Neymar's theatrics could hurt team: Jose Ramirez Barreto

Heather Diaz
July 6, 2018

Both teams have world-class strikers - Brazil in Neymar and Belgium in Romelu Lukaku.

Brazil is scheduled to face Belgium in a quarter-final match at the Kazan Arena in Kazan on July 6, 2018.

Meanwhile Brazil coach Tite said Fernandinho would start in place of the injured Casemiro, while left-back Marcelo is poised to return after injury, stepping in ahead of Filipe Luis. "Three of their back four are really experienced defenders. We trained for that and we are well prepared". That's a tough one to answer, but Brazil are certainly the better collective.

Brazilian Rainforest For all Brazil's attacking riches, Belgium's biggest problem could be piercing a robust defence that has conceded just once, in their 1-1 opening draw with Switzerland.

That respect was evident in the Spaniard's every utterance on Thursday but, while acknowledging the dangers presented by Brazil forward Neymar, Martinez was confident the skills of the likes of Eden Hazard would also be influential for Belgium. "But it is a benchmark".

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"I think Kevin De Bruyne's influence in our team has been a lot deeper, a little bit more earlier, allowing his team to have the influence that we have in the final third and being a real playmaker for us". They will wait for Brazil to take control of the match but will also have their moments of offensive power. "We have to defend as well as we can and then cause them pain when we have the ball".

"I said to the boys, nothing in life is easy, that if you want to achieve something you have to fight", recalled Lukaku. Box-to-box people who can make the difference. Marouane Fellaini scored one of the goals in the comeback, while Nacer Chadli struck the last-second -winner, benefiting from Lukaku's masterful dummy. It's an issue the Daily Mirror's Alex Richards believes coach Roberto Martinez can solve by granting De Bruyne more freedom and drafting Mousa Dembele into the starting XI alongside him. All you have to do is look at the images. The Red Devils have helped themselves to 12 goals through four matches, recently coming back from 2-0 down to see off Japan 3-2 in the last 16.

Bold words. But Martinez is more than aware of what he is up against.

Since then he has been a key member of the Tite squad that sailed through qualifying and is among a band of unsung heroes that have helped Brazil's campaign keep ticking along in Russian Federation, even as Neymar's mix of brilliance and histrionics have hogged the headlines.

Brazil have looked a cut above the rest in this tournament. Most recently, Belgium lost 1-0 to Argentina in the 2014 quarter-finals.

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