Brazil boss Dunga insists March’s clash with Chile at the Emirates Stadium offers the perfect barometer to measure his side’s progress ahead of a crucial 2015.
As well as key World Cup qualifiers, Brazil will travel to Chile in July for the Copa America and Dunga is convinced the next 12 months will be a major test for his newlook side.
The all-South American clash at Arsenal’s home ground on March 29 will see Brazil and Barcelona star Neymar facing Gunners striker Alexis Sanchez – the pair are former Nou Camp team-mates.
The Brazil team is also likely to feature Liverpool’s Philippe Coutinho, Chelsea pair Willian and Oscar, former Stamford Bridge favourite David Luiz, with the Chile side likely to include Juventus’ Arturo Vidal, plus QPR duo Mauricio Isla and Eduardo Vargas.
The game will take on extra significance as Brazil secured a dramatic penalty shootout win against Chile to reach the last eight at the 2014 World Cup last summer and set up an all-South American quarter-final against Colombia.
Goalkeeper Julio Cesar was the hero, making two crucial spot-kick saves to thwart Chile, who were denied victory themselves by the woodwork with seconds to spare in extra time.
“The year of 2015 will be very important for us, when we will play the Copa America and the qualifiers for the World Cup will also get started,” said Dunga.
“Playing against Chile will be one more opportunity for the Brazilian National Team to get ready for the next challenges of this year.
“Brazil vs Chile is always a good game and I am sure that all fans will see a great show in London.”
Arsenal striker Alexis, who missed Saturday’s North London derby defeat against Tottenham through injury, admitted he was excited at the prospect of playing against his former Barcelona colleague Neymar.
While the opportunity to show his Chile team-mates the atmosphere and facilities at the Emirates Stadium was an opportunity he was counting down the days until.
“I’m so excited and honoured to be playing for the national team of Chile, against our great rivals Brazil, in front of the incredible Arsenal fans at Emirates Stadium,” Alexis said.
“I also look forward to playing against my good friend Neymar and welcoming him and the rest of the Brazil team to Emirates Stadium in March.
“Matches between Brazil and Chile are always exciting encounters, and for me, to play this game at Emirates Stadium will make the match even more special.”
Tickets went on General Sale at 3pm on Friday February 6, 2015, with ticket prices starting from £15 for concessions and £30 for adults, it is urged that all ticket purchases are made as soon as possible, in order to avoid disappointment.
Picture courtesy of DSanchez17, with thanks