International Friendly Betting: Brazil v Russia


Brazil's draw with Italy provided reasons to be both cheerful and concerned as the Confederations Cup approaches. The selecao impressed in attack, but were undone in the second half in Geneva as Italy asserted their authority. Luiz Felipe Scolari's men now roll into west London for their latest challenge at Stamford Bridge.

Team news

Scolari is likely to stick with the majority of the side that faced Italy, meaning starting spots for Fred and Hernanes. Thiago Silva will be hoping to return to the starting XI after being preserved on Thursday, while Hulk and Fernando could also be replaced. Russia's squad contains a good blend of experience and new faces: Igor Akinfeev, Yuri Zhirkov and Aleksandr Kerzhakov all boast over fifty international caps, while Oleg Shatov, Dmitri Tarasov Maksim Grigoryev will be keen to make a mark early on in their Russia careers.

Form

The draw against Italy means that Brazil have won just one of their last five matches - although one of those was the domestic-players-only match against Argentina. More worrying is their record against top-level sides: the selecao haven't beaten one of the world's biggest national teams since 2009. Russia are in better nick, having beaten the likes of Portuguese and Iceland in the last few months.

Head-to-head

Brazil won the last meeting between these sides in 2006, Ronaldo Fenomeno scoring the only goal of the game. Much has changed since that match, but a number of players remain, including Kaka, Fred, Sergei Ignashevich and the Berezutski twins. Before that, the previous meeting came in 1998, when Brazil romped to a 5-1 victory.

Goalscorer betting

Having proven his finishing prowess against Italy, Fred looks the best bet for an anytime goal at 2.20. Neymar showed flashes of brilliance in Geneva, and should also be a solid bet at 2.15. For Russia, Kerzhakov is the main man in attack. He can be backed at 14.00 for the opening goal.

Verdict

Brazil will be keen to correct some of the shortcomings that were evident against Italy, but will not have it easy against a solid Russian outfit. A narrow win for the selecao seems the most likely outcome, with both teams to score a good bet at 1.83.

Bonus bet

Hulk flattered to deceive against Italy and could well drop to the bench here. With his shoot-on-sight policy, however, he could be a wise bet to get the last goal at 6.25.

Score prediction: Brazil 2-1 Russia (8.25)