Brazil face huge Belgium test at the World Cup

Brazil face a massive test against Belgium on July 6 as they continue their bid for redemption at the 2018 World Cup in Russia.

Neymar scored one goal and played a key role in the second as Brazil edged out Mexico in Samara to reach the quarter-finals for a seventh consecutive time.

The Samba Kings are on a mission to banish the memories of their 7-1 humiliation against Germany in the semi-finals back in 2014, but they are unlikely to find things easy against Belgium.

The European side overcame a huge scare in their last 16 tie against Japan, recovering from 2-0 down to secure a dramatic 3-2 victory.

However, Roberto Martinez’s team possess plenty of quality and Brazil would be well-advised not to underestimate the threat they pose.

William Hill is best odds for Brazil getting the job done, pricing them as 21/20 favourites to win in 90 minutes, and that appears a solid selection. Anyone backing them for the win can get a £30 free bet with William Hill.

The presence of Romelu Lukaku, Eden Hazard and Kevin De Bruyne in the Belgium line-up means there could be plenty of action at both ends of the pitch on Friday and backing over 3.5 goals in the match at odds of 11/4 could pay dividends.

Brazil will miss Casemiro’s presence at the base of their midfield, with the 26-year-old ruled out of the game through suspension after picking up his second booking of the tournament against Mexico.

Tite’s side have been effective rather than spectacular in Russia so far, although playing a team with Belgium’s quality could bring out the best in them.

After conceding a controversial goal against Switzerland in their opening group game, Brazil have kept three clean sheets in a row.

They are now are unbeaten in 15 matches in all competitions, conceding just three goals, while star man Neymar is consistently proving his worth to the team.

The 26-year-old has been involved in 20 goals in his past 19 games in all competitions for Brazil, scoring 11 and assisting nine.

He has also had the most shots (23), shots on target (12) and created the most chances (16) of any player so far at the 2018 World Cup.

While Neymar is undoubtedly Brazil’s leading light, he has also been involved in more than his fair share of controversy at the tournament, particularly over his willingness to go to ground.

Belgium’s defence is likely to do what it can to unsettle Neymar and if they can put him off his game they are perfectly capable of taking advantage.

Friday’s clash promises to be a cracker and the 9/2 on offer for the match to go to a penalty shoot-out looks a tempting proposition.