Global soccer superpowers Brazil and Spain will contest the 2013 Confederations Cup final after a thrilling round of semifinal matchups.
Spain progressed via penalties after holding off a heroic Italian effort, while Paulinho's late winner against Uruguay lifted the hosts into the final.
Here, we preview some of the key tactical battles that will decide the champion of this "World Cup warmup" event.
Brazil's best player will be pitted against Spain's weak link—sounds like a recipe for disaster, right?
Neymar has been dominant for his nation throughout the tournament, bagging three goals and assisting the killer goal in the semifinal vs. Uruguay.
The left flank will be his to roam, and Alvaro Arbeloa will know he is in for a tough ride when going one vs. one with Barcelona's newest star signing.
If Neymar can attract double-coverage, he can open things out for others. If Spain decide to commit just one man on him, you'd put money on the Brazilian winning the individual battle.
Luiz Felipe Scolari will have watched Italy's stunning performance against Spain in the semifinal and taken note of Cesare Prandelli's tactics.
Italy used a lopsided 3-4-3 formation to take advantage of the space in behind roaming left-back Jordi Alba, setting Antonio Candreva and and Christian Maggio loose down the right.
Alba struggled to match their pace, power and tenacity, and Brazil could easily utilise Hulk in a similar role.
He's been woeful all tournament long, but he remains an unbelievable physical specimen—if there's one player who can dominate Alba from a physical perspective, it's Hulk.
It's still impossible to predict what Spain will do with their forward line.
Vicente Del Bosque has flitted between a false-nine, Fernando Torres, Roberto Soldado and even Javi Martinez up front, meaning game-planning for la Roja is beyond difficult.
Should Del Bosque opt for the false-nine approach, it will be interesting to see how David Luiz handles the challenge. Undisciplined at the best of times, his willingness to charge out could well provide the rip Spain will be looking for when moving forward.
Brazil have really struggled to find a central midfield pairing that suits their side.
Buildup play has been lacking, and the Selecao have largely failed to work the ball through the middle. Luiz Gustavo is a destroyer, while Paulinho is more of a dribbler than a mercurial passer.
The Selecao have gotten away with it throughout the tournament, but Spain could be the team to take advantage of this flaw.
If La Roja restore their pressing game to the levels shown against Uruguay, they're going to stop a number of Brazil attacks early and pin them in their own half.