Samba Boys to destroy Japan

14Jun 2013

Confederations Cup 2013

The Confederations Cup gets underway this weekend and Paul Robinson has cast his eye over the first three fixtures. Here are his selections from Betfair's Sportsbook:

Brazil v Japan - Live on BBC3 @ 20:00 GMT

Back Brazil/Brazil in the HT/FT Market @ 1.83 (5/6)
Back Over 2.5 goals @ 1.55 (11/20)

Japan may have been the first nation to qualify for the 2014 World Cup but they look to be up against it in their opening Confederations Cup match with tournament hosts Brazil.

Brazil have improved of late after an initial rocky patch under new/old boss 'Big Phil' Scolari. They lost at Wembley Stadium versus England back in February and then could only draw with Italy and Russia. Their performances have since gotten better and while they recorded a couple more draws, they thrashed both Bolivia and France.

The Confederations Cup is somewhat of a warm-up for next year's World Cup but with the backing of home support, the Brazilians look like certainties to at least make the final. Fluminense's Fred has netted five goals in his last six appearances for the national side and with the likes of Oscar, Neymar and Hulk not only providing him with ammunition, but scoring as well, the Samba Boys should be able to comfortably see off Japan.

The Japanese drew with Australia and beat Iraq in their two most recent fixtures to confirm their place at the World Cup but it's hard to see them getting out of Group A in this competition let alone being a serious threat next summer.

Strictly speaking, Alberto Zaccheroni's side may have plenty of recent wins on paper but they rarely face top teams and when they do, they usually lose. Japan last faced Brazil in October 2012 and even at a neutral venue they lost 4-0.

On that occasion they were 2-0 down within 25 minutes and I can see similar here as Brazil will want to impress in their opening game. Backing Brazil to be leading at half time and at full time is much better value than simply backing them in the match odds market, but if you are after a 'dead cert' bet, then look no further than over 2.5 goals.

 

Mexico v Italy - Live on BBC3 @ 20:00 GMT

Back the draw @ 3.25 (9/4)
Back a 0-0 correct score @ 7.5 (13/2)

Day two of the tournament pits Mexico and Italy against each other and as they are likely to be battling it out for second place behind Brazil in Group A, I have a feeling that both teams could adopt a cautious approach.

The Mexicans were looking like potential dark-horses for the upcoming international tournaments after racking up plenty of victories in 2012, including a 2-0 win over Brazil. Things have tailed off of late for José Manuel de la Torre's side though as while they've remained undefeated, eight of their last nine have ended in draws - five of which were 0-0's.

Italy are sitting pretty in their World Cup qualifying group after six games following four wins and two draws. The Euro 2012 runners up tend to do just enough to get the job done and while they were held by Haiti in a warm up match on Tuesday, boss Cesare Prandelli fielded a second string XI.

Going into this match the main objective for both sides will be to not get beaten. A loss would invariably mean that they would have to win against Brazil or hope that Japan do them a favour - both of which seem unlikely. The draw stands out as the obvious bet here and while I pondered a 1-1 correct score, I am plumping for 0-0 at bigger odds as Mexico especially are having trouble in front of goal at the moment.

 

Spain v Uruguay - Live on BBC1 @ 23:00 GMT

Back the draw @ 3.8 (14/5)
Back a 1-1 correct score @ 7.0 (6/1)

The second match of Sunday's double-header sees Group B get underway as heavyweights Spain and Uruguay look to get their campaigns off to a good start.

Spain are top of their World Cup qualifying group and while they were held to home draws by both Finland and France, they are still the team to beat, despite being second favourites for this competition and fourth favourites for next summer's tournament.

The Spanish haven't lost since a 1-0 defeat to England in 2011 and their last competitive loss was to Switzerland in the group phase of the 2010 World Cup. David Villa and Fernando Torres have shown better form of late and that will help to give them more of a cutting edge compared to when Cesc Fabregas is deployed as the 'false 9'.

Uruguay got back to winning ways by beating France in a friendly at the beginning of June when Luis Suarez came off the bench to score the winner. They then followed that up with a vital 1-0 victory in Venezuela that moved them into the Intercontinental Play-off place for the World Cup.

Óscar Tabárez's men had been really struggling prior to those wins and their run of poor results included a 3-1 friendly defeat to Sunday's opponents. It seems to me that they were just lacking a bit of confidence and with that restored, I expect a much more even affair this time.

As the other two teams in the group are Nigeria and Tahiti, it seems likely that both Spain and Uruguay will reach the semi-finals no matter what the result is of this opening game. Nevertheless, a defeat would make things a touch trickier whereas a draw would be a perfectly acceptable result. It can be backed at a decent price of 3.8 (14/5) and I also like a 1-1 correct score at 7.0 (6/1).

Recommended Bets
Back Brazil/Brazil in the HT/FT Market @ 1.83 (5/6)
Back Over 2.5 goals in Brazil v Japan @ 1.55 (11/20)
Back the draw in Mexico v Italy @ 3.25 (9/4)
Back a 0-0 correct score in Mexico v Italy @ 7.5 (13/2)
Back the draw in Spain v Uruguay @ 3.8 (14/5)
Back a 1-1 correct score in Spain v Uruguay @ 7.0 (6/1)

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Keywords: Samba Boys, Japan, Confederations Cup

Source: Betfair

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