Monday, June 15, 2009

Confed Cup: Brazil - Egypt preview

South American champions Brazil, one of the favorites to win the 2009 Confederations Cup, begin their campaign against Africa champions Egypt.

Brazil manager Dunga was able to select most top names for this match, although AC Milan’s Ronaldinho hasn’t been included. However, Kaka will be present, as well as players like Luis Fabiano and Robinho. The squad also includes seven players that normally feature in Brazil’s domestic league.

Although not the top favorite for this tournament, there will certainly be pressure on the ‘Sele├žao’ as they are expected to survive this group phase without particular troubles. Surprise shouldn’t be ruled out however.

Egypt have to do without the influential but injured Amr Zaki, but the team does include Dortmund’s Mohamed Zidan and Mohamed Shawky of Middlesbrough. Coach Hassan Shehata selected mostly players that represent Egyptian club teams, with no less than 19 of 23 active in their home league.

Today’s meeting is the first between these two sides since 1963, a friendly that Brazil won 1-0. The defending Confederations Cup champions will want a good result in this crucial opening game.

Group B’s first match starts at 1800GMT and is to be played in the city of Bloemfontein.