Austria vs. Brazil
|Date & Time||Sunday June 10, 2018, 10:00 AM (EDT)|
The Line: Brazil -190 / Austria +602 / Draw +333 -- Over/Under: 2.5
|TV Channel||Stream live sports and ESPN originals on ESPN+ for only $4.99 a month. Start your 7-day free trial today!|
Austria and Brazil meet Sunday in International Friendly soccer action at Ernst-Happel-Stadion.
Austria plays its last friendly match before preparing for the UEFA Nations League, and this club enters this contest with a great deal of momentum. Austria has won each of its last seven matches, which includes a recent 2-1 victory over World Cup favorite Germany. In the victory, Martin Hinteregger and Alessandro Schöpf found the back of the net to shock the Germans and forced Joachim Low to say his club has a lot to work on entering tournament play. Austria beat another World Cup team in Russia before that victory and has scored two or more goals in five of its last seven matches. Needless to say, this is a club playing with extreme confidence and doesn’t look like the same group that failed to qualify for the World Cup for a fifth straight try. If Austria can put together another positive result against one of the best teams in the world, it should do wonders for how this club feels heading into tournament play later in the year.
Brazil plays its last friendly match before getting ready for its opening World Cup match against Switzerland. Brazil has strung together victories over Russia, Germany and recently Croatia, playing as well as you’d expect from a club looking to win its first World Cup since 2002. The good news for the Brazilians is that Neymar returned from injury in the victory against Croatia, scoring a late goal and looking good for somebody who had missed a couple months with an ankle injury. While Brazil is much deeper than Neymar and has been able to flex its muscle defensively in its last few friendlies, the 26-year-old star puts this club over the top and gives it a real chance to win the whole tournament as long as he remains healthy. Brazil hasn’t lost a match since its June friendly last year against Argentina, which was the coaching debut of Jorge Sampaoli.
These two clubs met in a 2014 friendly, which resulted in a 2-1 victory for Brazil. The match was won on a late goal by the young Roberto Firmino.
Austria has done more than prove itself in its last few matches and should be up to the task to compete in this match as well in front of its home fans. However, Brazil has done similar things against stiff competition as well and now has its best player back on the field. As always, these matches are usually about motivation and how much a team wants to push itself to leave with a victory in pretty much a meaningless game. But Brazil is the better side and has to stay in good form if it hopes to leave with a better result than 2014.
I’ll back the Brazilians.