Brazil’s future seems to be in good hands and they look worthy of being the early favourites for the 2014 World Cup after seeing off the USA in Mano Menezes’ first game in charge.
Neymar scored on his debut and AC Milan’s Alexandre Pato doubled the advantage before half-time as Brazil sealed a comfortable 2-0 victory in their first fixture since being dumped out of the World Cup by Holland in the quarter finals.
Menezes left out many of the country’s World Cup flops and instead took the chance to try out some of his future starlets with Santos youngsters Neymar and Paulo Henrique Ganso especially standing out as ones to watch.
Brazil are 4/1 to claim a sixth World Cup triumph on home soil in four years’ times and will be hoping to better the runners-up finish they secured when previously hosting the tournament in 1950.
One team that is not looking so strong ahead of the 2014 World Cup and Euro 2012 is Italy, as new manager Cesare Prandelli’s first game in charge ended in defeat to the Ivory Coast.
Italy disappointed at the last World Cup by finishing bottom of a group which also included Paraguay and minnows Slovakia and New Zealand.
And despite naming a new strikeforce, Prandelli did no better than the outgoing Marcello Lippi as Kolo Toure’s goal condemned them to a 1-0 defeat.
The result means that Italy have failed to win any of their last seven games, with their most recent victory coming in a friendly against Sweden last November.
They are 12/1 to put their problems right ahead of the next World Cup and claim victory, but their immediate concern is qualification for Euro 2012, where they are drawn in Group C alongside Serbia, Northern Ireland, Slovenia, Estonia and the Faroe Islands.
Italy are considered 1/2 favourites to finish at the head of this group and 9/1 to triumph at Euro 2012.
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