Tonight sees the first Confederations Cup Semi-Final as South American rivals Uruguay and Brazil are set to go at it in Belo Horizonte.
Brazil go into the match as Group A winners while Uruguay finished second in Group B. Many will be touting Brazil to go through to Sunday’s final but the Copa America 2011 champions will prove a stern test for the hosts.
Uruguay are expected to recall most of their first team players who sat out the 8-0 win over Tahiti. Diego Lugano returns after suspension and Andres Scotti is unavailable after being sent off in that 8-0 win.
The Road to the Semi
Brazil despite being criticised for their style of play won all their group games. Neymar has been absolutely excellent with a goal in each game all of which were top quality. He will emulate Ronaldinho’s competition record of scoring in four straight matches (set in 1999) should he score against Uruguay. Brazil have won all 10 of their last Confederation Cup matches – a competition record.
Uurguay made the semi with 2 wins out of three. Having played abysmally in the first half against Spain in their opening fixture he clawed their way back and despite Luis Suarez scoring a wonderful free kick they still lost 2-1. They held off a strong Nigeria challenge in the second game winning 2-1 and thrashed Tahiti 8-0 in their final group game.
This rivalry spans 97 years and there have been 70 meetings between the two. Brazil have the edge over their opponents having won 32 of those matches while Uruguay have only won 19. They have drew 19 times and three of those went to penalties. If it is a 20th draw tonight, the finalists will be decided by a shoot out. Of those three. The last meeting saw Brazil run out comfortable 4-0 winners in June 2009. Brazil have not lost to Uurguay since July 2001.
This video below is the famous Uruguay win over Brazil to lift the 1950 World Cup on Brazilian soil. Read more about this shock win here.
I think this will be Brazil’s biggest challenge so far in this competition. Nevertheless, I expect Brazil to walk out victorious as they have just got more quality players than Uruguay.
Predicted Scoreline: Brazil 2-1 Uruguay
The Brazil v Uruguay #ConfedsCup semi-final is live on RTÉ Two and Online tonight from 7.30pm
— RTÉ Soccer (@RTEsoccer) June 26, 2013