Brazil vs Belgium tips, stats, predictions and match preview

Brazil vs Belgium tips, stats, predictions and match preview

Brazil vs Belgium tips, stats, predictions and match preview

Belgium striker Romelu Lukaku defended Brazil star Neymar from accusations of being an "actor" on the pitch and backed him to become the best player in the world ahead of their meeting on Friday.

Brazil's match against Belgium at the Kazan Arena on Friday is probably the standout fixture of the quarter-finals at the 2018 FIFA World Cup in Russian Federation.

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.

The pair have enjoyed a great many auspicious moments together in West London, striking up a comradery that extends beyond the field of play.

But, they were largely comfortable in their Round of 16 game against Mexico, as the Selecao saw of El Tri in an efficient 2-0 win.

"As a coach I have a lot of options with this team but I know in my head what I want to do". Brazil have been calling upon Willian to put the brakes on Eden Hazard, but the likes of Lukaku, Kevin De Bruyne and Dries Mertens have also been in sleek form, and there is also the plan B - involving the towering figure of Marouane Fellaini - that worked so well on Monday. And not just the way that he gets that transition so quick from one box to box, it's the quality of the pass, having to play it into Thomas Meunier's path so he doesn't need to break his stride to assist into Nacer Chadli.

"I don't think it's the most important game [in my career], because if we win, then the game after that will be more important, won't it? He's essential for us".

What time does the FIFA World Cup 2018 Brazil vs Belgium Quarter-Final match begin?

For Quartz editor and soccer fanatic Mike Murphy, France is the team to beat this World Cup.

Although Martinez says "power" will be vital against Brazil, he would be wise to remember that he also has one of the world's most decisive midfielders at his disposal.

Brazil coach Tite dismissed talk that his team is the favourite to win the match against Belgium, let alone the World Cup.

France takes on Uruguay in Friday's first game, which kicks off at 10 am ET.

Brazil will likely start with Fernandinho in place of the suspended Casemiro, a change that gives them their own added muscle, but the South Americans could miss the Real Madrid midfielder's drive going forward.

Kompany evaded a question on how he would deal with any Neymar's antics, but said: "Honestly, I don't care".

Marcelo is fit again for Brazil and could return in place of Filipe Luis at left back, while winger Douglas Costa is back from injury and will be on the bench.

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