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Confederations Cup

  • 22 June 2013
  • • 20:00
  • • Itaipava Arena Fonte Nova, Salvador, Bahia
  • Referee: R. Irmatov
  • • Attendance: 48874
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Italy-Brazil Preview: Azzurri seek to end 30-year winless streak against the Selecao

Italy-Brazil Preview: Azzurri seek to end 30-year winless streak against the Selecao

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Cesare Prandelli's side search for a rare victory over the Confederations Cup hosts who have lost only one competitive game on home soil in the last 50 years

With top spot up for grabs and a potentially difficult clash against Spain to avoid, both Cesare Prandelli and Luiz Felipe Scolari are unlikely to make too many changes as they seek three valuable points.

Having picked up yellow cards against both Mexico and Japan, Daniele De Rossi is suspended for the Azzurri whilst Andrea Pirlo is ruled out with a calf injury.

Claudio Marchisio and Alberto Aquilani are likely to deputise in the duo's absence whilst Prandelli must also decide who to play behind Mario Balotelli.

The 55-year-old coach could opt to rest Emanuele Giaccherini with Stephan El Shaarawy, Alessandro Diamanti and Sebastian Giovinco, who scored the winning goal against Japan, all vying for starting berths.

As for Brazil, David Luiz has been declared fit to start despite breaking his nose in the 2-0 win over Mexico and there is further good news for the Selecao as the in-form Neymar has shaken off a slight thigh injury.

However, Paulinho is unlikely to be risked by Scolari after the Corinthians midfielder suffered a minor ankle sprain and his place could be taken by Lazio's Hernanes.

Elsewhere, Hulk has failed to impress in the opening two matches and his spot on the right wing could be taken by PSG youngster Lucas Moura as Scolari looks to give some of his younger players international experience.

  DID YOU KNOW?

  • Italy have not tasted victory against the Selecao for over 30 years. A Paolo Rossi hat-trick guided the Azzurri to a 3-2 win in the 1982 World Cup.
  • A double from Luis Fabiano (pictured, right) and an own goal from Andrea Dossena gave Brazil a 3-0 victory over Italy in the 2009 Confederations Cup - a tournament they later went on to win.
  • A 2-1 victory against Mexico before Wednesday's 4-3 thriller against Japan ensured that Italy advanced to the semi-finals of the Confederations Cup for the first time in their history.
  • Current holders Brazil are the most successful side in the history of the tournament, with Luiz Felipe Scolari's team bidding for their fourth title.
  • The Selecao famously defeated the Azzurri on penalties to win the World Cup in 1994.
  • Brazil have only suffered one competitive defeat on home soil in the last 50 years - a 3-1 defeat to Peru in Belo Horizante at the 1975 Copa America.

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Head to Head
World - FIFA Confederations Cup ‎(FCC)‎ 22 Jun 2013 Italy 2 - Brazil 4
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International Friendlies ‎(FR)‎ 21 Mar 2013 Italy 2 - Brazil 2
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World - FIFA Confederations Cup ‎(FCC)‎ 21 Jun 2009 Italy 0 - Brazil 3
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International Friendlies ‎(FR)‎ 10 Feb 2009 Brazil 2 - Italy 0
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Last Five Matches
Odds
Team News
Available Squads
12Julio CésarGoalkeeper
2Daniel AlvesDefender
3Thiago SilvaDefender
4David LuizDefender
6MarceloDefender
8HernanesMidfielder
10OscarMidfielder
17Luiz GustavoMidfielder
9FredStriker
10NeymarStriker
19HulkStriker
1JeffersonGoalkeeper
-Diego Cavalieri
13DanteDefender
14Filipe LuisDefender
-Réver
-Fernando
7LucasMidfielder
-Jean
18PaulinhoMidfielder
20BernardMidfielder
-Jadson
21Striker
Players to Watch
Giorgio Chiellini
Giorgio Chiellini
Position: Defender
Squad Number: 3
Games Goals YC RC
5 1 1 0
The Juventus centre-back is one of the world's best on his day and after the Azzurri's woeful defensive performance against Japan, the 28-year-old will need to use his leadership qualities to tighten the back line. Strong in the tackle and dominant in the air, Chiellini could prove a frustrating obstacle for Brazil's star-studded attack.
Neymar
Neymar
Position: Striker
Squad Number: 10
Games Goals YC RC
5 4 1 0
The 21-year-old has arguably been the player of the tournament so far with two superb goals and a dazzling assist to his name. Many people questioned whether Neymar had what it took at the top level but the attacker has not disappointed and Barcelona's €57 million (£48m) capture looks to be a solid investment. The Brazilian is set to have defenders quaking in their boots for years to come.
Prediction
Cesare Prandelli's side were fortunate to escape with a win against Japan, who really exposed their defensive frailties. As for Brazil, Scolari is slowly starting to win over the home support and with five unanswered goals in the competition so far and Neymar in scintillating form, I expect the Selecao to emerge as narrow victors.
Editor's Prediction
Italy 1
Brazil 2

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