Lucas warns Scotland to expect best from Brazil
Brazil midfielder Lucas Leiva has warned Scotland that his country won't be taking it easy in Sunday's friendly international at Arsenal's Emirates Stadium.sports Updated: Mar 26, 2011 09:11 IST
Brazil midfielder Lucas Leiva has warned Scotland that his country won't be taking it easy in Sunday's friendly international at Arsenal's Emirates Stadium.
While Scotland's players are looking forward to a rare meeting with the most glamourous name in world football, in reality they will come up against a Brazilian outfit desperately searching for a new identity under coach Mano Menezes.
Menezes took over after last year's World Cup flop in South Africa, but he has yet significantly to improve the Selecao.
The Brazilians arrive in London on their worst run for nearly three years after successive defeats against France and Argentina and Liverpool star Lucas knows an impressive showing against Scotland is vital to keep the critics at bay ahead of the Copa America later this year.
"The new manager is trying to give opportunities to the young players and trying to build a new team so a lot of new faces are here," Lucas said.
"But we just have to take the opportunity to try and be in the squad all the time and look to the Copa America.
"It will be a very important game for us. We lost the last games so the pressure is a bit higher.
"But we have a good team and hopefully we will play a very good match.
"Hopefully we will play with confidence and I am sure we will have a big opportunity to win and be confident for the rest of the games."
Lucas may not be cast in the traditional mold of flamboyant playmakers like Kaka and Ronaldinho, who are out of favour under Menezes, but his industrious displays for Liverpool have earned a place in the Selecao starting line-up recently.
The 24-year-old's experience of the Premier League could be important against a combative outfit life Scotland and he added: "It is an important game for Scotland because they have a lot of respect for Brazil, but we know how difficult it will be because they have good players and play with more confidence now.
"Hopefully we will have a very good match and win. That is the most important thing at the moment."
Scottish coach Craig Levein took his squad for a team-bonding break in the Spanish resort of La Manga to prepare for only the sixth meeting between the countries and the first since Brazil's 2-1 win in the opening game of the 1998 World Cup.
Scotland are still waiting for their first victory over Brazil, with two draws in 1966 and 1974 their best efforts against the self-appointed guardians of the beautiful game.
Blackpool midfielder Charlie Adam remembers watching Tommy Boyd's own goal which condemned Scotland to defeat in that 1998 World Cup clash in Paris and he would love to help his country to a famous victory.
"At France 98 we lost in Paris but that's the only game (between the teams) I really remember," Adam said. "I just hope the current squad we've got now is good enough to put up a good show and get a good performance.
"It'll be a fantastic occasion and hopefully I'll get the opportunity to play.
"Brazil are one of the best teams in the world and they've got some of the best players.
"It's great that I've been picked for the squad and hopefully we'll get the right result."
Brazil will be without injured AC Milan forwards Robinho and Alexandre Pato, while Villarreal striker Nilmar is doubtful with a muscle problem.