RIO DE JANEIRO - Brazil will try and score their first goal at home since last November when they face Portugal in Wednesday's friendly in Brasilia. The once free-scoring Brazilians have been held to goalless draws by Argentina, Bolivia and Colombia, all in World Cup qualifiers, in their last three home games as coach Dunga has struggled to find ways of breaking down packed defences. Dunga's side have played for 295 minutes at home without hitting the back of the opposing net since Luis Fabiano scored in the 2-1 win over Uruguay in Sao Paulo last November. Dunga has again left AC Milan's Ronaldinho out of his squad while keeping faith with Adriano, despite the powerhouse striker's problems at Inter Milan where he has been left out of the team for indiscipline. Central defender Lucio is missing through injury. "It's better for him (Ronaldinho) to play for Milan so he can return to the national squad in good condition next year because he is irreplaceable," Dunga said. Portugal will become the first European side to visit Brazil in over six years. Brazil last hosted a European side in March 2002 when Yugoslavia came to Fortaleza for a match which marked striker Ronaldo's international comeback after a two-and-a-half year absence. Since then, nearly all of Brazil's friendlies have been staged in Europe or Asia, including matches against other South American teams. Portugal coach Carlos Queiroz is boosted by the return after injury of midfielder Maniche, playmaker Deco, winger Simao Sabrosa and defender Jose Bosingwa. Porto defender Rolando and Braga midfielder Cesar Peixoto were included in Portugal's senior squad for the first time while Tiago was named in the 20-man squad after more than a year absent. "This game will give us the fantastic opportunity to lift the spirit of the team, stimulate their concentration and motivate the players to make it to the 2010 World Cup," Queiroz said. "We won't have another game like this for that purpose." "The aim is to prepare the team so that Portugal can qualify for the World 2010. I do not consider the possibility of not going to the World Cup" he said. Portugal will play one more friendly in February before hosting Sweden in a World Cup qualifier in March. Portugal are third in Group One with five points from four matches. Probable teams: Brazil: Julio Cesar; Maicon, Thiago Silva, Luisao, Kleber; Gilberto Silva, Anderson, Josue, Kaka; Adriano, Robinho. Portugal: Quim; Jose Bosingwa, Pepe, Bruno Alves, Paulo Ferreira; Deco, Maniche, Simao, Cristiano Ronaldo, Joao Moutinho; Hugo Almeida Referee: Larrionda Bezzerao (Uruguay)
18 November 2008
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