In the standout match of the knockout stages, World Cup favourites Brazil gear up for a titanic battle with Belgium.
At one stage, the Red Devils looked set to be the latest big name casualty to bow out, having shockingly gone 2-0 down against Japan in the previous round until a 30 minute rally and three goal swing eventually broke the hearts of their dogged opponents.
Where and when: Kazan Arena – 6 July, kick-off 19:00
Where you can see Brazil vs. Belgium: BBC
Last time: The nations last met at the 2002 World Cup that Brazil went on to win for a record fifth time. Rivaldo scored both goals in the 2-0 victory for the Seleção who advanced to the quarter-finals as a result.
|Both teams to score in the first-half||4/1||Offer|
|Fellaini anytime scorer||11/2||Offer|
|Over 3.5 cards||7/5||Offer|
Brazil v Belgium World Cup Predictions and Preview
After a tentative start against Switzerland and Costa Rica, Brazil appear to be hitting their stride at just the right time. Encouragingly, for all the talk, and quite righty, of the attacking stars in Tite’s squad, the veteran will be delighted with how his backline have performed. The Seleção have only conceded one effort in 360 minutes of action and in Thiago Silva and Miranda, the South Americans could not be better equipped.
Further forward, talisman Neymar looks a man on the mission. After Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo exited the tournament, the stage is now set for the PSG record buy to lead his country to world glory. Neymar has two strikes from his last three appearances and is 4/1 to open proceedings on the night. Brazil are 11/10 to claim the win in 90 minutes and 4/7 to advance outright.
Opposition Belgium have a 100% record in this year’s tournament but must improve on their last performance. A repeat of the first-half showing against an ever improving Brazil team will probably spell the end of the Red Devils participation in Russia and the international careers of Vincent Kompany and Thomas Vermaelen.
Upfront, skipper Eden Hazard will be expected to step up and prove he deserves to be mentioned in the same company as the likes of Neymar, Ronaldo and Messi. The Chelsea number 10 is 13/5 to register anytime during the showdown while target man Romelu Lukaku is 9/4 in the same betting. The Red Devils are 13/8 to progress and 11/4 to seal the victory in normal time.
One to watch for Brazil: Roberto Firmino. The Liverpool fan favourite made an instant impact in the triumph over Mexico, scoring two minutes after coming on in the second-half. Firmino is 11/5 to repeat his exploits and register last.
One to watch for Belgium: Kevin De Bruyne. The Manchester City hotshot has struggled to transfer his outstanding club form on to the world platform, but remains instrumental to how the Red Devils play. The midfielder is 13/2 to net anytime during this mouthwatering encounter.
Long shot: On paper, the showdown between one of Europe’s best sides and South America’s standout footballing country should be one to relish. France and Argentina recently played out a seven goal thriller in the second round and it is likely to come down to which defence stands stronger. A Brazil 4-3 win in regulation time is available at a whopping 200/1.