Brazil-Uruguay Preview: Neymar and Cavani top semi-final billing
The Selecao continue their quest for a third straight Confederations Cup title with a last-four showdown against Oscar Tabarez's side in Belo Horizonte
By Karthick Arvinth
Brazil defender David Luiz is available for Wednesday's last-four clash against Uruguay after recovering from a bruised leg.
Midfielder Paulinho is set to return to the starting XI after missing the 4-2 win over Italy with an ankle injury, but Bernard (foot) is a doubt.
Hulk is expected to start ahead of Lucas Moura in attack, despite failing to impress in the group stage.
Uruguay captain Diego Lugano returns after serving a one-match ban for accumulating two yellow cards, but fellow defender Andres Scotti is ruled out after getting sent off in the 8-0 win over Tahiti.
Coach Oscar Tabarez is likely to persist with the attacking trio of Luis Suarez, Diego Forlan and Edinson Cavani despite Abel Hernandez's four-goal haul against the Pacific islanders.
|DID YOU KNOW?|
- Brazil are on a four-match winning run and are unbeaten in their last nine.
- The Selecao have won their last two encounters with Uruguay, including a 4-0 thumping in a World Cup qualifier in June 2009.
- Luiz Felipe Scolari's first-ever match in charge of Brazil ended in a 1-0 defeat to Uruguay in July 2001.
- Uruguay have won four of their last five international fixtures.
- The two-time world champions have registered just one victory in their last seven encounters against South American opponents (W1, D2, L4).
- It is 63 years since Uruguay's famous 'Maracanazo' victory, when they defeated hosts Brazil 2-1 in the World Cup final of 1950.
- Luis Suarez (pictured, right) scored his 35th and 36th goals for Uruguay in the win over Tahiti to replace Diego Forlan at the top of the all-time scorers' list.
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Top 3 Predictions
Brazil 3-1 Uruguay
- 22.65 %
Brazil 2-1 Uruguay
- 17.32 %
Brazil 1-2 Uruguay
- 9.31 %
|World - FIFA Confederations Cup (FCC)||Jun 26, 2013||Brazil 2 - Uruguay 1|
|World Cup Qualifying - Conmebol (WCQ)||Jun 6, 2009||Uruguay 0 - Brazil 4|
|World Cup Qualifying - Conmebol (WCQ)||Nov 21, 2007||Brazil 2 - Uruguay 1|
|Copa America (CA)||Jul 10, 2007||Uruguay 6 - Brazil 7|
|Nov 20, 2013||Brazil 2 - Chile 1||FR|
|Nov 17, 2013||Honduras 0 - Brazil 5||FR|
|Oct 15, 2013||Brazil 2 - Zambia 0||FR|
|Oct 12, 2013||South Korea 0 - Brazil 2||FR|
|Sep 11, 2013||Brazil 3 - Portugal 1||FR|
|-||Néstor Muslera Micol|
The new Barcelona signing has been one of the outstanding performers of the tournament so far, leading Brazil's charge with some brilliant individual displays in the group stage. Neymar will hope to continue his excellent form and fire his team past a dangerous Uruguay outfit, as well as keep his hopes of the Golden Boot alive.
The 26-year-old striker has continued where he left off for club side Liverpool by scoring three times in the group stage to break Diego Forlan's all-time Celeste scoring record. With fellow star striker Edinson Cavani struggling to perform, the onus will be on Suarez to put Brazil's backline under pressure.
Uruguay's chances rest heavily on the triumvirate of Suarez, Forlan and Cavani firing, with especially Cavani needing to up his game by several notches after a tame showing in the group stage. Brazil have lit up the tournament with their adventurous style and are still gunning to avenge the defeat of 1950, but their back four will face its sternest test yet against the Celeste attacking trio.
Live Final scheduled Suspended Cancelled Postponed