These are the semifinals football fans everywhere wanted. Brazil and Uruguay will meet in the first, a South American clash with plenty of firepower, while Spain and Italy will face off in a rematch of the 2012 European Championship final, which Spain won 4-0.
You want stars? These teams have them. You want exciting football? Well, I can't guarantee that Spain and Italy will provide that, but you better believe Brazil and Uruguay will. You want the game being played at a truly high level?
Yeah, these games have that covered. Let's break them down.
Schedule and Viewing Information
|Wednesday, June 26||3 p.m. ET||Belo Horizonte|| |
Brazil vs. Uruguay
|Thursday, June 27||3 p.m. ET||Fortaleza||Spain vs. Italy||ESPN||WatchESPN|
|Sunday, June 30||12 p.m. ET||Salvador||Third-Place Game||ESPN2||WatchESPN|
|Sunday, June 30||6 p.m. ET||Rio De Janeiro||Final ||ESPN||
Why Brazil Will Beat Uruguay
Because Neymar has been the best player at the entire tournament thus far, with three goals and an assist in three games. He has looked like an absolute star.
Because the Brazilians are suddenly hot. This team may not have come into the Confederations Cup playing at an elite level, but they've been magnificent, winning their three group games against tough teams in Japan, Mexico and Italy.
Because really, they haven't shown a weakness thus far, giving up just two goals, remaining sturdy in the midfield and looking dangerous in attack.
Why Uruguay Will Beat Brazil
Because even if Brazil bosses the game, Uruguay has attackers in Edinson Cavani, Luis Suarez and Diego Forlan that can strike at any moment and steal a win.
Because Uruguay is plenty familiar with Brazil and won't be intimidated facing them in front of a Brazilian crowd.
Because Brazil is probably due for a letdown after three pretty cracking performances.
Why Spain Will Beat Italy
Because they're the best team in the world.
Because they'll control possession, tiki-taka the ball around the pitch and expose an Italian defense that has been surprisingly poor in this tournament, giving up eight goals in three games.
Because Andres Iniesta, Xavi Hernandez, Cesc Fabregas and Sergio Busquets are just too good to let this team lose.
Because Mario Balotelli isn't playing, the one player who could have really given Spain's back four fits.
Why Italy Will Beat Spain
Because the Italians always seem to have at least one major upset or huge victory up their sleeves at major tournaments.
Because Andrea Pirlo is still capable of navigating a win, even over a team as good as Spain.
Because if nothing else, this Italian team will park the bus, play for overtime and hope to steal a win late.
It's hard to see Brazil and Spain losing. The Brazilians have dramatically improved their form in this tournament, and Neymar has been the Confederations Cup's best player by far, while Spain has looked plenty formidable in its first three games.
Look for Brazil and Spain to square off in the final.