It’s the dream final the soccer world was hoping for – Spain taking on Brazil in the Confederations Cup finale. This match will rightly draw a lot of attention as it could well be the tune-up for next year’s 2014 World Cup. Spain has continued their form of dominance throughout this tournament, and though they were sluggish in the semi-finals against Italy, Brazil too didn’t look their best against a pesky Uruguay side. But today in the finals, expect both teams to bring their very best. In a long-awaited match-up of the world’s top two soccer nations, this game should produce a ton of drama and action. Read on below for further game thoughts and our official prediction.
Brazil (+150) / Draw (+245) / Spain (+170)
Though this is the final game of the tournament, it would be fair to suggest that neither team has truly hit their stride yet. Sure the Spaniards looked dominant against Tahiti, but so would Canada for that matter. Spain struggled and were vastly outplayed in the semi-finals against an undermanned Italy, while Brazil held on for dear life against Uruguay. Now that both teams are where they want to be, expect a fast-paced game filled with scoring chances and exciting soccer.
Both teams employ vastly different styles – the Brazilians with their explosive and spontaneous bursts, and the Spaniards with their precise and meticulous passing and possession game. Which style will win out in today’s final though? This would be a huge trophy for the Spaniards, truly competing their reign of dominance in international soccer. But to defeat Brazil in their own backyard is a tall task, and ultimately one I do not anticipate. Spain has looked sloppy of late, and teams that attack them have posed the Spaniards some problems in recent fixtures. Brazil is expected to put the pressure on and truly test the Spain defense.
Expect home-field to be quite the advantage for the Brazilians. Throughout the tournament, their fans have been loud, rowdy, and boisterous. It can be a tough atmosphere to play against, and the so-called “12th man” should be in fine form against the Spaniards come kick-off. Brazil is 4-2-2 in their last 8 matches against Spain, and I see them improving on that today.
The Brazilians will do just enough to get the win inside 90 minutes. Spain is entering their downside and Brazil can exploit this. Their high-paced and high-energy game will put the Spaniards on their heels, and test them like never before. Bank on Brazil’s star striker, Neymar wreaking havoc along the left flank. If Spain does have a weak link, it’s likely their right back Alvaro Arbeola. Arbeola will have loads of trouble containing the shifty Neymar, and with how dominant he’s been of late, don’t be surprised to see the youngster propel his nation to Confederations Cup glory. Something along the lines of a 1-0, or 2-1 scoreline seems fitting for what promises to be an exciting affair.
PICK = Brazil (+150)