Verdict: Away win
Best Odds: 4/9
Australia are going through the final details ahead of their participation in the 2017 Confederations Cup that starts this weekend. Meanwhile, Brazil lost against Argentina last week, but their performance was better than expected considering they used an alternative squad. Both sides willl meet this Tuesday in Melbourne, in a friendly game where the hosts are the clear underdogs.
Australia will be the underdog for both this game and the upcoming Confederations Cup. Even though the team have progressed a lot over the past few years since moving to the AFC, they remain a second-tier team when it comes to the international stage. But having said, there is no doubt the Socceroos are in good form right now. Currently riding an eight-game undefeated streak with two consecutive wins in the World Cup Qualifiers, their confidence should be at the top right now. But would that be enough to top a more experienced, and more accomplished side like Brazil? This will be a huge test for the Socceroos, as they will be able to evaluate where they really are ahead of the Confederations Cup debut this weekend.
The Socceroos suffered a big blow last week, as Brad Smith has been ruled out for the Confederations Cup due to a thigh injury sustained in Australia’s 3-2 win over Saudi Arabia last week.
Rosenborg’s defender Alex Gersbach has been called up as his replacement, but there is no question Australia’s defensive line got quite weaker without the Bournemouth centre back.
Brazil might be coming off a loss against Argentina, but there is no question they deserved better luck on that match. La Canarinha dominated most of the game, but lacked accuracy in the final third. We could imagine they would have won the game had they featured their Best XI, but that is in the past now. Now Brazil will focus on Australia but they do not have a lot to gain from this match. They already qualified for the 2018 World Cup and Tite knows who his best players are. If anything, this game will give the manager the chance to test some new things. And it will also be a big opportunity for players such as Filipe Luis, Fagner, Fernandinho and Thiago Silva. This will be one of their last games to impress the coaching staff. They clearly are the better team, but it remains to be seen how they will respond to the pressure of the home fans while playing in an unknown environment.
Brazil will once again play with an alternative squad, just like it happened against Argentina last week.
Aside from the known absences of Neymar, Casemiro, and Marcelo, among others, the latest player we must rule out of this game is Gabriel Jesus. The Manchester City striker left the game against La Albiceleste injured, and will miss a few weeks at the earliest.
Key Factors to Consider
- Australia have won their past two matches, and are riding an eight-game undefeated run in the World Cup Qualifiers.
- The Socceroos’ last defeat came on a friendly match came on June 7, 2016, when they lost 1-2 against Greece.
- Prior to the loss against Argentina on Friday, Brazil had 10 wins in 10 matches since the arrival of Tite. They clinched a 2018 World Cup berth thanks to that run.
- Brazil will feature a depleted squad for this game. Neymar, Casemiro, Allison, Marcelo, Joao Miranda, Dani Alves, and Gabriel Jesus are out of the team.
- Australia have won three of their last four matches at home, scoring three goals and conceding just three over that span.
- Both sides have met five times before. Brazil have a huge supremacy with three wins, a draw and a loss.
- The last time these two teams played, Brazil won 6-0 in a friendly match back in 2013.
Brazil are coming off a 0-1 loss to Argentina, but that result was unfair. They deserved better luck, and there is no question Brazil will want to bounce back. Australia are not going to take too many risks, since they have a bigger tournament coming up. Expect La Selecao to secure the win rather easily.
Verdict: Away win
Best Odds: 4/9
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