Brazil 0-1 Belgium in first half

06 July, 2018, 22:53 | Author: Pamela Mathis
  • Belgium’s Eden Hazard will go head-to-head with Brazil’s Neymar in the World Cup quarter-finals

Brazil and Belgium face off in Friday's second World Cup quarter-final for the right to face France in the last four of the competition.

After Brazil's 2-0 win over Mexico in the Round of 16, Brazilian newspaper Globo ran the headline, "Neymar has charmed Brazil, but annoyed the whole world".

On the opposite flank, Filipe Luis has always been an able deputy to Marcelo in the National side, proving the same once again in the last two games as well.

"Marcelo left (against Serbia) because of a clinical problem and he has not been back because of a physical problem, he only had 45 to 60 minutes. Certainly it's a very strong attacking team but the main way to stop the opponent is to be aware of all the players that are on the pitch because there are several high-quality players", he said.

Martinez feels his side, despite being stacked with individual talent, cannot be regarded as favourites due to their inexperience but he is convinced they can flourish. "We would have of course preferred to have played Brazil in the actual final, but this is our final, and that's just how it is". "We need to respect them because of what they have achieved". If we show the same mentality as we did on Monday, we have a big chance.

"There is something special in this squad, no doubt about it".

Should Kompany feature in the match against Brazil, he will nearly certainly come across Neymar, who at this tournament has come under heavy criticism for "theatrics" in order to gain a positive decision from referees on the pitch. "And I believe we have enough quality".

"But we've been working so hard to get ourselves to this occasion".

The Seleção, fixated on redemption after a 7-1 semifinal loss to Germany on home soil four years ago, take aim at returning to the final four, and appear to be rounding into form on both sides of the ball.

Manchester City midfielder, Fernandinho will start ahead of Casemiro in midfield, while Paris Saint-Germain forward, Neymar will lead the attack line alongside Man City's Jesus and Chelsea's Willian. He also had the most touches (48) in the opposition's penalty box, among all the players in the World Cup so far.

The last time the two teams met was in 2002, when Brazil clinched a 2-0 victory en route to lifting their fifth World Cup title.

Brazil centre-back pairing Joao Miranda and Thiago Silva have been solid and will aim to keep it that way as the five-time champions target a place in the semi-finals and a match with either France or Uruguay. Belgium has a poor record against South American sides at the World Cup.

- Neymar has been involved in 20 goals in his last 19 matches for Brazil, scoring 11 and laying on another nine to team-mates. What makes me happy is to have him playing at his best.

The rest of the side should remain unchanged though, with the core players retaining their places against Belgium even though Roberto Firmino seems to have made a case for a start.

While Tite has come in for criticism for his policy, it means that all but one of the expected starting XI against Belgium will have captained Brazil from the start before.



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