Kazan Arena - World Cup Quarter-Final
After their stunning comeback against Japan on Monday night, Belgium have been rewarded with a quarter-final tie against Brazil. The Selecao are still the favourites for the World Cup, although the Red Devils will be a tough test for Tite’s side.
These two nations haven’t played each other since the 2002 World Cup, when Brazil were 2-0 winners in the round of 16. Belgium have only beaten the Selecao once in four attempts, but that was a 5-1 success back in 1963 when the South Americans were world champions.
Amid complaints of an inadequate hotel mattress, Marcelo remains a doubt after missing Brazil’s win against Mexico after a back spasm. Felipe Luis will start at left-back if Marcelo isn’t ready, while Casemiro misses this game through suspension and will be a big miss in the middle of the park.
Belgium have no injury worries coming into this game, and they’re free from suspensions too. Yannick Carrasco and Dries Mertens were ineffective against Japan, while their two replacements - Marouane Fellaini and Nacer Chadli - both scored and are pushing for a spot in the starting XI.
Brazil v Belgium Preview and Predictions
World Cup games don’t come much more exciting than this one. The pre-tournament favourites take on most people’s pick for an outside shot at winning the competition, as Brazil and Belgium go head-to-head in the quarter-finals.
With either Uruguay or France waiting in the semis, both of these teams will need to improve on their previous performances in Russia both here and in the next round. Brazil have rarely looked under pressure so far this summer, but they have only sparked into life on infrequent occasions.
The Selecao are the favourites in the betting for this one though, priced at 21/20. With the likes of Neymar, Philippe Coutinho and Gabriel Jesus up top, they’re going to cause real problems for a Belgium side who have conceded four in four.
The Red Devils are 57/20 to win the game inside 90 minutes, and they’ll need to tighten up at the back if they want to reach the last four. Buoyed by their stunning comeback against Japan, Belgium have shown their heart, but they’ll need to show their quality to beat Brazil.
The draw at the end of normal time is 13/5, taking us to extra-time and maybe even penalties. With that in mind, Brazil are 4/7 to qualify for the semis by any means, while Belgium are 13/8 for the same bet.
Brazil to win and both teams to score at 7/2
The Selecao are the favourites for this game, but Belgium have some wonderful attacking players and are sure to cause their defence some problems.
Coutinho to score first at 7/1
The Barcelona forward has opened the scoring for Brazil twice so far in Russia, showing his importance to the Selecao.