In anticipation of tonight’s two FIFA Confederations Cup fixtures, we preview the international action.
In the first of Wednesday night’s Group A fixtures, Brazil take on Mexico in Fortaleza, in what is sure to be an action packed affair. Can Neymar steal the show and lead his team to a win on home soil? Who do you think will win?
In the second of the two fixtures, Italy and Japan go head to head. Italy will be looking for their second win of the tournament, while Japan aim to bounce back from their loss in the opening game of the tournament. Who is your money on?
If you are a betting person, here are tips brought to you by Soccer 6 and guest predictor, former Bafana Bafana defender, Bradley Carnell.
BRAZIL V MEXICO
Fifa ranking: Brazil 22nd and Mexico 17th
Useful facts: Brazil were fairly impressive in their opening Confederations Cup Group A win against Japan. Little Canary smashed the Samurai Blue with a great strike from Neymar da Silva Santos Júnior really catching the eye in a 3-0 win. Luiz Felipe Scolari’s men will be strong favourites against an at times defensively suspect Mexico. Brazil could secure their passage to the next round with a win in Fortaleza.
Bradley Carnell: Brazil have the hopes of the nation on their shoulders just like Bafana Bafana did in 2010. I think they’re eager to do well and will beat Mexico.
ITALY V JAPAN
Fifa ranking: Italy 8th and Japan 32nd
Useful facts: Mario Balotelli looks in brilliant form and it was his powerful run and finish which helped Italy to a 2-1 win over Mexico. The Blues have an awesome weapon at their disposal when the 22-year-old is at the top of his game. Struggling Japan will be firm underdogs in this Group A encounter in Recife.
Bradley Carnell: I’m actually impressed with Japan. They’ve got good hunger, drive and intensity. They also have quality players like Shinji Kagawa. I’m going to say a win for Japan.