Portugal vs. Brazil at Moses Mabhida Stadium, Durban South Africa 10 AM EST Friday June 25, 2010 on ESPN
by Jason Green at Predictem.com
Match Odds: Portugal 3.60 / Brazil 2.30 / Draw 2.90
Over/Under: 2.5 goals
Moneyline: Portugal +260 / Brazil +120 / Draw +185
In one of the last 2 Group of Death matches on Friday afternoon Portugal faces Brazil. This is the probably the most anticipated group match, but even though it is still big it has lost a little luster. Brazil has already wrapped up a spot in the knockout phase and Portugal likely has a spot since they scored 7 goals against North Korea. If Portugal loses and the Ivory Coast wins they will be tied with 4 points, but Portugal has a major goal differential advantage since they scored so many goals in their last match.
Portugal can win Group G if they beat Brazil. Both teams want to finish first in the group, as if it plays out with the odds, the first place finisher will face Chile in the first playoff match and the second place finisher will face Spain.
In their last matches Brazil looked solid in a 3-1 win over the Ivory Coast on Sunday and Portugal embarrassed North Korea crushing them 7-0 on Monday.
Brazil looked very solid in their win over the Ivory Coast even though they only took 2 more shots and won the time of possession battle 56% to 44%. The Brazilians played well in the midfield and played great defense, especially in the first half. They were not tested as much as they thought they would be on defense. Overall, if Brazil plays like they did against the Ivory Coast in the Portugal match they will be tough to beat.
Portugal only went into half time with a 1-0 lead against North Korea, but scored 6 goals in the second half. After each goal they got more confident and it showed. Their counter-attack was solid and they also played great defense. They will be facing a much tougher team in Brazil, but they will be confidence after the North Korea rout.
Brazil Recent Form:
6/20/2010 Brazil 3 Ivory Coast 1 (World Cup)
6/15/2010 Brazil 2 North Korea 1 (World Cup)
6/7/2010 Tanzania 1 Brazil 5 (Friendly)
6/2/2010 Zimbabwe 0 Brazil 3 (Friendly)
Portugal Recent Form:
6/21/2010 Portugal 7 North Korea 0 (World Cup)
615/2010 Portugal 0 Ivory Coast 0 (World Cup)
6/8/2010 Portugal 3 Mozambique 0 (Friendly)
6/1/2010 Portugal 3 Cameroon 1 (Friendly)
Portugal was deadly on the counter-attack in the North Korea match and Brazil has to be wary of that in this match. They cannot get caught too forward or Portugal will pounce on them when they get the ball.
Brazil will be without their star midfielder Kaka in this match, as he received a red card in the Ivory Coast match after his second yellow card.
Portugal has a solid defense led anchored by In Bruno Alves and Ricardo Carvalho and even though Portugal has not allowed a goal so far in the World Cup they will not hold Brazil scoreless.
Brazilian born Deco will play a key role in the midfield for Portugal, as he has to spurn the counter-attack and also make sure Brazil does not dominate the middle of the field.
In the North Korea match Cristiano Ronaldo saw his 2-year scoreless drought in international matches, but Brazil will key on him on defense and he will not score in this match.
With Luis Fabiano and Robinho up front for Brazil they will be hard to contain and even though Kaka, Brazil’s main playmaker is out, one if not both of these guys will score.
Brazil G Jlio Csar has been solid so far in South Africa and while he has yet to keep a clean sheet he will change that in this match.
Jason’s Pick: This match was the second match solid out after the final, as it is that big. Brazil will come out and play well even without Kaka, as they will play great defense, score at least 2 goals, and win the Group of Death in the process. I see Brazil winning by a score of 2-0.