Two of the biggest favorites remaining in Russia meet in the quarterfinals. Brazil are World Cup royalty, and are looking for redemption after a disastrous finish in 2014. The Red Devils are the new blood, and are looking to take this generation of players to previously unreached heights.
Brazil vs. Belgium: Date, Time & Location
Brazil will face Belgium on July 6th at Kazan Arena. The match will kick off at 2 p.m. Eastern, and will air in the United States on Fox Sports One and Telemundo. The early game that day, whom will face the winner of this matchup in the semifinals, is Uruguay-France.
Neither team has appeared in Kazan Arena thus far in the tournament, but the venue has seen several high-quality matches during the tournament. Most recently, it was the host of France’s brilliant 4-3 win over Messi and Argentina. Previously, it bore witness to South Korea’s stunning upset over Germany.
Brazil vs. Belgium: Odds & Prediction
Odds will be tough to project for this one, as both teams are tapped as favorites to win the tournament. Heading into Monday’s action, Brazil had the best odds of the tournament to win it all at +350 and Belgium was fourth-best at +600 according to Bovada.
Belgium don’t have the past that Brazil has had at the World Cup, but they could have similar futures. The Red Devils have built a complete squad for this generation, and are brimming with young talent around the squad. The most notable names are up front, where Romelu Lukaku has proved himself as one of the world’s most lethal strikers.
Still, Belgium are only just now displaying their prowess on the world stage. They failed to qualify for the World Cup in both 2006 and 2010, and at age 25 Romelu Lukaku has already tied Belgium’s all-time World Cup scorer with five career goals in the tournament.
Compare that to Brazil, who are the most decorated team in international football. They have five World Cup wins, and have finished among the top four teams another six times. That’s 11 World Cups, and 44 years of football, with at least a semifinals appearance. They are one of four countries to win a World Cup away from their home continent, and even hold the best win-loss record of any team in the tournament (70-17-17).
But when it comes to recent history, there are some things Brazil would like to forget. As hosts in 2014, Brazil had sky-high expectations to win a sixth World Cup. What resulted was worldwide embarrassment, as Germany thrashed Brazil 7-1 in a semifinal in front of their friends and family. Brazil are now one game away from returning to that point, and Germany is out of the tournament. This is a very similar team to the one in 2014, and Brazil have played like a team on a mission in this tournament.
That being said, they played a nervous first half in their win over Mexico. El Tri stayed in the game until the second half, using their counter and spreading out the Brazilian fullbacks. Mexico was unable to capitalize, but Belgium has the attacking talent to make Brazil pay for conceding space.
Speaking of fullbacks, Brazil will be desperate to get Marcelo back in the lineup for Friday. The Real Madrid star left Brazil’s final group game against Serbia with back spasms, and was replaced in the Round of 16 matchup by Felipe Luis.
Way Too Early Prediction: Brazil wins in penalties
Source: Heavy Sports