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World Cup 2018 Quarterfinals Preview: Brazil vs. Belgium

As the stakes get higher, the Selecao of Brazil and Belgium’s Red Devils put everything on the line in the 2018 World Cup quarterfinals. Read on to get insights into this great game!

World Cup Quarterfinals – France vs. Uruguay

  • Date: June 28, 2018
  • Betting Odds: Brazil +117 vs Belgium +266 – Draw +250

Though Brazil is favored by the odds, they’ll have a difficult time of winning against Belgium’s new “Golden Generation” that’s fresh off one of the greatest comebacks in World Cup history when they defeated Japan after being down by two goals.

Brazil Insights

Though Brazil’s performance in this World Cup has been somewhat overshadowed by their star striker Neymar Jr.’s antics. There’s no doubt, however, the 26-year-old has done his part in bringing the glory back home.

Even if much of the attention is square on Neymar, Brazil’s expectations are sky-high. There’s national pride at stake with the entire country demanding a historic sixth World Cup title.

Brazil’s ranks are overflowing with talent; there’s a reason why it shouldn’t surprise you that eight starters played in through to the knockout round in the UEFA Champions League this year.

Brazil got through the previous stage after defeating a feisty Mexican squad 2-0. It was no other than Neymar who scored the first goal and set up the second scoring opportunity. Brazil has steadily improved as the tournament progresses and look poised to make it all the way.

This squad may look much different than what everyone expects from Brazil, but it is still as deadly effective. Neymar is the offensive playmaker along with Willian and Philippe Coutinho. A solid defense has kept scoring opportunities to a minimum and the midfield is second to none.

Brazil will have to do without their best midfielder, Real Madrid’s Casemiro, who was booked against Mexico. His suspension may complicate matters opening vulnerabilities that Belgium could exploit.

Though their defense has been solid, Brazil is yet to face a team with anything like the offensive capability that Belgium possesses.

Belgium Insights

Without a doubt, after having pulled off what will surely be considered one of World Cup history’s greatest comebacks, Belgium will head into this game emboldened to continue their success.

Even up against the ropes, their defeat of Japan proved they’re here to compete and nothing short of a World Cup title will suffice. They are, in fact, the top scorers in the World Cup with 3 goals per game on average and an average of 3.67 GPG when they’ve played their strongest line-up.

Nevertheless, should they start off conceding even one goal to Brazil it would spell disaster as the South Americans are a different beast altogether. Should they lose concentration, it could spell doom for their aspirations.

If there’s one thing Belgium might have learned from their close call against Japan, it’s that their defense is vulnerable at times. Against a team with the offensive might of Brazil, it’s something they have to correct fast.

Regardless, Belgium’s ranks are also full of talent with players such as Eden Hazard and Kevin De Bruyne who are capable of breaking through Brazil’s defense and wreak havoc to open up scoring opportunities.

Belgium Predicted Lineup: Courtois, Vertonghen, Kompany, Alderweireld, Chadli, Witsel, Dembele, Meunier, De Bruyne, Hazard, Lukaku

Brazil vs. Belgium Stats

  • Brazil has been knocked out of the World Cup by a European side in each of the last three tournaments (vs France in 2006, the Netherlands in 2010 and Germany in 2014).
  • Belgium has reached consecutive World Cup quarter-finals for the first time – they lost at this stage to Argentina in 2014.
  • Belgium has scored 12 goals so far in the 2018 World Cup – at no single tournament in the competition have they scored more (also 12 in 1986).
  • Brazil is unbeaten in their last 15 matches in all competitions (W11 D4), conceding just three goals in that run.

Game Prediction: This game has the potential of turning into a high-scoring shootout. Look for Neymar to score on at least one opportunity as is the case for LuKaku on Belgium’s side. The OVER is the value bet.