For the old fogies like me, Italy against Brazil conjures up memories of the 1982 World Cup in one of the greatest World Cup matches in the history of the tournament.
Italy faced Brazil in the second round. For a trip down memory lane, here are the wonderful highlights from the match:
If today’s match between Italy and Brazil can come even close to the great 1982 match, we’re in for a treat. Both sides have already clinched their place in the semi-final, but today’s match will help decide who ends up top of their group.
Importantly, Andrea Pirlo is out of this match, which will most probably hurt the Italian team since everything goes through him. So Riccardo Montolivo takes the Pirlo deep-lying playmaker role. Brazil are yet to concede a goal. While both teams are already in the next round, both Brazil and Italy will want to get a good result today to carry on the momentum into the semis.
Italy: Buffon; Abate, Bonucci, Chiellini, De Sciglio; Aquilani, Montolivo; Marchisio, Diamanti, Candreva; Balotelli
Brazil: Julio Cesar; Dani Alves, Thiago Silva, David Luiz, Marcelo; Hernanes, Luiz Gustavo; Hulk, Oscar, Neymar; Fred
In the other match today, Japan plays Mexico. Both teams are out of the next round, but both teams will want to go home with a win today so they don’t end up with the wooden spoon.
For viewers in the United States, you can watch both matches on television. Italy vs Brazil is on ESPN, while Japan vs Mexico is on ESPN2.
Before, during or after today’s matches, join the conversation in the comments section below.