Brazil vs. Australia
This match from Group D sees South American giants Brazil take on Asian representatives Australia at Borussia-Park in Mönchengladbach, Germany. Brazil comes into the tournament as a massive favorite to finally shed their “bridesmaid” tag and win the FIFA Women’s World Cup. The South Americans have been dominant within their region winning the South American Women’s Championship on five of six occasions in 1991, 1995, 1998, 2003, and 2010 with their only hiccup coming in 2006 when they finished runners up. Coach Kleiton Lima has been in charge of the side since January 2009 and will be looking to get this team over the hump. The key players for the Samba Queens are the “Big 3” of Marta, Cristiane and Formiga, Marta is widely considered the best female player in the world and is well decorated winning five FIFA Women’s Player of the Year Awards in 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009 and 2010 as well as winning four Championships in Sweden with club side Umeå IK in 2005, 2006, 2007 and 2008 amongst other honors. Cristiane is her “partner in crime” in the Brazilian attack and can be a major threat if not properly defended, however contrary to popular belief the most important player may just be Formiga. She is the midfield enforcer and adds toughness where the team needs it most; she will be responsible for marking the opposition’s best player. All three of these players ply their trade in the WPS, something that makes them even more familiar with each other.
As for Australia, they qualified for this tournament as champions of the 2010 AFC Women’s Asian Cup and are one of the main reasons why powerhouse China isn’t in this year’s competition. This team finally broke their streak of Group Stage exits in 2007 when they reached the Quarterfinals, they will be looking to build on that this time around and possibly go one step further. Since Australia moved from the Oceania region to the Asian region it has helped both the male and female sides, giving them stronger competition and forcing them to improve their quality of players. Coach Tom Sermanni has a wealth of experience to draw on and has been in charge of Australia since 2004, the Scotsman is well respected by the both the players and Australian Soccer Association. Key players for the Aussies are Lisa De Vanna, Kyah Simon and Melissa Barbieri, De Vanna and Simon will be leading the line up front, adding pace and finishing ability while captain and goalkeeper Barbieri will be in charge of organization.
This might just be a closer match them many are expecting, I still like the Brazilians to open their account with a victory but the Aussies won’t roll over by any means. I think there will be goals in this match so I will go for the over.