Brazil the smart bet to blow away opposition

13Jun 2013

Confederations Cup 2013

James Eastham says it's hard to look past the favourites in the intercontinental event taking place over the next fortnight...

Brazil have an excellent record in the Confederations Cup and are the stand-out selection to win the tournament they host this month.

The nation's recent results have been patchy - before their 3-0 win over France this week their 2013 record was W1-D4-L1 - but there are more reasons to back than oppose Luiz Felipe Scolari's side. Their 2.44 price in the Winner 2013 market will put some off, and has shortened from 2.58 since the France win, but they are still the smart pick.

Motivation is in their favour. More than any of the other seven sides competing, Brazil have reason to take this tournament seriously. Poor form needs rectifying. As hosts they will be under pressure to perform from fans and media. And everyone - from the coach and players to fans and media - is looking for a boost 12 months before the World Cup on home soil.

Spain and Italy - second and third in the outright betting at 2.94 and 8.8 respectively - have more leeway. Those two nations can afford to treat the competition as an afterthought in a way Brazil cannot.

Scolari has named an excellent squad. Dani Alves, Thiago Silva, David Luiz, Neymar, Lucas and Oscar are all there. Italy and Spain have sent strong parties but it's hard to see the tournament meaning as much to players from those countries as it will to the hosts. And Brazil have always done well in the competition: they triumphed in 1997 and have won the last two editions (2005 and 2009).

If Brazil are deservedly favourites, Uruguay are the smart outside bet. Their chances of qualifying for the World Cup are in the balance because of a W0-D2-L4 record from their last six matches but this tournament could be a turning point. The individual talent in their ranks means they cannot be counted out: Edinson Cavani and Luis Suarez will take time out from playing a primary role in the summer transfer market rumours to appear on the pitch.

As well as the obvious geographical advantages of playing on their home continent Uruguay have landed in the easier group. Group A contains Brazil, Italy, Mexico and Japan. In Group B Uruguay have Spain, Nigeria and Tahiti for company. Nigeria were competent rather than outstanding winners of the African Cup of Nations at the start of this year. Tahiti are the tournament's rank outsiders.

Uruguay's chances of making the last four are therefore good, so they're the selection in the 'To Reach the Final' market.

Recommended Bets:
Brazil to win the Confederations Cup @ 2.44
Uruguay to reach final @ 4.0

Bet HERE

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Keywords: Brazil, Dani Alves, Thiago Silva, David Luiz, Neymar, Lucas

Source: Betfair

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