Football fans are eagerly awaiting this mouth-watering clash. Five-time champions Brazil take on European heavyweights Belgium in the second quarter-final of the ongoing World Cup at Kazan Arena, in Kazan on Friday, July 6.
Brazil stuttered initially after being held by Switzerland but have registered convincing wins ever since. They dumped out an impressive Mexican side in the Round of 16 with another dominant performance.
With Germany, Spain, and Argentina facing early exits, Tite's men are firm favourites to take the Jules Rimet Trophy back home. However, they face one of their biggest tests in the quarter-final against a star-studded Belgium unit — a clash worthy of a final.
Brazil has received a massive boost as Real Madrid star Marcelo, who was replaced just 10 minutes into their round-robin tie against Serbia on June 27, attended training in the lead-up to the last-eight match. While he may not start, replacing Filipe Luis the left-back may play a role in the later stages of the match.
Douglas Costa has also recovered sooner than expected from a thigh injury he suffered during their win over Costa Rica. '
On the other hand, Casemiro will miss Friday's outing due to suspension. He will be replaced by Manchester City anchorman Fernandinho.
Meanwhile, Brazil should be wary of not being drawn into fouls as three of their players — Neymar, Philippe Coutinho and Luis — are a booking away from missing the semi-final, if they progress past Belgium.
On the other hand, Belgium side is injury free with Kevin de Bruyne and Jan Vertonghen are carrying yellow cards into the match.
The third-ranked side is heading into the tie after surviving a scare against Japan in the Round of 16. The Blue Samurai were on course to create a massive upset as they were leading 2-0 at the hour-mark but Roberto Martinez's men valiantly fought back and sealed the quarter-final spot with an injury-time winner.
Coach Martinez may tinker with the starting XI, as he has insisted they will be going for "power" in the quarter-final. Marouane Fellaini who made an immediate impact after coming off the bench against Japan may start on Friday in Kazan.
Brazil vs Belgium: Probable starting line-ups
Brazil: Becker; Fagner, Silva, Miranda, Luis; Paulinho, Fernandinho; Willian, Coutinho, Neymar; Jesus
Belgium: Courtois; Alderweireld, Kompany, Vertonghen; Meunier, De Bruyne, Witsel, Carrasco; Fellaini, Lukaku, Hazard.