World Cup: Brazil vs. Belgium team news, predictions, betting odds and TV channel
It’s the World Cup favourites against the top goalscorers in Kazan
Brazil vs. Belgium
- When: Friday 6 July
- Kick-off time: 7pm
- Where: Kazan Arena, Kazan
- TV channel: live on BBC One
There’s not much to choose between the World Cup favourites and the tournament’s top scorers - but one of them will soon be going home.
All eyes will be on the attacking talent on show in Kazan. Neymar and Gabriel Jesus will be hoping to shine for Brazil against a Belgium side that will feature Eden Hazard, Kevin De Bruyne and four-goal striker Romelu Lukaku.
Even though Brazil are known for their skills and attacking threat, their defence is also very strong. In the past 25 matches under head coach Tite, Brazil have conceded only six goals and kept 19 clean sheets. They will need this defensive mindset when they go up against a talented Belgian forward line.
Tite’s assistant coach Cleber Xavier told Fifa.com: “When it’s time to play we play, and when it’s time to defend we defend; that’s the balance in our game. But when the team goes on the attack, it does so in a way that it can’t be caught off guard defensively. That’s what we call ‘attacking while defending’. And that way, by defending, we’re already in a position to win the ball back if we lose it.”
Midfielder Willian added: “Our defence begins in attack. We try to help out as much as we can in that respect. Football’s getting tougher and tougher all the time. It’s more competitive, as we’re seeing at this World Cup, and we have to do our bit. But we do play exciting football.”
Belgium boss Roberto Martinez acknowledges that the five-time World Cup winners are favourites but his players are up for the challenge. Quoted by USA Today, he said: “We know what we are capable of but Brazil are the favourites. But it is a dream match for our players - they were born to play in a match like this.”
Brazil are without midfielder Casemiro, who is suspended after picking up two yellow cards at the World Cup. He is likely to be replaced by Fernandinho of Manchester City. Neymar, Philippe Coutinho and Filipe Luis are also on a booking and if they get another yellow card they would miss the semi-final should they progress. The BBC reports that Brazil full-back Danilo will miss the rest of the World Cup. The Manchester City star injured his ankle in training.
For Belgium, defender Jan Vertonghen and midfielder Kevin De Bruyne are also on one yellow card each, while striker Romelu Lukaku is fully fit after carrying a knock.
Brazil vs. Belgium predicted starting XIs
How the teams could line up at the Kazan Arena, according to Fifa.com:
- Brazil: Alisson; Fagner, Thiago Silva, Miranda, Filipe Luis/Marcelo; Fernandinho, Paulinho; Willian, Philippe Coutinho, Neymar; Gabriel Jesus
- Belgium: Thibaut Courtois; Jan Vertonghen, Vincent Kompany, Toby Alderweireld; Axel Witsel, Kevin De Bruyne, Nacer Chadli, Thomas Meunier; Marouane Fellaini, Eden Hazard; Romelu Lukaku
Brazil vs. Belgium predictions
Independent: “In a tournament full of shocks this could be another. Neither team have started quickly so far in this tournament and it will be a very close game - too close, perhaps. In a penalty shoot-out, with Thibaut Courtois, Eden Hazard, Kevin De Bruyne, Romelu Lukaku and more, you’d have to fancy the Belgians. Prediction: Brazil 2-2 Belgium [Belgium win on penalties].”
The Daily Telegraph: “There’s 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. Brazil 2 Belgium 1 [after extra time].”
The National: “Belgium will feel fate might be on their side after their fightback against Japan. But Brazil looked impressive against Mexico, and with Neymar getting fitter and more effective with every outing, the Belgians should be concerned. Brazil to go through 3-1 and move closer to that sixth world title. Prediction: Brazil 3 Belgium 1.”
Brazil vs. Belgium betting odds
Best prices according to Oddschecker (as of 5 July).
- Brazil to win: 11/10
- Draw: 12/5
- Belgium to win: 13/5
- Neymar (Brazil): 4/1
- Romelu Lukaku (Belgium): 9/2
- Gabriel Jesus (Brazil): 11/2
- Roberto Firmino (Brazil): 13/2
- Michy Batshuayi (Belgium): 15/2
- Philippe Coutinho (Brazil): 15/2
- No goalscorer: 9/1
- Eden Hazard (Belgium): 9/1