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Sunday, June 30, 2013 at 12:00 p.m. ET
Confederations Cup Third-Place Playoff, Arena Fonte (Brazil)
First and foremost, it must be noted that this article was written before the second semifinal of the Confederations Cup where Spain will take on Italy.
I've gone with Spain to win that match (given their dominance in international football in the past few years), and that has therefore led to Uruguay playing Italy and Brazil playing Spain respectively in this weekend's predictions. However, if that doesn't turn out to be the case, then these matchups will be completely different (and could well throw out some different results!).
Uruguay were deceptively strong in defense against Brazil and were perhaps unlucky to not at least see their semifinal matchup head into extra time. Their attack, which is where their firepower is, will face a tough time against the defensive might of the Azzurri, but the likes of Edinson Cavani, Luis Suarez and Abel Hernandez are certainly capable of creating several good chances in this one.
Italy—without their top goal-scorer in Mario Balotelli—won't be as successful going forward, and may find themselves bogged down in midfield more than they expected.
And while they should have enough to keep it close, I think Uruguay will emerge with a late winner to clinch a 1-0 victory on the night—giving them a podium finish in the tournament this year and making amends somewhat for their heartbreaking loss to Brazil in the waning minutes of their semifinal.
Prediction: Uruguay 1, Italy 0