Brazil will take on Chile this week in their latest international warm-up match for the 2014 World Cup, given that the host nation do not have to qualify for the tournament
The five-time world champions have a strong history of success over Chile throughout their history, and will look to continue that this week as they try to finalize their squad for the upcoming Confederations Cup in the summer.
Chile certainly won't be an easy beat, though, with their recent performances against Uruguay and Argentina showing they can mix it with South America's best.
So who will emerge triumphant from this fascinating mid-week fixture?
Read on for a full preview, including all the key match details and live viewing information, as well as analysis and last-minute predictions.
Date: Wednesday, April 24, 2013
Start time: 10:00 p.m. ET
Venue: Minerao, Belo Horizonte, Minas Gerais, Brazil
Live Stream and TV Information
According to Live Soccer TV, coverage of this international match can be seen in the United States via beIN Sport en Español and beIN SPORT.
|Brazil's Last Four Games||Chile's Last Four Games|
|Loss vs. England 2-1 (2/6/2013)||Win vs. Haiti 3-0 (1/19/2013)|
|Draw vs. Italy 2-2 (3/21/2013)||Win vs. Egypt 2-1 (2/6/2013)|
|Draw vs. Russia 1-1 (3/25/2013)||Loss vs. Peru 1-0 (3/22/2013)|
|Win vs. Bolivia 4-0 (4/6/2013)||Win vs. Uruguay 2-0 (3/26/2013)|
Key Player to Watch: Neymar, ST, Brazil
Neymar will line up for this fixture alongside either Alexandre Pato or Leandro Damiao, and will be looking for a big performance for his country here.
The Santos star has failed to live up to the hype that's seemingly followed him since he burst onto the scene a few years ago. His performance at the 2012 London Olympics—where Brazil lost in the gold medal match to Mexico—didn't help change that perception either, and Neymar will be looking for a strong performance in this one to erase some of those doubts.
At his best, there's no doubting his skill and pace, with his maze-like dribbling among the best in the world and his finishing ability also world-class.
Chile's defense has been strong of late, which should cause Neymar some problems, but it's hard to see him struggling to much in this one. Not with the talent that he has and the players he'll have around him—meaning we could well see a big night from the world football superstar.
Biggest Storyline to Follow: Ronaldinho's Return to the Limelight
Because this fixture doesn't fall on an FIFA-recognized international date, both squads for this one will be made up of locally-based players, which has given Brazilian legend Ronaldinho a chance to take the captain's armband for this fixture.
Having once been a regular in the national side, Ronaldinho has spent several years out of the limelight for the Brazilian national team, but is slowly returning to his usual notoriety—putting the 33-year-old in a great position to grab a spot in the Confederations Cup squad.
Ronaldinho captained Brazil earlier this month when they won 4-0 over Bolivia, and drew great praise from head coach Luiz Felipe Scolari in the process:
He is so important that I chose to name him the team's captain again. I want to see the team captain to show attitude and leadership, and that's what I expect from Ronaldinho, that he plays up to his potential and that he leads this team.
Key Stat to Consider
7: Chile have won just seven of their 65 meetings with Brazil throughout history. Brazil have won 46 times, whilst there have also been 12 draws.
Brazil will no doubt be affected by the loss of their European stars in this one—Thiago Silva, Alexis Sanchez, Lucas Moura, Oscar, David Luiz, Kaka—the reality is that they have more than enough talent on hand to cover their absence in this one.
Neymar and Damiao pose a lethal combination up front, and given that Chile will be missing a number of players also, they'll be very tough to stop here.
Without any World Cup qualifiers, Brazil's players will know that every game matters to them, and are likely to take this more seriously than their visitors will. Moreover, given that they could be playing for a spot in the Confederations Cup in the summer, they'll be desperate to please Scolari in this one.
Throw in the home ground advantage and it all adds up to a big Brazil win, and one that puts them in good form for the Confederations Cup.
Prediction: Brazil 4, Chile 0
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