Sunday, June 16, 2013

Catch Up With The Fixtures Of The Confederations Cup Brazil 2013


cup hosts.....Brazil
THE 2013 Confederations Cup kicks off on samba Yesterday being Saturday in Brazil.

A curtain-raiser to the following summer’s World Cup, the tournament has become an opportunity for the organisers to tune up stadiums and for the players to get used to the conditions.

Brazil won the last Confederations Cup in South Africa in 2009 but Luiz Felipe Scolari’s team are struggling with yo-yoing form ahead of their own World Cup.

Before it all kicks off in Brasilia on Saturday night, SunSport have put together a tidy guide for you to keep up with the action.

Who's Playing?

Brazil — They qualified as hosts and they were the Confederations Cup winners in 2009 and 2005. Scolari’s squad have struggled for form over the last few years, but they recently swept France aside 3-0 in Porto Alegre, days after England secured a 2-2 draw.

Mexico — The Central American nation qualified by winning the Concacaf Gold Cup in 2011.

Italy — Qualified by being Euro 2012 finalists — as Spain won last year's tournament and were already world champions — Italy are invited.

Japan — Alberto Zaccheroni’s side are not the most high-profile squad in the tournament. But the 2011 AFC Asian Cup winners have a 23 wins, nine draws and five defeats during the Italian’s three year tenure.

Spain — Are undoubtedly the team to beat in Brazil. World champions and reigning European champions twice over. Barcelona’s form this season suggests that the core of the team are past their best, but they will still keep the ball so much better than anyone else.

Uruguay — The 2011 Copa America winners were one of the form sides at the World Cup and they will keep their electric front three of Luis Suarez, Diego Forlan and Edinson Cavani together.

Tahiti — So little is known of the 2012 OFC Nations Cup winners, but they had two friendlies against New Zealand in October, losing 2-0 and 3-0. Tahiti’s squad is composed mainly of amateurs and the tiny nation — population 178,000 — is keen on hosting the Beach Soccer World Cup.

Nigeria[/b] — West African powerhouse Nigeria surprised even themselves by winning this year’s African Cup of Nations in South Africa, maybe they will surprise a few favourites at the Confederations Cup.

[b]WHO SHOULD WE LOOK OUT FOR?
EDINSON CAVANI - URUGUAY


SUPER STRIKER....Cavani

WHAT do you get when you combine the eye for goal of Alan Shearer with the swagger of Hernan Crespo? A goal-hunting machine, is what. No wonder Manchester City, Chelsea and Real Madrid are so keen to sign the 26-year-old

Shingi Kagawa - Japan

SHI's THE ONE.....shinji kagawa
THE Japanese apologised to Manchester United fans for below-par performances this season, but other than an anonymous showing in the Bernebau, he played no small part in United’s sweeping of the Premier League last season, scoring six goals.

The 24-year-old is unquestionably Japan’s biggest star.

Neymar - Brazil

THUMBS UP.....Neymar
NEW Barcelona signing Neymar originally promised to stay at Santos until after the World Cup, but Barcelona just could not resist letting his stock go through the ceiling.

He still has a lot to prove at international level but this could be the perfect stage for the quick, skilful 21-year-old.

Juan Mata - Spain

POCKET GEM....Juan Mata
IT is so hard to pick from a Spain that do not rely on individuals, but two-time Chelsea player of the season has been so consistently excellent in the Premier League, there is no doubt he can step it up on the world stage.

Mario Balotelli - Italy

WHY ALWAYS HIM.....Mario Balotelli

VENUES
WE have already heard rumblings about Brazil's approach to the World Cup stadia being slow.

Remember, Brazil did not face any competition in being awarded the 2014 World Cup, so complacency has crept in, whilst the 2016 Olympic organisers are being praised for their haste.

The stadiums are typically South American in style and whilst they are not quite as stylish as South Africa or Germany, there is no question they will be filled by thousands of fans watching the local club teams long after the tournament finishes.


Brasilia — Estadio Nacional

Capacity: 71,000


NATIONAL STADIUM ... Brasilia

Belo Horizonte — Estadio Mineirao

Capacity: 62,500


ESTADIO MINERAO ... Belo Horizonte


Fortaleza — Estadio Castelao

Capacity: 64,800


CASTELO ARENA ... Fortaleza


Recife — Estadio Pernambuco

Capacity: 46,000


ARENA PERNAMBUCO ... Recife

Salvador — Arena Fonte Nova

Capacity: 55,000


ARENA FONTE NOVA ... Salvador

Rio de Janeiro — Maracana

Capacity: 77,000


MARACANA ... Rio de Janeiro

FIXTURES
Group A


Brazil v Japan — Sat June 15, 8pm

Mexico v Italy — Sun June 16, 8pm

Brazil v Mexico — Weds June 19, 8pm

Italy v Japan — Weds June 19, 11pm

Italy v Brazil — Sat June 22, 8pm

Japan v Mexico — Sat June 22, 8pm


Group B

Spain v Uruguay — Sun June 16, 11pm

Tahiti v Nigeria — Mon June 17, 8pm

Spain v Tahiti — Thurs June 20, 8pm

Nigeria v Uruguay — Thurs June 20, 11pm

Nigeria v Spain — Sun June 23, 8pm

Uruguay v Tahiti — Sun June 23, 8pm


Semi-finals

Group A winner v Group B runner-up — Weds June 26, 8pm

Group B winner v Group A runner-up — Thurs June 27, 8pm

Third-place playoff 

Sun June 30, 5pm

Final 

Sun June 30, 11pm


WHAT DOES IT MEAN TO BRAZIL?

THE Tournament will bring the most colorful fans in the world closer to that World Cup they have been craving.
If the atmosphere is right, this could show the world that Brazil is ready to host a massive festival of football, as much in the streets and on the beaches as in the grounds.

For us fans it is just an chance to google at the skills, the tactics, Spain's tiki-taka. Maybe a new talent will emerge ahead of next summer.

Just try and keep your eyes off the local ladies and on the football.

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