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World Cup stadium treat for Scots as they prepare for Brazil test

SCOTLAND will experience the thrill of playing in one of the 2014 World Cup venues when they play their first Brasilia International Tournament match against Canada tonight.

The game, which kicks off at 9.30pm UK time, is followed at the 71,000-seater Estadio Nacional Mane Garrincha by Brazil against Chile. All the games in the four-nation tournament, including the final and play-off for third and fourth place a week on Sunday, are taking place in the World Cup venue.

After visiting the stadium, Anna Signeul, the Scotland coach, said: "It's hard to believe it holds 71,000. It seems quite compact, and no matter where you sit there is a great view of the pitch. The Brazilians have told us they are opening up enough of the ground to seat 30,000 people. I've no idea if they will get that sort of crowd, but they must have expectations. We play Brazil on Sunday so we're expecting a big attendance then. But even if we don't get 30,000, I've already noticed that 3000 Brazilians can make the same amount of noise."

Brazil, who are ranked fourth in the world, are the tournament favourites, but Canada will also fancy their chances. The 2015 Women's World Cup hosts are seventh in the Fifa world rankings and won the tournament the last time they played in it three years ago. "They are a very strong team," Signeul confirmed. "They are preparing for a home World Cup and spend a lot of time together."

The two countries have played each other three times in recent years, with Canada recording two wins to Scotland's one. They had an emphatic 5-1 the last time the teams met, in last year's Cyprus Cup.

The Scots are a better side than back then, having risen to 20th in the world with an update scheduled for tomorrow. However, they go into tonight's match without their first choice central defensive pairing of Jenny Beattie and Rachel Corsie, while the experienced Ifeoma Dieke has still not recovered from the anterior cruciate knee ligament injury she sustained playing for Team GB at the London Olympics. That means that Frankie Brown of Hibernian and Glasgow City's Eilish McSorley will face the Canadians. "Frankie has been playing right back for us but plays in central defence for Hibs and has done very well there," said Signeul. "This is also a chance for Eilish to get some game time; she has worked hard for her chance."

The Scots have a fitness doubt over Kim Little, but Signeul hopes she will be able to take her usual place in midfield.

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