HIGH PRAISE

Eng­land among favourites, says Brazil’s Tite

New Straits Times - - Sport -

BRAZIL coach Tite views Eng­land as one of the favourites to win next year’s World Cup and be­lieves the cos­mopoli­tan na­ture of the Pre­mier League has ben­e­fited their na­tional team.

Eng­land man­ager Gareth South­gate suc­cess­fully blooded sev­eral new play­ers in Fri­day’s 00 friendly draw with Ger­many and will again be obliged to field an in­ex­pe­ri­enced team against Brazil late yes­ter­day due to in­juries.

With Dele Alli, Harry Kane and Ra­heem Ster­ling among the play­ers un­avail­able for Eng­land, Tite is con­vinced South­gate’s men will be se­ri­ous con­tenders in Rus­sia.

“Even though South­gate has only had 13 games (as man­ager) so far, with Dele Alli, Kane and the ex­pe­ri­ence of (Gary) Cahill, that tra­di­tion counts, so I see Eng­land as one of the favourites,” Tite said on Mon­day.

“I’m not just say­ing that be­cause I’m here at Wem­b­ley, speak­ing in front of English peo­ple.

“Com­pared to Ja­pan, the tech­ni­cal de­mands of (Tues­day’s) game are go­ing to be higher.

“His­tor­i­cally, Eng­land’s (foot­ball) is a mix be­tween tech­ni­cal foot­ball, on the floor, but also phys­i­cal con­tact, qual­ity, short pass­ing, tri­an­gu­la­tion.

“In the Pre­mier League there are so many for­eign coaches and dif­fer­ent play­ers. It’s a very strong league with dif­fer­ent styles.”

Brazil have been fly­ing since Tite suc­ceeded the sacked Dunga in June 2016, qual­i­fy­ing at a can­ter for next year’s World Cup and win­ning 13 of the 16 games they have played un­der his stew­ard­ship.

The five-time world cham­pi­ons warmed up for the trip to Wem­b­ley by beat­ing Ja­pan 3-1 in Lille on Fri­day, with Gabriel Je­sus scor­ing the third goal to take his Brazil tally to eight goals in 12 games.

English foot­ball fans are no stranger to Je­sus’s tal­ents due to his dis­plays for Manch­ester City and Brazil team­mate Dani Alves be­lieves he can be­come as im­por­tant to the na­tional team as the great Ron­aldo.

“I wasn’t jok­ing when I called him the new Ron­aldo,” Alves told Mon­day’s pre-match press con­fer­ence at Wem­b­ley.

“He’s al­ready great and will get even bet­ter. For all that he’s done, all that he’s achieved, there’s no pres­sure. He’s do­ing what he loves.”

Eng­land’s own goal-scor­ing tal­is­man, Kane, is ab­sent due to in­jury, but al­though Tite said he and Je­sus could be com­pared in terms of in­flu­ence, he feels they are very dif­fer­ent play­ers.

“The char­ac­ter­is­tics of Gabriel Je­sus and Kane are a bit dif­fer­ent,” said the for­mer Corinthi­ans coach.

“Gabriel at­tacks the space, gives us that depth; Kane is more po­si­tional. They’re two strong strik­ers.

“Kane is a penalty-box player with an im­pres­sive fin­ish­ing abil­ity. He’s good in the air, good with his right foot and left. It’s very im­pres­sive. He has a lot of qual­ity.” AFP

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