Big Match Breakdown: Brazil v Belgium
Odds, tips and preview for QF tie
Two of the World Cup’s big guns face-off this evening for a place in the semi-finals as Brazil clash with Belgium in Kazan.
The Samba Boys cruised past Mexico in the round-of-16, thanks in no small part to the histrionics of Paris Saint-Germain star Neymar.
Opponents Belgium produced the comeback of the tournament against Japan to prevail 3-2 after being 2-0 down in the contest.
It’s all set up to be a close-fought tie between two of the tournament favourites. And it’s one the Coral News Team has previewed with a Big Match Breakdown.
Tonight’s clash will be the fifth time the two nations have met and their first encounter since the 2002 World Cup in South Korea and Japan.
The Samba Boys triumphed 2-0 on that occasion, with goals from Rivaldo and Ronaldo booking their place in the quarter-finals.
Belgium have not beaten the South Americans since a Jacques Stockman hat-trick gave the Red Devils a seismic 5-1 victory way back in 1963.
Tite will have to do without Casemiro after the midfielder picked up his second booking of the tournament against Mexico. Fernandinho will come in for him. Marcelo could also replace Felipe Luis at full-back, while Liverpool’s Roberto Firmino is pushing for his first start in place of Gabriel Jesus.
Roberto Martinez has no new injury or suspension worries but could include Marouane Fellaini after the midfielder impressed off the bench against Japan. He may replace Dries Mertens, freeing up Kevin De Bruyne to play further forward.
Brazil’s defence will face its first significant test against the pace of Eden Hazard and the power of Romelu Lukaku. The pair will cause problems providing the midfield ups its game after Monday’s lacklustre showing.
The Red Devils will have to be at their best defensively to deal with the speed and trickery of their opponents’ forward line. Philippe Coutinho and Neymar, in particular, will try and give veteran Vincent Kompany the run around. Don’t be surprised if we see a penalty awarded in Kazan.
The midfield should have a nice Manchester flavour with Fernandinho and Fellaini set to renew rivalries in the middle of the park.
If you think the match will go all the way, it’s 8/1 about either side winning through on penalties.
All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing