We all know about the protests and antics taking place off the field in Brazil during the 2013 Confederations Cup. But on the pitch, the Brazilian national team have been in fine form.
After winning all three of their group games and registering a +7 goal differential, Brazil face South American rivals Uruguay this afternoon in a semifinal clash. With Brazil wary of Uruguay’s strikers and Uruguay singling out one individual.
Both teams know each other extremely well, and despite a planned protest by over 100,000 Brazilians before the game, expect plenty of violence on the field as the two CONMEBOL giants go head-to-head.
And Uruguayan captain Diego Lugano has added fuel to the fire, after accusing Brazilian superstar Neymar of fooling referees into awarding free kicks… Diving to you and I.
“At this Confederations Cup it’s not just a case of someone being very apt at pretending to be fouled – Neymar is very lightweight. He can drop to the ground and fool the referees, and the rivals.”
Lugano certainly doesn’t take any prisoners with his tough-tackling displays and Neymar should expect a few of those this afternoon. Tempers will flare in this clash to make the Confederations Cup final and with Luis Suárez involved… anything can happen.
Luiz Felipe Scolari’s Brazil side seem to have finally found their identity and with a tough exterior, the likes of Neymar can influence the game and assert their attacking impetus on proceedings.
However that is exactly why Brazil are wary of Uruguay, with Suárez, Edinson Cavani and Diego Forlan highlighted as the dangermen.
“Those three are very powerful forwards. Individually, they can decide a game,” goalkeeper Julio Cesar said. “I know all of them very well and we must pay attention because any lapse in concentration could see them decide the game.”
However Uruguay have flattered to deceive during this tournament. They hammered Tahiti 8-0 and narrowly defeated Nigeria after a 2-1 defeat to Spain in the opening game. Óscar Tabarez will probably switch to a formation that can adapt to a 4-3-3 or a 3-4-3 at the drop of a hat.
But despite the Brazilians being wary of Uruguay’s attacking panache, Scolari’s side will get the main share of possession and must do something with it. If they don’t then Uruguay will make them pay, they are solid, won’t give up many chances and Brazil will find it tough going to make the final.
La Celeste will look to hit Brazil on the break with Cavani and Suarez lethal finishers when given the chance. Throw Forlan into the mix and there will be plenty of Uruguayans lining up to land the hammer blow if Brazil slip up. Everything is set up for a wonderful game in Belo Horizonte this afternoon. You can watch the game live on ESPN at 2:30pm ET in the US.