Both teams have not lost a single game so far and have been considered title contenders going into the World Cup Group Stage. Brazil has conceded just one goal throughout the whole tournament – will Belgium be able to come out ahead against the strong South American side?
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That’s a really tough one. Both teams have lots of fantastic players who can decide the outcome of the game basically by themselves. That’s why we should be looking at some key matchups which will become relevant in this game.
Casemiro vs Kevin De Bruyne: Casemiro is a true force on the field. The Real Madrid midfielder will probably be mainly focused on disrupting one of the best midfielders in the world. The Brazilian superstar didn’t have the greatest start into his career in Madrid, but soon managed to become one of their key players. De Bruyne was one of the best players in last year’s Premier League campaign and was almost in every starting lineup of Manchester City. It will be really interesting to see if he is going to be able to initiate efficient attacks against one of the best defensive midfielders of the tournament.
Romelu Lukaku vs Thiago Silva: Here is another highly interesting matchup in this game. One of the most physical strikers in Europe, who has been scoring goals in almost all of his international matches for Belgium, will be guarded by one of the best centre backs. Lukaku is not only able to score but he is also highly valuable in terms of his passing ability and he also often times drags the attention of multiple defenders.
Thiago Silva, however, is an extremely experienced defender who has been playing on a high level for years. Even though he is way shorter than Lukaku (1.83m vs 1.90m), I expect him to be able to keep up with him due to his positional awareness. It is also very likely that the other Brazilian defenders will help him to defend the Belgium striker.
It took the Brazilian team a couple of games to get started into this year’s World Cup. But that’s what separates great from good teams. The South Americans got better and better in every match they played and did not concede a single goal in their last 3 games.
Neymar is also getting back in shape after his injury and Philippe Coutinho and Gabriel Jesus have been playing a really solid World Cup campaign thus far. Their midfield is looking really strong and they have players like Casemiro and Paulinho who are capable of taking care of the dirty work.
Defense is Key for Brazil’s Success
Their offense is supported by an incredibly good defense which is run by Thiago Silva. That’s pretty much what makes the difference compared to Brazil’s past World Cup appearance in 2014. They have been lacking a solid defense and goalkeeper but these are things of the past. They have world-class defenders on the field and that makes them the number one contender in this year’s tournament.
Brazil Betting Odds
Brazil is quite a heavy favorite to win against Belgium. 1Xbet offers odds of 2.16 for Brazil to win in regular time. Taking the quality of both teams into consideration it is obvious that this match might feature some beautiful goals. Even though Brazil’s defense has been praised a lot, we should not overlook the fact that both teams have incredible strikers and midfielders. That’s why betting on over 2.5 goals @2.09 offered by Pinnacle seems like a reasonable idea.
Belgium Not Lacking Motivation
Belgium has been considered to be a serious contender and they have successfully proven why. Being down 0-2 in the second half and beating Japan 3-2 in regular time does not only require great players but also great spirit. Manager Roberto Martinez made the perfect adjustments with his substitutions which changed the game. The team did not become frustrated at any time and always believed in themselves.
Belgium Betting Odds
Belgium has a lot of offensive power but is this going to be enough against Brazil? Japan neutralized De Bruyne during the first 60 minutes of the game but failed to keep up the pace. Brazil however is a completely different kind of opponent. They have yet to be actually challenged and I think there is still some room left for them to improve.
Belgium has to avoid conceding a Brazilian goal at any costs in this match. Otherwise it will be extremely difficult to come back against one of the best defensive teams in this World Cup. If you believe in Belgium, feel free to bet on the at odds of 3.70 provided by 18Bet to win in regular time.
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