After a thrilling tournament in Brazil, the final has came down to the two, pre-tournament favourites, Spain and the host national Brazil.
It is the final of dreams for the neutrals, with the level of football on offer set to be sensational, as arguably the two best footballing nations battle it out.
Brazil have home advantage, and that can’t be underestimated as the lively Brazilians cram inside the Estadio Maracana to escape the reality of their protest-hit nation, for ninety minutes of sweet footballing salvation.
They have no injury worries, and Luiz Felipe Scolari looks set to name an unchanged side, from their 2-1 victory over Uruguay last week.
Fred seems to be hitting a bit of form, bagging three goals in the tournament, including the opener against their south-american rivals in the semi’s.
Brazil have score 22 goals in their last 8 games, and certainly offer the most fire-power going forward, and with Spain’s defence looking slightly vulnerable throughout the tournament (Casillas kept them in it early on v Italy), it may be worth taking a punt on the out and out striker, Fred, to bag the first goal at 15/2.
Spain have looked their usual classy selves, often dominating in terms of possession, but falling short in front of goal (with the exception of Tahiti), often wasting chances that they should have stuck away.
They are content to pass the ball around the midfield, and keep the game in their own hands, but against Brazil that will be hard to manage, with Luiz Gustavo and Paulinho working tirelessly to break up the play, and free the creative talents of Neymar, Hulk and Oscar to launch attacks.
The sides surprisingly haven’t met since 1999, when the result was a mundane 0-0 draw, but with Spain likely to have been affected by the 120 minute marathon with Italy on Thursday evening, in the tough climate, Brazil look set to exploit any signs of fatigue and the over 2.5 goals market looks a definite play.
Surprisingly over 2.5 goals is odds-against, with the layers seeming to think there will be a maximum of two goals. Yet, if Brazil manage to get a goal early on (or vice-versa), the opposition will have to attack, and it will free up plenty of space all-over the pitch, for the quality players to exploit and this is a certain recipe for plenty of goals.
The 6/5 with Coral looks very fair, and should accompany a Brazil win, which is currently trading at 13/8. They are 10/11 to lift the trophy, which of course covers a win in extra-time or penalties, and could be the safer option.
Elsewhere, the third place play-off will be an interesting affair, with the disciplined Italian side, taking on the creative flair of the South-Americans, in the shape of Uruguay.
Italy are often content to sit and pass around their half of the pitch, before attempting to play the killer-pass late on, whereas Uruguay are often a brilliant counter-attacking side.
It should be a really entertaining game, but ‘open’ isn’t one way I would describe it, and the under 2.5 market could be a play here, with the current 11/10 on offer looking great value.
Italy drew a blank against Spain, and without Gilardino or Ballotelli, they look set to come up short in the attacking third once more.
El Sharaawy looks an intriguing talent, but I wouldn’t be entirely confident on him as a lone striker, at this stage in his career, and the attacking trio of Cavani, Suarez and Forlan look set to have things their on way on Sunday evening.
Uruguay to win 2-0, looks a likely scoreline, and it 16/1 it may be worth a small punt.
South Americans look set to reign supreme on an evening that will captivate the audience, and provide a much needed football fix to the millions around the world, who can’t wait for the football season to get back underway.
Brazil & Uruguay double: 1 point @ 5.56/1 (Coral)
Fred to score first: 1 point @ 15/2 (BetVictor)
Over 2.5 (Brazil), Under 2.5 (Uruguay) double: 3.62/1 (Coral)
Brazil 2-1, Uruguay 2-0: 0.5 points double @ 186/1 (William Hill)