MATCH INFO – Brazil vs Belgium Preview & Prediction
|Competition||World Cup 2018 – Quarter Final|
|Start Date||06 July 2018 – 19:00 GMT|
|Referee||Milorad Mazic, Serbia|
This could possibly be the biggest match of the World Cup so far with one of the best teams in world football coming up against one of the rising stars.
Brazil had a less dramatic route to their quarter-final as they registered a 2-0 win over Mexico to book a date with Belgium. It’s been an eventful tournament so far for Neymar, who has produced moments of brilliance but still been no stranger to controversy.
Brazil will be without midfielder Casemiro who is suspended due to an accumulation of bookings. Manchester City ace Fernandinho is set to replace the Real Madrid man. Marcelo, who missed the Mexico, clash could also be on the sidelines with Filipe Luis expected to play at left back.
Fagner struggled against Mexico but will keep his place in the team if Danilo fails to recover from injury in time.
Philippe Coutinho, Neymar, and Luis are all one booking away from a one-match ban.
Douglas Costa is back in full training but may have to settle for a place on the bench following Willian’s performance last time out.
Roberto Martinez’s men road to the quarterfinals has been exceptionally strange. Belgium started the tournament on a high note, thrashing Panama and Tunisia by a combined scoreline of 8-2. Their final match of the group, they met unbeaten side England and registered a 1-0 win, topping group G. Having maintained a 100% win, Belgium came dangerously close to a humiliating round of 16 exit at the hands of Japan on Monday night, coming from 2-0 down to win 3-2 courtesy of a Nacer Chadli injury-time winner.
Manchester City defender Vincent Kompany will continue at the heart of Belgium’s three-man defence after returning to full fitness. Thomas Meunier, Jan Vertonghen, Youri Tielemans, Leander Dendoncker and De Bruyne are one booking away from a one-match ban.
Brazil team news vs Belgium
The big news for Brazil is that Marcelo has returned to full training ahead of the game.
He had to be substituted in the last game of the group stage due to what seemed to be a back spasm.
While Marcelo had to sit out the game against Mexico, he will likely be available vs Belgium.
Douglas Costa has also returned to full training after an injury and will likely be on the bench.
With Gabriel Jesus struggling to make an impact, Roberto Firmino was in with a shout of coming in having scored off the bench against Mexico.
However the Brazil team below has been confirmed as the starting line-up, over 24 hours before kick-off.
Casemiro is suspended for this one due to accumulation of yellow cards, Fernandinho will replace the Real Madrid man.
Belgium team news vs Brazil
There are no fresh injury worries for Roberto Martinez and his men going into the game.
Romelu Lukaku was previously injured but has since returned to full fitness.
Brazil Predicted Lineups (4-4-2)
Alisson – Fagner, Thiago Silva, Miranda, Marcelo – Paulinho, Fernandinho, Coutinho – Willian, Neymar, Firmino.
Belgium Predicted Lineups (3-4-2-1)
Courtois – Alderweireld, Kompany, Vertonghen – Meunier, De Bruyne, Witsel, Carrasco – Mertens, Hazard – Lukaku.
Brazil vs Belgium Head-to-head
This will only be the second ever head to head encounter between Brazil and Belgium. Selecao won the lone previous tie which took place in the last 16 round of the 2002 World Cup in Korea/Japan.
Rivaldo and Ronaldo broke the Belgian resistance with second-half goals en route to the title with the victory over Germany in the final later on.
Brazil vs Belgium Prediction:
This has the potential to be one of the games of the tournament, with both teams going all-out for a place in the semi-finals. The quality in attack is obvious, and so expect this to be a high-scoring match.
Brazil might suffer a few scares, but panache from the likes of Neymar and Coutinho should be enough for them to see off the threat from a buoyant Belgium.
Match Prediction : Brazil 2 – 3 Belgium