There’s a spot in Russia’s final four on the line when Brazil meet Belgium. It’s match of two of the tournament favorites, and this easily could have been the final. Belgium escaped their Round of 16 with a late winner over Japan, while Brazil outlasted Mexico with a pair of second-half goals.
Brazil vs. Belgium Squads
Brazil will need to make adjustments to their side to face Belgium. The first decision will be at left back, where Marcelo missed the previous match with back spasms. Brazil coach Tite has confirmed that Marcelo will return to the lineup, sending Felipe Luis back to the bench.
Unfortunately, Brazil’s defense will still be incomplete. Manchester City defender Danilo will miss the match, after injuring his ankle in training. It’s a big loss for the Brazilian defense, who have only conceded one goal in four tournament matches.
Brazil will have one more change to make, this time in the middle. Real Madrid man Casemiro is suspended for this match, forcing Tite to make further adjustments against an electric Belgian attack.
Brazil have been advancing on defense, but they’ll face their toughest test of the tournament against Belgium. The Red Devils have scored 12 goals in this tournament, tied for the best effort ever by a Belgian team at a major tournament. Even when trailing Japan by two goals in the second half, Belgium roared back, scoring three goals in the final 30 minutes to advance.
Belgium don’t have any suspensions for this match, but they have five players that are just one card away. Key players like Meunier, Vertonghen and de Bruyne are all wary of avoiding suspension. On Brazil, Coutinho and Neymar are both one card away, and both have been outstanding in Russia.
Belgium coach Roberto Martinez knows that aura that comes with playing Brazil at the Worldd CUo, and he’s instructed his players to just focus on the game Friday.
“The two sides are very similar in terms of qualities. The difference is we haven’t won a World Cup – simple as that,” Martinez told reporters earlier this week.
“When you go into a tournament if you don’t have that know-how of winning one you can’t have an advantage on the opponent. We shouldn’t play Brazil, we shouldn’t be in awe of the opportunity we have. We need to enjoy our game, be ourselves. When we do that our talent shows.”
Brazil vs. Belgium Lineups
Lineups are released one hour before kickoff
Source: Heavy Sports