Brazil, Iraq pair up in Malmo

Brazil and Iraq will meet in a full international for the first time this Thursday - but both will be far from home as they take each other on in far-flung Malmo, Sweden.

Iraq are at least banking on some 'home' support to the extent that their compatriots are the largest immigrant community in Sweden's third city.

Iraq will be preparing for their 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil™ qualifier against Australia in Doha.

Brazil fitted the bill nicely, particularly as they were otherwise free in an international week having already qualified as hosts for 2014.

The Auriverde won an August friendly in Sweden against the host nation, and also lifted their first FIFA World Cup there in 1958 at the Rasunda stadium in nearby Solna.

The logistics make sense for Brazil also in that many of their top stars play for European clubs.

Those stars include Paris Saint Germain defender Thiago Silva but also Real Madrid veteran Kaka, who is slated to win his 83rd cap two years on from his last appearance.

The Brazilian roadshow will move on four days later to a meeting with Japan in Wroclaw, Poland.

The Iraqis have one Swedish-based player in Ahmed Yasin, who plays for top-flight side Orebro.

Malmo counts some 10,000 Iraqi inhabitants out of the overall 125,000 Iraqi nationals who live in Sweden. In addition, Denmark, home to a further 30,000 Iraqis according to official figures, is just across the bay.

Malmo spokesman Per Welinder indicated he felt Thursday's match would not be a sellout.

"We hope there will be a good crowd - but we're not there yet," he said on Monday.