England vs Brazil: What time is today’s match and what TV channel is it on?


Ollie Watkins, the Aston Villa forward, is expected to start against Brazil later today

Aston Villa striker Ollie Watkins is expected to start against Brazil in the first of two pre-Euro 2024 friendlies during this international window later today in a chance to impress ahead of the European Championship finals this summer.

With Harry Kane to miss the Wembley friendly with his ankle injury, England manager Gareth Southgate can look at his other striker options and has used Watkins leading the attack in the final team training sessions at St George’s Park.

Watkins has 22 goals for Villa this season and is the top-scoring England player in the Premier League. He was picked for the friendly against Australia earlier in the season – the only England game Kane has not played in – and scored the winner against the Socceroos.

Southgate’s other option is Brentford striker Ivan Toney, who is back in the England squad after his suspension for breaching betting rules.

But all of this has been overshadowed by a St George’s Cross row sparked by kit manufacturer Nike’s decision to alter the English national flag on the back of the new England shirt. More team news below.

The new St George's Cross

The new St George’s Cross has caused uproar – PA/Nike

Even the Prime Minister, Rishi Sunak, has had his say, suggesting Nike “should not mess” with the St George’s Cross.

And Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer has also called on Nike to reconsider. “I’m a big football fan, I go to England games, men and women’s games, and the flag is used by everybody. It is a unifier. It doesn’t need to be changed. We just need to be proud of it,” Starmer said. “So, I think they should just reconsider this and change it back. I’m not even sure they can properly explain why they thought they needed to change it in the first place.”

When do England play Brazil?

Today, Saturday, March 23.

What time does England vs Brazil start?

Kick-off is at 7pm (GMT).

Where is the match being held?

The two sides will meet at Wembley, the home of English football.

What channel is it on TV?

The match will be shown live on Channel 4, with coverage beginning at 6pm.

Alternatively, you can follow all the action via our live blog, with commentary and analysis from our team of reporters at the ground.

What is the latest news?

Kane is part of a lengthy injury list for Southgate in his final friendlies of the season. Bukayo Saka pulled out as an injury
precaution earlier in the week and his absence gives Anthony Gordon the opportunity for an England debut after his excellent season with Newcastle.

Jude Bellingham and Declan Rice, who are expected to start matches in Germany this summer, are in midfield and are likely to be alongside Chelsea midfielder Conor Gallagher.

At the back, Southgate will be able to pair Harry Maguire and John Stones in his starting line-up for only the second time this season. The centre-backs have been at the heart of Southgate’s major successes but due to injury have only started in the win over Italy this term.

Southgate’s injury concerns have also been at left-back with Luke Shaw and Kieran Trippier injured but he has Ben Chilwell back and available to play in his favoured position.

Along with Kane, Saka and Shaw, his injured players who could compete for a starting place include Trent Alexander-Arnold and Jack Grealish.

“We have a long list of 40-odd players and a third are unavailable for tomorrow’s game which is the highest we have ever had, no question,” said Southgate, who is also preparing for Tuesday’s clash against Belgium.

With Kane out injured, Southgate has to decide on a captain for the evening with Kyle Walker in the frame for the armband.

John Stones, meanwhile, has revealed that he would love to play in midfield for England, but has not discussed a change of position with Southgate.

‌Southgate has problems in the centre of his midfield with Kalvin Phillips badly out of form and omitted from his squad for England’s friendlies against Brazil and Belgium, while Jordan Henderson has been ruled out of today’s game through injury.

‌Manchester United teenager Kobbie Mainoo received his first senior call-up this week, but Stones has revealed that he would jump at the chance to partner Rice.

‌Stones, who has played in midfield for Manchester City but always been deployed as a defender by Southgate, said: “100 per cent I’d love to do it [play in midfield for England]. What I do with my club.

‌“We’ve not spoken about anything. But I think Gareth knows how he wants to play, he knows everyone’s attributes, my attributes, and obviously watches the games quite a lot. So if he’s got any thoughts of that, I’d obviously love to do it, to try to help the team in any way possible. Maybe it’s something that we might speak about in the future, I’m not too sure.”

‌Stones has been in superb form for England and City, and is regarded as one of the best defenders in the world.

‌Asked if he feels he is playing the best football of his career so far, 29-year-old Stones replied: “For the past three or four seasons, I feel I’ve got a good consistency to my game over an extended period.

‌“I know there’s been injuries, but I think I’ve maybe shown that consistency that I can keep producing at a high level for an extended period of time. I’m enjoying my football, which is the most important thing. When you enjoy something, you stop thinking too much and let your football do the talking. You express yourself and I’m doing all those things.”

England squad to face Brazil and Belgium

Goalkeepers: Sam Johnstone (Crystal Palace), Jordan Pickford (Everton), Aaron Ramsdale (Arsenal)

Defenders: Jarrad Branthwaite (Everton), Ben Chilwell (Chelsea), Lewis Dunk (Brighton & Hove Albion), Joe Gomez (Liverpool), Ezri Konsa (Aston Villa), Harry Maguire (Manchester United), John Stones (Manchester City), Kyle Walker (Manchester City)

Midfielders: Jude Bellingham (Real Madrid), Conor Gallagher (Chelsea), Jordan Henderson (Ajax), James Maddison (Tottenham Hotspur), Kobbie Mainoo (Manchester United), Declan Rice (Arsenal)

Forwards: Jarrod Bowen (West Ham United) Phil Foden (Manchester City), Anthony Gordon (Newcastle United), Harry Kane (Bayern Munich), Cole Palmer (Chelsea), Marcus Rashford (Manchester United), Bukayo Saka (Arsenal), Ivan Toney (Brentford), Ollie Watkins (Aston Villa)

England vs Brazil head-to-head

The last time these two sides met in a competitive match was the 2002 World Cup quarter-final, with Brazil winning 2-1 courtesy of Ronaldinho’s infamous free-kick.

Predictions

England should have enough quality to deal with a new-look Brazil team, who are on a difficult run of form.
England to win: 2-0

Match odds

  • England to win: 19/20

  • Brazil to win: 16/5

  • Draw: 21/8

Odds correct as of March 22

Take a look at these Euro 2024 betting offers and free bets

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