Brazil vs Belgium: World Cup 2018, What time is kick-off today, what TV channel is it on and what is our prediction
The country that progresses to the semi-final of the 2018 Russia World Cup, where they will face either Uruguay or France.
There is a worry for Brazil heading into the Belgium match: the team will be without midfielder Casemiro, who is suspended after picking up a second yellow card in the 2-0 win over Mexico in the round of 16. Casemiro has provided a strong shield in front of the Brazilian defense.
One option could see Fernandinho come into the side for a role he is accustomed to playing at Manchester City.
Neymar will have to be careful not to pick up another booking as he would miss a semi-final should Brazil prevail. Others walking a tightrope are midfielder Philippe Coutinho and defender Filipe Luis.
For Belgium, defender Jan Vertonghen and De Bruyne are carrying yellow cards as well.
Romelu Lukaku is expected to start without any problems, having played against Japan on Sunday after missing Belgium’s match with England. Belgium are otherwise injury free.
To get past Belgium in the quarter-finals at the World Cup, Brazil have to do something they have not been able to do since they last won the tournament in 2002: overcome European opposition in the knockout stages.
Fortunately for the Selecao, Belgium have a poor record against South American sides at the World Cup. Not only have Belgium not won any of their games against South American teams in the knockout stages, they haven’t even managed to score a goal.
Unlike the game against Japan, Roberto Martinez said, Belgium will be the underdog in the quarter-final against Brazil and as such should play with a certain amount of freedom.
“I think it’s a game that when you are a little boy, you dream of being involved in a World Cup, facing Brazil in a quarter-final,” he added, “so from our point of view we can enjoy from the first second.”
Brazil coach Tite dismissed talk that his team are favourites to win the match against Belgium, let alone the World Cup.
There are more stars in this one than an arctic sky. The first real test for either team, Belgium to scare Brazil and take them almost all the way before Brazil nick it in extra time.