Between the 2011 Copa America and Brazil's most recent international friendly match against Germany, things are not currently going well for Brazil manager Mano Menezes. He's being given time to put together a young squad that plays attractive football, and the FA seems understanding that this might take a while. Still, things will have to pick up soon if he wants to keep his job through the 2014 World Cup. On Monday evening, Brazil should get a lighter test - but a test nonetheless - when they take on Ghana at Craven Cottage in London, England.
Ghana are without their superstar Michael Essien, but the center of their midfield is deep with physical and athletic players. There might not be another central midfielder in the squad who can pass quite as well as Essien, but they're talented in that area regardless. Against a team like Brazil, the center of the pitch is likely to be key for Ghana.
After their win against Swaziland on Friday, Ghana are all but qualified for the 2012 African Cup Of Nations. Their match against Sudan in October will determine who qualifies automatically, but their current record of 13 points from five matches should be good enough to get them through as one of the best second placed teams in qualifying.
Star striker Asamoah Gyan scored a goal in that game against Swaziland, but was substituted off at halftime with an injury. News has since come out that the injury was not serious and that the substitution was purely precautionary. Gyan should be available tonight, at least as a substitute, and will be available for Sunderland this weekend barring any unforeseen circumstances.
Brazil's team is an interesting mix of veteran stars and emerging youngsters. Neymar and Ganso from Santos are both in the team, along with Internacional striker Leandro Damiao. Porto star Hulk is also in the team, as is Ronaldinho, who has enjoyed a career resurgence with Flamengo in the Brasileiro this season.
The match kicks off at 2:45 pm ET, 7:45 pm local time and can be seen on ESPN3.com in English in the USA, as well as on ESPN Deportes in Spanish. The game is streaming on FIFA.com internationally and is on various ESPN properties throughout Latin America and the Caribbean.