokov had seen his effort blocked on the line by Fernando.
It looked as though Brazil boss Felepao was going to taste defeat for the second time in three games since returning to the helm as coach of Brazil, but a brilliant reverse pass from Hulk played Marcelo in behind the defence on the left side of the area and his low pass across the face of goal was tapped home by Fred.
Despite the Fluminense striker's heroics, Scolari remains without a win in his second stint in the Brazil hotseat. Capello, meanwhile, will be pleased to have extended his unbeaten run as trainer to eight games.
Luiz Felipe Scolari will be keen to pick up his first win since returning as Brazil coach when they take on Russia at Stamford Bridge on Monday.
The trainer is expected to bring in additional experience to a defence that surrendered a two-goal lead against Italy last week, with Thiago Silva and Marcelo replacing Dante and Filipe Luis respectively. Fernando and Hernanes are expected to continue their partnership in midfield with Ramires doubtful after struggling to shake off a knock.
The only other change from the former Chelsea boss will see Hulk drop to the bench with Kaka awarded a starting berth behind Fred.
Russia's preparations, meanwhile, have been far from ideal with their World Cup qualifier against Northern Ireland postponed twice. However, the only likely absentee for Fabio Capello's side will be Igor Denisov who misses out through illness and so Roman Shirokov will captain the side.
Dmitri Tarasov could therefore be handed his international debut in midfield, while the experienced Alexandr Kerzhakov is expected to lead the line.
Brazil have never lost against Monday's opponents. Including fixtures with the former Soviet Union, the South American side have picked up eight wins in 10 meetings between the two nations.
The Selecao came out on top the last time these two went head-to-head. Ronaldo (pictured right) scored the decisive goal in a 1-0 win in Moscow.
Luiz Felipe Scolari is no stranger to Stamford Bridge, having coached Chelsea for just over seven months in the 2008-09 Premier League season
Russia are unbeaten under Fabio Capello and have not lost since their Euro 2012 elimination at the hands of Greece last June.
Alexandr Kerzhakov is just four goals away from joining Vladimir Beschastnykh as the eastern European nation's all-time leading goalscorer.
An appearance for Aleksandr Anyukov will see him join Andrei Arshavin, who has been cut from the squad, on 74 caps.
Brazil are currently in 18th position in the Fifa rankings, their lowest position since the classification's inception, while Russia occupy 10th place.
Luiz Filipe Scolari says he would rather Brazil play warm-up matches at home as they prepare for yet another promotional friendly.Brazil meet Russia at Stamford Bridge on Monday, with west London their latest stop on the long road to the FIFA World Cup finals on home soil next year.
Zenit St Petersburg striker Hulk believes Brazil are in for a tough test against Russia in their international friendly on Monday.The forward joined the Russian Premier League side from Porto last off-season and, as a result, is well aware of which of Fabio Capello's men will pose a danger in the friendly at Stamford Bridge.
Russia coach Fabio Capello believes Monday's friendly against Brazil will serve as an important test for his side.Following their 2-2 draw with Italy last week, World Cup hosts Brazil travel to Stamford Bridge to face a side currently four points clear at the top of their qualifying group.
Russia midfielder Roman Shirokov is fully confident in his side's chances when they face Brazil on Monday.Fabio Capello's side take on the World Cup hosts in a friendly at Stamford Bridge and although the 31-year-old has warned against reading too much into FIFA rankings – Brazil are 18th and Russia are 10th – he has backed his side to triumph.
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|25-03||Brazil 1-1 Russia: Last-minute Fred equaliser saves Selecao|
|25-03||Brazil - Russia Preview: Scolari still searching for first victory of second stint|
|24-03||Scolari, Brazil missing home comforts|
|24-03||Hulk expects testing Russia clash|
|24-03||Capello relishing Brazil test|
|24-03||Shirokov wants Brazil scalp|