The FIFA Confederations Cup Final is finally upon us and what a delight it promises to be. Find out as we break it down complete with cutting-edge odds and soccer picks.
It was the final most expected from the start but after the respective progress of the two favourites to win the competition from the semi-finals it now promises to be an even more intriguing clash than anticipated.
Spain tipped at the disadvantage
Soccer odds makers send Spain into the tournament final as the underdogs, albeit marginally so, listed at +180 to win outright. However, Brazil (listed at +150) should be wary of the resilient Spaniards who despite not playing their best somehow managed to hang tough against Italy, only to eke them out on penalties. In fact, while some sportsbooks still have pre-tournament favourites Brazil marginally favoured in the outright win markets, others such as Bet365 are now serving up both equally at -110 on the outright win. That they aren’t splitting hairs in this market is revealing.
Spain needed to go to penalties against an Italian side that showed a lot of character on the momentous occasion and in the face of adversity and injury-challenges. At the onset, the odds were stacked heavily against Italy who were coming off back-to-back tough matches against Japan and Brazil and who were also sans Mario Balotelli. But the Italians gave it their all before running out of steam in the penalties lottery.
On balance, the criticism has been rather harsh on Spain’s performance. Granted, they didn’t play up to their lofty standards. But that’s down to Italy going into the game with a great tactical approach, flipping the script by changing their formation to three back, five in midfield. Essentially choking the Spanish middle and their ability to make those delightful quick short passes down the pitch and, in turn, created more opportunities as a result for themselves. Still, credit is due Spain for their resilience and for somehow keeping their hope for a Confederations Cup victory alive, the only international prize to allude them to date.
Spain is riding an incredible record-breaking 29-match unbeaten run. Laws of Averages suggest something is going to give, eventually. Spain of course would rather it didn’t happen on Sunday night in the Maracana but it’s worthwhile noting that playing in equatorial Fortaleza, a great distance away from Rio de Janeiro as well, does put them at the slight disadvantage physically. The heat and humidity plus the travel time will surely take its toll.
Brazil have the advantage
Brazil seeks its third consecutive FIFA Confederations Cup as the marginal favourites at +150 at Bet365 and so far their campaign, which has been built on impressive performances, suggests they are more than capable of pulling the victory off.
Brazil never looked to be threatened throughout the competition until the semifinals which were more frantic than anticipated against Uruguay where they needed a late goal to dismiss their continental rivals. They’ve been in front in every game they’ve played so far and they’ve managed to score goals in every half of their games. That fact bodes well for them against Spain.
Going into this match, Brazil has several additional advantages it should capitalize on over and above home edge. They have an additional day’s rest having played their semifinal on Wednesday and as well Belo Horizonte is a sixth of the distance to Rio de Janeiro than Fortaleza where the Spaniards were playing. Finally, the equatorial heat and humidity in Fortaleza will probably have taken its toll on the Spaniards too.
Soccer Betting Verdict: On balance, the scales do tip towards Brazil. Home edge, rest and advantageous logistics are definitely in their favour. Nonetheless, matches aren’t played on paper but on the pitch. Spain is still the best team in the world today and in reaching the final they’ve underscored that notion. Moreover, as the slight underdogs they are the more attractive option at +180. Additional value plays are: both teams to score – each has such firepower that it would be surprising if they didn’t both find the net. Bookies favour the under 2.5 but we are plumping down to better odds on the Over 2.5 at +100 because of the aforementioned firepower that has been on display by the respective sides in almost every match save for Spain’s semi-final. Finally, on the Spain to win theme, Spain to win by a goal can be backed at +333 at Bet365.
Soccer Free Picks: Spain to win & Game Total Over 2.5