Brazil-Japan Preview: Samba Boys raise Confederations Cup curtain
The rehearsal for next year's World Cup finals gets underway with the Selecao hoping to build on the momentum gained from their recent victory over France
By Livio Caferoglu
Alves, David Luiz, Thiago Silva, Marcelo
Paulinho, Luiz Gustavo
Hulk, Oscar, Neymar
Uchida, Yoshida, Konno, Nagatomo
Okazaki, Honda, Kagawa
It has been an underwhelming start to Luiz Felipe Scolari's second spell in charge of Brazil, but there are suggestions that the Selecao may finally have turned a corner.
Brazil came under fire for their leaky defence and inability to see off matches - as shown by their run of only one win in the former Chelsea coach's six games since his return.
However, a recent 3-0 victory over France has provided the perfect backdrop to Saturday's 2013 Confederations Cup opener, which will be hosted against Asian Cup champions Japan.
Thus, with Brazil firing on all cylinders against les Bleus on Sunday, expect an unchanged XI despite minor doubts about Neymar's fitness following knee complaints.
Meanwhile for their opponents Japan, who recently edged past Iraq to end a run of three matches without a win, they will line up with all their big guns - including Keisuke Honda and Yuto Nagatomo.
The pair had been missing from Samurai Blue contention, but they have successfully overcome knocks to represent their country this weekend.
|DID YOU KNOW?|
- This will be Brazil's sixth consecutive appearance at the Confederations Cup.
- The Selecao have won both of the last two editions in 2005 and 2009 respectively, as well as the 1997 competition.
- Brazil gained automatic qualification to the tournament via their status as host nation.
- This is Japan's fourth appearance at the World Cup dress rehearsal.
- The furthest they have gone in the tournament is a runners-up finish in 2001.
- Japan secured their place in the Confederations Cup over two years ago thanks to an Asian Cup triumph in 2011.
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Top 3 Predictions
Brazil 3-1 Japan
- 15.92 %
Brazil 3-0 Japan
- 12.42 %
Brazil 2-1 Japan
- 12.04 %
|World - FIFA Confederations Cup (FCC)||16/06/2013||Brazil 3 - Japan 0|
|International Friendlies (FR)||16/10/2012||Japan 0 - Brazil 4|
|World Cup 2006 (WC)||23/06/2006||Japan 1 - Brazil 4|
|20/11/2013||Brazil 2 - Chile 1||FR|
|17/11/2013||Honduras 0 - Brazil 5||FR|
|15/10/2013||Brazil 2 - Zambia 0||FR|
|12/10/2013||Republic of Korea 0 - Brazil 2||FR|
|11/09/2013||Brazil 3 - Portugal 1||FR|
Live Final scheduled Suspended Cancelled Postponed