Brazil vs Belgium preview, betting tips and prediction
Who will come out on top in the clash of the big boys?
Brazil and Belgium have both had similar criticism thrown at them during the World Cup this summer. Neither side has played to their full potential as of yet, but their respective mentalities cannot be denied. The Selecao have now won three games at the tournament for the first time since 2006, and with another few gears still to be found, hope is slowly turning to expectation that they will make it six World Cup wins by the middle of the month. Neymar has been targeted, not only by the opposition but also the world’s media after his showing in the 2-0 last 16 win over Mexico. He may have scored and set up substitute Roberto Firmino, but the game was overshadowed by his playacting, which he claimed was a way of undermining him. Belgium are a very good team with very good players, but we believe Brazil will come out on top in this one.
Roberto Martínez signed a new contract to stay on as Belgium manager before the World Cup, but he is far from popular among the fans and, if reports are to be believed, the players. His choice of tactics has certainly been questionable at times during the last two weeks, notably playing Kevin De Bruyne so deep, and they really struggled against Japan in the last round. But the way they bounced back from 2-0 down to win 3-2 with 20 minutes to go showed their character. Romelu Lukaku has four goals to his name so far, and that kind of form will be crucial if they are to progress past the tournament favourites.
It is easy to see value in the goalscoring markets in this one because there is simply so much attacking quality on the pitch. Lukaku is definitely worth a punt at 9/5 anytime with Betfair, but Gabriel Jesus has not been able to live up to expectations for Brazil, failing to score in any of his four games so far. It is a good bet that Tite will drop him in favour of Firmino for this one. Both are at 11/5 anytime, but our belief is that the latter is more likely to play and therefore score.
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