The Brazil vs Italy match will decide which team ends in first place of Group A, and will likely determine who will face Spain in the semifinals. The game will be played at the Arena Fronte Nova in Salvador on June 22, 2013 at 12:00 PM Pacific. Needing just a draw to win the group (both teams already qualified), and with the fans supporting their every move, Brazil are the natural favorites to come out with a favorable result.
Brazil has done what it’s been asked to do by its fans: win. In the opening game of the Confederations Cup, Brazil breezed through Japan and ended up winning 3-0. Against Mexico, Brazil piled the pressure early on, got the lead in the 9th minute, played half-gas the rest of the match, and still won comfortably 2-0. Two matches, two wins, five goals, none allowed, you can’t ask for more than that (well, maybe some more jogo bonito).
Italy also defeated Japan and Mexico, though their wins were hard-fought. Against Mexico, Italy faced a team that was focused on defending, and were it not for a powerful move from Balotelli late in the game, Italy might have ended with a 1-1 draw. The match against Japan was another win the Italians had to grind out. Down 2-0 early in the first half, Italy came back and took a 3-2 lead. Only to see Japan tie the game 3-3 with 20 minutes left. A late goal by the Italians proved to be the deciding factor, and the Italians had earned a hard-fought ticket to the semifinals.
With both teams already guaranteed a spot in the semifinals, it will be interesting to see how many players each coach rotates out of the starting lineup. It is almost certain that Italy will field some alternate players, as the Italians have an older squad that could benefit from the rest. Brazil, on the other hand, might not have the luxury of resting players. As the host nation, Brazil is expected to delight its fans in every game.
Brazil vs Italy Prediction
The Brazil vs Italy match will not have the intensity that we saw in the Italy vs Japan game, although the crowd will still be as loud as ever. Look for Brazil to take the leading role in this match, they will attack, while the Italians will play their typical counterattacking style. With both teams having plenty of talent on the field, it might be decided by the individual prowess of their leading players.
Neymar and Mario Balotelli have each scored twice for their teams. Both have the explosiveness to generate a scoring opportunity out of even the smallest opening. The team who can get the better performance out of their star player will end up winning. I predict the Brazil vs Italy match will end in a 2-1 victory for the Brazilians, who will not disappoint their fans.
Brazil vs Italy Live Television
The Brazil vs Italy match will be televised on ESPN and Unimas on June 22, 2013 at 12:00 PM Pacific.