Mata replaces Silva in Spain team to meet Brazil
RIO DE JANEIRO
RIO DE JANEIRO (Reuters) - Spain coach Vicente Del Bosque included Juan Mata in his side to meet Brazil in the Confederations Cup final at the Maracana Stadium on Sunday in the only change to the side who beat Italy in the semi-finals.
Spain are bidding to become the first team since Uruguay in the 1950 World Cup final to beat Brazil in a senior competitive international at the Maracana.
Mata, who came on as a second half substitute against Italy, takes his place as an attacking midfielder ahead of David Silva, who came off early in the second half on Thursday.
Brazil coach Luiz Felipe Scolari kept faith with the side who beat Uruguay in their semi-final on Wednesday and the one who have started three of their four previous matches in the tournament, all of which they have won.
The hosts, who have not lost at home in a competitive game for 38 years since they were beaten in a Copa America match by Peru in Belo Horizonte, are attempting to win the Confederations Cup for the third successive tournament.
Spain are seeking to extend their world record run of 29 unbeaten competitive games and win the only trophy missing from their cabinet after winning European titles in 2008 and 2012 and the World Cup in 2010.
The atmosphere inside the stadium was electrifying as more than 70,000 fans, mostly Brazilians in their ubiquitous yellow shirts, brought the evening to life.
Brazil: 12-Julio Cesar; 2-Dani Alves, 3-Thiago Silva, 4-David Luiz, 6-Marcelo; 17-Luiz Gustavo, 18-Paulinho, 11-Oscar; 19-Hulk, 10-Neymar, 9-Fred.
Spain: 1-Iker Casillas; 17-Alvaro Arbeloa, 15-Sergio Ramos, 3-Gerard Pique, 18-Jordi Alba; 6-Andres Iniesta, 8-Xavi, 16-Sergio Busquets, 13-Juan Mata; 9-Fernando Torres, 11-Pedro.
Referee: Bjorn Kuipers (Netherlands)
(Reporting by Mike Collett)
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