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Stuart Dalgleish 24th Jun 2009 - 16:52

Brilliant Brazil can silence the crowd once and for all

South Africa have somehow got through to the semi-finals of the Confederations Cup but this is where their luck will end.

After a dire opening game against Iraq, thoughts of Joel Santana's team entertaining the country of his birth in the semi-finals were a long way away, but after Iraq's failure to score against New Zealand in the deciding group game the hosts have stuttered in to the knock-out stages.

The home crowd have tried their best to inspire their heroes but South Africa are just not good enough to compete at this level, especially not against the magical Brazil team.

Unless the Bafana Bafana adopt more of an attacking philosophy their chances of making an impact at the World Cup next year remain minimal.

Even more so if the coach doesn't patch things up with the team's outstanding player Benni McCarthy, yes the Blackburn striker isn't without his controversy but much like players such as Nicolas Anelka you just have to know how to handle him.

Chances are the countries all-time leading scorer will be involved at next year's World Cup because South Africa just aren't an attacking threat without him. They have talented players such as Teko Modise and Steven Pienaar who can beat players and get balls in the box but without a decent striker to get on the end of crosses, as McCarthy has done time and time again in the Premier League, they just won't score enough goals to hurt teams.

So there's the hosts chances summed up, what about the Brazilians?

The Samba stars have improved dramatically since their last World Cup outing, where they came up short against France in the quarter-finals.

Household names like Adriano, Ronaldo and Ronaldinho have been ditched in favour of more perhaps hardworking players such as Felipe Melo and Luís Fabiano, Sevilla striker Fabiano has made the central striker role his own in the last two years thanks to his fantastic scoring record.

With the (very briefly) most expensive player in the world Kaká and Man City's enigmatic forward Robinho supplying through balls, it's not hard to see why Brazil's number nine has blasted in 20 goals in just 29 international games.

Where in 2006 Brazil operated with a 'front four' and no real great defensive cover now the team has a much more balanced approach, former Arsenal star Gilberto Silva holds everything together in the middle of the park with Melo and Ramires able to stop attacks going down either flank whilst also supporting the front three to wreak havoc on bewildered defences.

They are certainly a force to be reckoned with next summer.

The home team go into the game as huge underdogs, you can get a whopping 11/1 on a South African victory, 6/1 just on the Bafana Bafana progressing to the final. The draw is a 4/1 shot, but the outstanding Brazil are the obvious choice in the betting at odds of 2/7.

You can get 8/11 on Kaká and co leading at half-time and full-time in the double result market, and if you think Dunga's team will go goal-crazy then Brazil -2 on the handicap at odds of 23/10 will surely appeal.

The hosts will again be looking towards Bernard Parker to help them out with a goal, the Red Star Belgrade striker is the only player to score for South Africa in the tournament and is a mammoth 14/1 to get the opening goal in this game.

For Brazil, any number of players could hit the back of the net but for a bit of value marauding full back Maicon could be a great earner at 20/1 to grab the first goal of this semi-final clash.

Why not join us in-play when the action gets underway, we offer a huge range of in-running betting opportunities for all your betting needs from kick off right up to the final whistle.

South Africa v Brazil - Wednesday 19:30

Confederations Cup outright


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