Italy vs. Brazil Confederations Cup 8:30 PM CET Sunday June 21, 2009
By Jason Green at Predictem.com
In the last group game for each team in the Confederations Cup Brazil takes on Italy. This is a match of the last 2 World Cup winners and Brazil is looking like a legit contender to win in South Africa next summer while Italy is not in form and if they keep playing like they have they will not defend their World Cup title.
These two storied teams have had different paths leading to this game, as Brazil had a scare in their opening game and then smoked USA in their 2nd game, while Italy was impressive, at least in the 2nd half, in beating USA in their opening game, but they were shocked by Egypt losing to the African champions 1-0 in their last game. Brazil survived a tough Egypt team, as they scored in the 90th minute after they were awarded a penalty shot in injury time. Still, Brazil’s offense has been on fire scoring 7 goals in only 2 games.
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This game would not have meant anything if Italy would have beat Egypt, but if they beat Brazil by at least 2 goals the outcome of the USA vs. Egypt match will not matter, if they do not beat Brazil by 2 goals they are in trouble. Brazil can book their semifinal ticket unless they lose to Italy by 2 goals and Egypt beats the USA by 3 goals. If Italy draws the USA will have to beat Egypt to get to the semis.
Italy has not looked impressive in the Confederations Cup or in their World Cup qualifying games even though they should make it to South Africa. Brazil leads the South American group in WC qualifying and they have looked like they are THE team to beat next summer.
Brazil is favored in this match at 2.20 with Italy at 3.20 with a draw at 3.25. The moneylines for this game has Brazil at +125 and Italy at +190 with a draw at +225.
Italy Recent Form:
6/18/2009 Italy 0 Egypt 1 (Confederations Cup)
6/15/2009 Italy 3 USA 1 (Confederations Cup)
6/10/2009 Italy 4 New Zealand (Friendly)
6/6/2009 Italy 3 Northern Ireland 0 (Friendly)
4/1/2009 Italy 1 Ireland (WC Qualifier)
Brazil Recent Form:
6/18/2009 Brazil 3 USA 0 (Confederations Cup)
6/15/2009 Brazil 4 Egypt 3 (Confederations Cup)
6/10/2009 Brazil 2 Paraguay 1 (WC Qualifier)
6/6/2009 Uruguay 0 Brazil 4 (WC Qualifier)
4/1/2009 Brazil 3 Peru 0 (WC Qualifier)
Italy should use the same attacking offense with Buffon in goal. Brazil sat Roma defender Juan in the USA game, but he should start in this match.
Italy will go for an all out attacking style in this game, as they need to win by 2 goals. They will need the trio of Alberto Gilardino, Vincenzo Iaquinta, and Giuseppe Rossi to provide some offense in this match. That will not be easy since Juan is back on D and GK Julio Cesar is on goal and blanked the USA in Brazil’s last match.
Italy will have to be more creative then they were in the loss to Egypt, as their offense looked lost.
Italy will have to control the midfield and especially Felipe Melo and Kaka, who are both midfielders, but are the keys to Brazil’s offense. Kaka has 2 goals in this competition and Melo scored in the match against the USA.
Italy midfielder Andrea Pirlo has to be solid in this match, as his pinpoint passing sets up the Italian offense.
The Italian strikers will have to take advantage when Brazil has lapses on defense, which they tend to do.
Gianluigi Buffon will have his hands full in this match with the Brazil attack. Brazil striker Fabiano must be checked in this game and Kaka will have to be marked all game.
Since Italy will attack they will have to be careful, as Brazil is great at counter attacks. They will have to get back on defense and keep Brazil from countering quickly.
History is on the side of Brazil, as they have not lost to Italy wince the 1982 World Cup and they have never lost in 10 games on African soil.
Jason’s Pick: Brazil has looked good and Italy has not so far in this Cup. Italy will attack, which will leave their defense exposed and even with Buffon in goal I see Brazil winning by a 2-1 or 3-1 score.