Game : Italy v Brazil
Match : Confederations Cup Group B
Venue : Loftus Versfeld Stadium, Pretoria
Date : 21 June, 20.30 South African time.
World champions Italy could face an early exit in their maiden Confederations Cup appearance if they fail to get their desired result against in form Brazil in Pretoria.
The Azzurri’s shock loss to Egypt has left all four teams with a chance to qualify, and because Egypt are expected to beat the United States on current form, it means Italy need to beat Brazil.
Italy looked out of sorts against Egypt, and Lippi is likely to change his attacking men again. He started with Rossi, Iaquinta and Quaglirella against Egypt, but is expected to recall Alberto Gilardino in place of Quaglirella.
Italy form- last five games- all competitions- Italy scorers in brackets
Egypt 1-0 Italy
USA 1-3 ( Giuseppe Rossi*2, Daniele De Rossi)
Italy 4-3 New Zealand ( Alberto Gilardino*2, Vicenzo Iaquinta*2)
Italy 3-0 Northern Ireland ( Giuseppe Rossi, Sergio Pellissier, Pasquale Foggia)
Italy 1-1 Ireland ( Vicenzo Iaquinta)
Brazil have all but qualified for the semifinals, but the Selecao could still go out of the tournament on goal difference if they lose to Italy and Egypt beat USA, both by handsome margins.
Brazil were in great form against the United States, and strolled past Bob Bradley’s men 3-1. Robinho, who scored for Brazil in that game, will be up against his former Real Madrid team mate Fabio Cannavaro in one of the many important individual battles in this game.
Both Italy and Brazil look weak in defence, and both have reasonably strong attacking players. Whichever defence plays better on the day will probably win the game for their team.
Brazil form- last five games- all competitions- Brazil scorers in brackets-
Brazil 3-1 USA ( Robinho, Felipe Melo, Maicon)
Brazil 4-3 Egypt ( Kaka*2, Luis Fabiano, Juan)
Brazil 2-1 Paraguay ( Robinho, Nilmar)
Uruguay 0-4 Brazil ( Dani Alves, Luis Fabiano*2, Kaka)
Brazil 3-0 Mexico ( Felipe Melo, Luis Fabiano*2)
This match is taking place on the same date as the 1970 World Cup final, which Italy lost to Brazil. Do not write Italy off, as they have the ability to produce some stunning comebacks when their backs are to the wall.
Verdict:- Italy 2-1 Brazil ( Giuseppe Rossi, Alberto Gilardino/ Robinho)