Brazil will find the space they need
This is a match up that could’ve just as well been a World Cup final. Instead, Brazil and Belgium are meeting in the quarter finals on Friday at 7pm.
Brazil have started off slowly but surely in this year’s tournament, and are still favourites to take home the trophy. It didn’t begin on a high note with a draw to Switzerland and they’ve definitely looked better. The bright yellow of Brazil is usually associated with attacking and entertaining football, and that’s what the fans want this summer.
The Belgian defence are going to have serious problems to contend with
But what differs for Brazil compared to previous World Cups is the strength of their defensive capabilities and the ability of their goalkeeper Allison. Brazil have only conceded one goal in eight matches in 2018. It’s certainly not down to luck and teams have found it i difficult to create chances against them with their superior defensive setup, and a solid Casemiro set in front of them in midfield. If the Belgians do succeed in breaking through, they’ll have to meet Allison.
In their last match against Mexico in the round of 16 Neymar and Willian on the flanks showed the kind of form that we’ve come to expect of them. If that kind of skill and ability in present in the quarters, the Belgian defence are going to have serious problems to contend with.
There are a few question marks for the Brazilians surrounding this match. Casemiro is suspended after two yellows, and his replacement Fernandinho isn’t a straight for straight swap. The fact that Douglas Costa is also out could be a problem for them. Though both Danilo and Marcelo are back in contention, with the latter expecting to take his starting spot back.
Brazil possible starting 11: 4-3-3
- Fagner - Silva - Miranda - Marcelo
- Paulinho - Fernandinho - Coutinho
- Willian - Firmino - Neymar
It’s hard not to like the Belgium team that they’ve brought to Russia this summer. They posses an amazing array of attacking talent with players like Lukaku, Mertens and Hazard leading the line.
The Belgians stormed through the group stages this year but had tough trouble against the Japanese in the round of 16, only managing to come back from 0-2 with a Nacer Chadli goal in the last seconds.
The Belgians have a top heavy, offensive side that will find it tough against the Brazilians
In the game against Japan they were properly tested for the first time, and their weaknesses were exposed for everyone to see - especially the Brazilians. The Belgians have a top heavy, offensive side that will find it tough against the Brazilians if their manager Roberto Martinez doesn’t get his starting 11 just right. Japan found the gaps in their formation, and the Japanese are not particularly renowned for their attacking capabilities but they still managed it.
If the Brazilians find the same space in Belgians backlines it’ll be raining goals. The difference in speed when you compare Belgians back three of Alderweireld - Kompany - Vertonghen against Neymar - Firmino - Willian is astonishing.
Belgium possible starting 11: 3-4-3
- Alderweireld - Kompany - Verthongen
- Meunier - de Bruyne - Witsel - Chadli
- Hazard - Lukaku - Mertens
I think this match will suit the Brazilians to a tee. If Martinez doesn’t pick a starting 11 that has more defensive balance Belgium are going to have serious problems. Brazil will certainly take advantage of the space in Belgium’s backlines. Brazil probably have a 50% chance of finishing this one off in regular time. That’s why I’m going for odds just over that at 11/10 (2.10) with LeoVegas.