Injuries are beginning to creep in for both Brazil and Italy ahead of Group A’s showpiece match.
Tottenham-bound midfielder Paulinho could miss out with a sprained ankle, but David Luiz is set to continue in defence, despite breaking his nose against Mexico.
Italy will be without key midfield pair Daniele De Rossi and Andrea Pirlo. De Rossi is suspended after picking up two yellow cards, while Pirlo picked up an injury in the thrilling win over Japan.
And those absences could cost Italy tonight. Against a Brazil side that seem to be getting better with every game, Italy will miss Pirlo’s invention and De Rossi’s energy.
So expect Italy to play the typical Italian way, keeping the defence tight and looking to catch Brazil on the break. Brazil may have to be patient in this one, but a win is there for them if they can remain disciplined.
Give that both sides have already qualified for the semi finals and are effectively playing to decide who avoids Spain in the last four, both Luiz Felipe Scolari and Cesare Prandelli may experiment with a few squad players. For this reason, it’s best to avoid individual player bets, but there is value in backing Brazil to keep another clean sheet at 2.40.
In the game’s other match, the dead rubber between Japan and Mexico, there is greater value in backing a Japan side that have looked decent, despite losing both their games.
Mexico, who have only scored one goal in the tournament – a Javier Hernandez penalty – have been very poor and that run looks set to continue against a Japan side that have looked very good ging forward, particularly in the 4-3 defeat by Italy.
Italy not to score at 2.40
Japan to beat Mexico at 2.50