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Friday, 6 July 2018

BELGIUM vs BRAZIL:Pre-match Analysis

Another match-up that seems to be coming too soon in the tournament, Brazil vs Belgium promises to be a thrilling encounter that will have everyone at the edge of their seats.
Brazil didn’t have the best of starts to their World Cup campaign as they failed to register a victory over Switzerland in the opening game. In the second game too they had to dig deep, before Philippe Coutinho and Neymar rescued the match in injury time. Coutinho turned the course of the match in the 91st minute and Neymar sealed the victory with another goal in the 97th. In their final group game against Serbia, the Brazilians finally found their footing as they comfortably won 2-0.
The Round of 16 match was where Brazil truly started flexing their muscles, as they romped home to a 2-0 win over Mexico. Neymar started and finished the move to give his side the lead in the 51st minute, and Roberto Firmino sealed the deal in the 88th minute.
In sharp contrast, Belgium got off to a flying start in the tournament. Roberto Martinez’s side beat World Cup debutants Panama 3-0 in the opening group stage fixture. In the next game, Belgium hammered minnows Tunisia 5-2 to secure their qualification for the Round of 16.
Belgium’s final group game against England was a dull affair, with both teams fielding weaker sides and resting key players in order to finish second and get the more favorable qualification bracket. Adnan Januzaj managed to impress with a sublime goal though, taking his side to a 1-0 victory.
Belgium made a remarkable comeback in what was an intense second half affair against Japan. Haraguchi and Inui had given Japan a two-goal advantage within seven minutes of the half time break, but Vertonghen instigated the comeback at the 69-minute mark. Fellaini then scored the equalizer in the 74th minute and Nacer Chadli completed a thrilling and heartbreaking comeback in the dying moments.
Brazil have quietly rounded into form, while Belgium are riding a wave of confidence after that adrenaline-pumping win over Japan. It’s tough to predict which way the tide will turn tomorrow.
Head to head
Matches played: 4
Brazil: 3 (75%)
Belgium: 1 (25%)
Draw: 0 (0%)
Brazil: W D W W W (good form)
Belgium: W W W W W (perfect form)
Previous match starting XI and possible changes
Brazil: Alisson Becker (GK), Fagner Lemos, Thiago Silva, Miranda, Filipe Luis, Paulinho, Casemiro, Philippe Coutinho, Willian, Gabriel Jesus, Neymar
Possible changes: Fernandinho in for Casemiro, Marcelo in for Filipe Luis. Casemiro is suspended for the game due to an accumulation of bookings and Fernandinho is expected to replace him. Marcelo did not play the previous game due to injury and is expected to start ahead of Filipe Luis as first choice left-back.
Belgium: Thibaut Courtois, Toby Alderweireld, Vincent Kompany, Jan Vertonghen, Thomas Meunier, Kevin De Bruyne, Axel Witsel, Yannick Carrasco, Dries Mertens, Eden Hazard, Romelu Lukaku  
Possible changes:Unchanged. Belgium are not missing players due to suspension or injuries and Roberto Martinez is likely to start with the same line-up

Predicted starting line-ups
Brazil XI: Alisson; Fagner, Thiago Silva, Miranda, Filipe Luis; Willian, Fernandinho, Paulinho, Coutinho; Neymar, Firmino
Belgium XI: Courtois; Alderweireld, Kompany, Vertonghen; Meunier, De Bruyne, Witsel, Carrasco; Mertens, Lukaku, Hazard

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