Tonight, marks the end of the Confederations Cup and it’s the final everyone wanted: Brazil vs Spain.
Brazil will be hoping to win the cup for the third consecutive time and give themselves a major boost ahead of next summer’s World Cup whereas Spain hope to achieve a feat that has never been done before: win three major tournaments in a row.
Brazil have no new injury worries which means they could name an unchanged side from the one who beat Uruguay last Wednesday.
These teams have met eight times over the course of history and Brazil have the edge with 4 wins to Spain’s two. The other two finished in a draw, including their last meeting which ended goalless in 1999. Spain’s only competitive win over Brazil came in the first round of the 1934 World Cup. If Brazil were to lift the cup tonight, it would end Spain’s 29 match unbeaten run in competitive matches.
The road to the final
Both teams finished top of their respective groups by winning all their games.
Brazil were made to work by Uruguay on Wednesday night and Paulinho’s late header in the game is what secured the host’s their final spot. Neymar failed to find in that game but did assist in both goals, also setting up Fred for their opener.
One thing they will want to improve on for the final is their defending after Edinson Cavani scored an equaliser for Uruguay following some woeful defending by the Brazilians.
Italy took Spain all the way to a penalty shoot-out in their semi final after it finished 0-0 in 120 minutes of play. The shoot-out was one of beauty with both sides converting all their five penalties to take it to sudden death. After Leonardo Bonucci blasted his spot-kick over, Man City’s new midfielder Jesus Navas kept his nerve to send Spain to another final after a 7-6 penalty victory.
By the end of the 120 minutes, the Spanish team looked shattered and many are wondering if fatigue will play a factor in tonight’s final.
I hope to see a really good game tonight and I’m expecting it to live up to everyone’s expectations. Spain went through 12o minutes of football and Brazil have also had an extra day’s rest so it will be interesting to see if the effects of that Italy match are evident tonight. I don’t think it will be and I expect Spain to go about their business as usual.
Handling Neymar will be Spain’s defence toughest job of the tournament and it will be interesting to see how they deal with him. I’m expecting a close game but I went with Brazil from the start and I’m sticking with it.
Predicted scoreline: Brazil 2-1 Spain after extra time
— RTÉ Soccer (@RTEsoccer) June 30, 2013