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Weary Brazil to face Saudi Arabia

© Reuters 2002

RIO DE JANEIRO, Feb 5 (Reuters) - A Brazil team lacking all but one of their European-based stars will play a friendly against Saudi Arabia on Wednesday after an exhausting journey to Riyadh.

Brazil's young squad of mainly home-based players had time for just one short training session after a marathon journey which included a seven-hour delay at Madrid airport.

Brazil will field most of the team which thrashed Bolivia 6-0 last week. The main expected change is the introduction of Deportivo Coruna's midfielder Djalminha. Julio Cesar may also come in for Dida in goal.

Brazil were unable to call on their other European-based players after the game was brought forward a week from the FIFA-approved date. The switch was made to avoid a clash with Brazil's carnival celebrations.

Saudi Arabia will hope to capitalise on the weary state of the Brazilian team to gain another morale-boosting victory following the nation's recent Gulf Cup win.

Both teams will play in the 2002 World Cup in South Korea and Japan. Brazil share a group with Costa Rica, China and Turkey, while Saudia Arabia will meet Germany, Ireland and Cameroon.

Reports provided by

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