Daily Trends Now
Daily Trends Now

Tite defends under-fire Neymar ahead of 'beautiful' Belgium clash

Tite defends under-fire Neymar ahead of 'beautiful' Belgium clash

Speaking at his pre-match press conference, the former Everton manager said: "The two sides are very similar in terms of qualities". The difference is that we haven't won a World Cup, it's as simple as that. Belgium were fancied before the tournament and they are performing like genuine contenders.

11' - Another corner opportunity for Brazil is denied thanks to frantic defending and some luck.

"We will need power". When we do that our talent shows. There is something really special about this squad. "There's a real desire to be on the football pitch, we can't wait to be there so I feel we are as ready as we'll ever be". "I know we will remain friends after".

Fernandinho is also expected to replace the suspended holding midfielder Casemiro who picked up a second yellow card against Mexico.

Cavani was back in training on Thursday and France are acutely aware of the threat posed by the man who plays for Paris Saint-Germain. As they've been a team to do all game, Belgium turns the counter-attack into a scoring effort.

This will be the fifth meeting between these sides.

Brazil are priced at 23/20 to win the match in 90 minutes, with Belgium available at 13/5 and the draw on offer at 12/5.

Sportsbooks list Brazil as a -180 favorite (risk $180 to win $100) to advance, with Belgium at +150 (risk $100 to win $150).

Brazil fans will hope Fernandinho can continue the hard work and have the last laugh over his City team mates to boost his team's hopes of a record-extending sixth World Cup. They have only gone out twice at this stage in that run (against France in 2006 and Netherlands in 2010). However, Brazil did beat Belgium in the 2002 World Cup Round of 16 en route to its fifth, and most recent, world championship.

Belgium are considered underdogs against the five-time champions, who have purred through the tournament so far, but Lukaku says that does not mean they can play without the handbrake. When it comes to the tangibles though, Neymar seems to be in a league of his own, having created more chances, taken more shots and attempted more dribbles than anyone else at FIFA World Cup 2018. After conceding two goals, Roberto Martinez's side battled back to level the contest before a stunning breakaway goal finished off by substitute Nacer Chadli avoided any blushes.

Chelsea's Eden Hazard will be one to watch once again, with the forward directly involved in 19 goals in his last 18 games for the national team. Former England global Gary Lineker, in a tweet, wrote, "Neymar has the lowest pain threshold of any player in World Cups since Opta stats began", in a tongue in cheek comment. "Tomorrow [we] will be put to the test because we are going to play against best team in the tournament, the favourite". Courtois was forced to make not one, but two heroic saves to stop Brazil from getting anything back.


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