Experimental Brazil face stiff Norwegian test
By Marianne Fronsdal in Oslo
Brazil will field an experimental side against Norway in their first game since their World Cup disappointment as new coach Dunga builds for the future.
Wednesday's match is the first since the pre-tournament favourites lost in the quarter-finals of the World Cup to France and though Norway fans are eager to see their side's unbeaten run against the South Americans extended to four, Dunga's concerns lie elsewhere.
"The aim is to give the new players a chance and to form a group but the Brazilian national team always love playing and want to have fun and win," said the 42-year-old who took over from Carlos Alberto Parreira.
Dunga's experimental squad includes eight uncapped players and eight survivors from the World Cup but he has not bothered to call up Ronaldinho, Adriano, Kaká or Ronaldo.
The plan might backfire, however, as Norway, who failed to make this year's World Cup and have fallen to 52nd in the FIFA rankings, hold a unique unbeaten record against the five-time world champions.
Norway shocked Brazil with a 2-1 World Cup victory in France in the opening round in 1998 and also beat them 4-2 in 1997 and drew 1-1 in 1988, both in friendlies.
Norway's coach Aage Hareide has named all his best players for the game and says Norway will not hold back in front of a packed house in Oslo.
But he also acknowledges that the Sept. 2 European Championship qualifier against Hungary that begins their Group C campaign is more important.
"We are very content to play a dress rehearsal against Brazil, there is nothing that is better than that," Hareide said. "The Brazil match gives us a chance to test what we will look like in Budapest."
Hareide has recalled Manchester United striker Ole Gunnar Solskjaer to the squad despite complaints from Manchester United Alex Ferguson that Solskjaer is not yet fit after suffering various injuries for most of the past three seasons.
Solskjaer, 33, last played for Norway against Wales in 2004.
"Solskjaer will play from start but he will not play 90 minutes," Hareide said.
Since naming his initial squad Hareide has lost two players due to injury -- Southampton defender Claus Lundekvam and Malmö FF defender Jon Inge Hoiland.
Probable Norway team: Thomas Myhre; John Arne Riise, Erik Hagen, Brede Hangeland, Marius Johnsen; Christian Grindheim, Kristofer Haestad, Morten Gamst Pedersen, Fredrik Stromstad; John Carew, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer.
Goalkeepers - Gomes (PSV Eindhoven, Netherlands), Fábio (Cruzeiro).
Defenders - Cicinho (Real Madrid, Spain), Maicon (Inter Milan, Italy), Gilberto (Hertha Berlin, Germany), Marcelo (Fluminense), Lúcio (Bayern Munich, Germany), Juan (Bayer Leverkusen, Germany), Alex (PSV Eindhoven, Netherlands), Edmilson (Barcelona, Spain), Luisão (Benfica, Portugal).
Midfielders - Gilberto Silva (Arsenal, England), Elano (Shakhtar Donetsk, Ukraine), Daniel Carvalho (CSKA Moscow, Russia), Morais (Vasco da Gama), Jónatas (Flamengo)
Forwards - Duda Cearense (CSKA Moscow, Russia), Fred (Olympique Lyon, France), Robinho (Real Madrid, Spain), Vagner Love (CSKA Moscow, Russia), Julio Baptista (Real Madrid, Spain), Wagner (Cruzeiro).
"The greatest glory in living lies not in never falling, but in rising every time we fall.”