2018 FIFA World Cup Prediction: Brazil vs Belgium

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Verdict: Brazil to go through

Best Odds: 4/7

Bookmaker: 888sport

One of the strongest matchups of the 2018 World Cup quarterfinals is this one. Brazil, as the five time world champions and first favourites to go all the way once again are facing an up and coming team, filled with Premier League stars, who want to do better than in 2014 and 2016. That in itself should be enough for a great, quality match, with plenty of world class players facing each other. Winner will be a step closer to the holy grail, while the loser will feel disappointment – Brazil because they are Brazil, and Belgium because it is hard to expect they will have such a great generation of players when Qatar 2022 occurs.

Brazil

Brazil have been trending on the right direction if we analyse their four World Cup matches so far. They began their tournament with a disappointing 1-1 draw against Switzerland, where they slipped the hold of the match by conceding from a set-piece. They later bounced back with wins over Costa Rica and Serbia. Both of those ended 2-0, as Neymar, Coutinho, Paulinho and Thiago Silva scored. That was enough for Selecao to finish top of their group and face Mexico. In that match Brazil were heavy favourites and once again, it was 2-0. Seems like that is the result that puts them in control and there is no need to push too hard when they have such a lead. Mexico did not bother them too match, thankfully to their messy display in final third, while Neymar and the co. were once again showing why they can become world champions. Nothing of it was scintillating or particularly exhilarating, but it was good enough to win without spending too much energy. With Gabriel Jesus misfiring and Roberto Firmino making the most out of his substitution appearances, this team can still improve a lot.

Team News

Brazil will have an important absence ahead of this game. Real Madrid’s talented full-back Marcelo has been ruled out due to an injury sustained in the group stages, against Serbia. Douglas Costa will be ready for this match.

Belgium

Belgium came into this tournament eager to reach at least the semifinals. That knockout stages seems like a nice upgrade on the quarterfinals in 2014, when they lost to Argentina. Now, the rival is Brazil and this will be the greatest test they could have got at this stage. Beat Brazil and you will show everyone that this team is not just a group of great club players who underperform at the biggest stage, in their national shirt. The 3-0 win against Panama and the 5-2 beating of Tunisia were expected and never truly in question. Against England, the reserve team won 1-0 through Adnan Januzaj and they got to play Japan in the first knockout stage. The team was 2-0 down in early stages of the second half, but the team responded magnificently. Marouane Fellaini was the one that brought the change to this match, scoring a header to equalize after Jan Vertonghen previously scored. Romelu Lukaku stayed on four goals he scored in first two matches, but played huge part in Belgium’s counter-attack in 94th minute, as Nacer Chadli completed the turnaround. Against Brazil, such lapses will be punished severely!

Team News

Roberto Martinez will have all of his 23 players at disposal.

Conclusion

Brazil were always going to be favourites here. It is hard to predict if they will win in 90 minutes or not, but I believe they are the team that will confront Uruguay or France in the semifinal. That is why my prediction is that Brazil will go through.

Verdict: Brazil to go through

Best Odds: 4/7

Bookmaker: 888sport

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