Brazil-Spain Preview: Selecao out to halt Spanish juggernaut in Maracana showpiece
The stage is set for the five-time World Cup winners and the reigning world champions to battle it out for the Confederations Cup at Rio de Janeiro’s iconic footballing cathedral
By Karthick Arvinth
Selecao boss Luiz Felipe Scolari has named the same starting XI in three of his side’s four matches and is unlikely to make changes, although out-of-form striker Hulk’s place may come under threat.
Spain have no injuries to report and are at full strength for the Maracana clash.
Cesc Fabregas and Roberto Soldado have shaken off muscle injuries and could return to the side after sitting out the penalty shoot-out victory over Italy.
|DID YOU KNOW?|
- Brazil are unbeaten in 10 matches, winning their last five. They have not lost a competitive game at home since 1975.
- The five-time world champions have won four of eight previous meetings with Spain (W4, D2, L2), but the two countries have not faced each other since 1999.
- Brazil handed the Spanish their heaviest-ever World Cup defeat in 1950. They won 6-1 at the Maracana before going on to lose to Uruguay in the final.
- Four of Brazil’s Confederations Cup squad play their club football in Spain.
- Spain are on a record 29-match unbeaten run in competitive matches, stretching back to the 2010 World Cup (W24, D5).
- La Roja’s only competitive win over Brazil came in the first round of the 1934 World Cup.
- Spain have won their last six encounters against South American opponents in all competitions, including friendlies. The last Latin American side to beat Spain was Argentina in a friendly in September 2010.
- Fernando Torres (pictured, right) has scored five goals in his last three appearances for Spain.
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Top 3 Predictions
Brazil 2-1 Spain
- 19.83 %
Brazil 1-2 Spain
- 17.8 %
Brazil 1-3 Spain
- 7.21 %
|World - FIFA Confederations Cup (FCC)||Jun 30, 2013||Brazil 3 - Spain 0|
|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|
|6||Andrés Iniesta Luján||Midfielder|
|22||Jesús Navas González||Midfielder|
|Andrés Iniesta Luján|
Both sides have shown fleeting moments of brilliance in the run up to the final without being overly impressive, with the Spanish finding it hard to adapt to the equatorial conditions. Brazil, of course, will be desperate to give their country’s morale a much-needed lift by winning their last competitive match before next year’s World Cup. However, it is hard to look past Spain, whose intricate passing game may prove too much for the Samba stars to handle.