Twelve months ago, both Brazil and Italy were tipped to do well in this year's World Cup in Argentina, but both teams have shown mixed form over the last few months and this has raised doubts about their chances when the tournament begins.
GV Mar del Plata city
SV Brazil players standing outside their hotel
SV Rivelino playing with ball on foot-path
GV Team outside training camp (2 shots)
GV Players training
GV Newsmen watching from sidelines
GV Players continue training (4 shots)
GV Crowd att stadium (Boca Juniors stadium, Buenos Aires)
GV March between Italy and Sportivo Italiano (light shirts). Italy shoots at goal and goalkeeper punches it out
GV Defender kicks away after corner
GV (SECOND HALF) Italy shoot but goalkeeper saves
GV Italiano bring up ball to Italy goal, Italian defender intercepts and kicks it back towards Italiano half
GV Italy score and players congratulate scorer
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Background: Twelve months ago, both Brazil and Italy were tipped to do well in this year's World Cup in Argentina, but both teams have shown mixed form over the last few months and this has raised doubts about their chances when the tournament begins.
SYNOPSIS: The Brazilian team is based in the coastal resort of Mar del Plata where they'll meet Austria, Spain and Sweden in their opening group matches.
Captain, 32-year-old Roberto Rivelino seen here, is one of the few survivors from Brazil's previous World Cup campaigns. Apart from possessing one of the most deadly shots in football, Rivelino is the team's midfield schemer, frequently opening up defences with accurate through passes.
Recently Rivelino said he thought Brazil would win the World Cup, but some doubts have been raised following Brazil's recent European tour. Occasional flashes of brilliance were marred by rough physical play, particularly in the last game of their tour against England.
However, with players of the quality of Rivelino, Zico and Battista in the midfield, and with Reinaldo in attack the Brazilians, must still start the tournaments as one of the favourites.
The same, however, cannot be said of the Italians seen here in dark shirts playing against the Argentine league side Sportivo Italiano.
The Italians have failed to recapture the form that enabled them to beat England in Rome back in November 1976.
Since that time, the team has lost a number of key players, including the sweeper Facchetti, and this has had an unsettling effect. Butt perhaps Italy's greatest problem has been the loss of form of their strikers Causio, Bettega and Graziana. However, if Benetti and Antognoni in the midfield can find the form that enabled the Italians to win their qualifying group matches the team might well emerge as a force to be reckoned with once the tournament gets underway.
Certainly, on Saturday, the Italians looked impressive against local club Sportivo Italiano. Bettega scored the only goal of the game.