INTERNATIONALS: FIVE IN LINE FOR FINAL
There is the potential for the involvement of up to five Chelsea players when Spain and Brazil meet in Sunday's Confederations Cup final at the Maracana, and both sides are desperate for victory.
The hosts, under Luiz Felipe Scolari, ensured their place in Rio de Janeiro's rebuilt stadium thanks to Wednesday's 2-1 win against Uruguay while Spain beat Italy on penalties following Thursday's goalless draw.
It means David Luiz and Oscar, who have started each of Brazil's four games so far, could come face to face with Fernando Torres, Juan Mata and Cesar Azpilicueta, who have all enjoyed match action in South America.
Torres started in place of the injured Roberto Soldado against Italy and could keep his place, while Mata was a late substitute, converting his spot kick in the shootout. It sets up a final most people would have predicted.
Before the tournament, Mata told the official Chelsea website how much victory would mean.
'It's the only trophy missing for us and I think with our manager, the group of players and our winning mentality, we have a good chance of making it the perfect summer,' he said.
'It would be amazing for this group of players. We've won two Euros, the World Cup and winning the Confederations Cup would be the full circle.'
Coach Vicente Del Bosque believes his side are underdogs, but the scale of the occasion will drive the players.
'Brazil are the favourites,' he said. 'They have five World Cups, three Confederations Cups; we're going to be facing them at the Maracana and we're excited to do so
'We have that childish excitement about facing Brazil at the Maracana, it's stupendous for us. I hope we are physically fresh. We will try to represent our country well and be a headache for Brazil.
'We want to recover and get there in the best condition possible. Spain played 120 minutes and they are players who usually play two matches a week, so we believe that we will be able to give it our all on Sunday.'
Earlier this month David Luiz said he had joked with the Spanish players about meeting each other at this stage, stressing he felt Brazil could overcome the world champions at the iconic, rebuilt Maracana.
'I spoke a little bit to the Spanish guys, I am glad they are all involved and we had a little joke about it,' he told us. 'They have a very strong team, so it will be a difficult competition but we have the quality to win it.
'We hope to play in the Maracana, an historic stadium, in the final. I never played there in the past at the old stadium, so I hope to play many times in the new one.'
He has so far been a lynchpin of Scolari's side, and the coach feels Brazil are on the right track after a shaky start to his second tenure.
'We are better in comparison to February when we started in my first match,' said the former Chelsea manager. 'We have a good foundation. In this tournament we have had tough matches and the group has improved and is more self-confident.
'We know the managers of the other teams have always respected us because Brazil has always been a great team but maybe they weren't 100 per cent sure we would be strong this time.
'We are earning back the history of the Brazil team. But we still have a long way to go to say we are as good as the top four or five teams in the world.'
Victory in Sunday night's game would go a long way to disproving that view, but the Spanish are likely to have something to say about that.