Both Brazil, Belgium battling bad vibes

De Gea doesn't make gaffes like this often. Or ever

De Gea doesn’t make gaffes like this often. Or ever

Marquinhos could also play there as a midfielder. The notable absentees for the Selecao were Marcelo, Danilo and Douglas Costa, although their void has been filled quite well thus far.

"I will always remember there was a moment at 0-2 down against Japan that he's the one that is giving a bit of composure, a bit of belief into the group and he's getting everyone to know that we've still got time to get back into the game". The Real Madrid star is a natural enforcer who shields the back four brilliantly for his country. Striker Romelu Lukaku has scored four of those and is second at the tournament behind England striker Harry Kane, who has six.

"Gabriel Jesus and Roberto Firmino are equally important".

Brazil have their own flair in forward areas thanks to talisman Neymar. The Red Devils did start the tournament with a sort of a crisis in defence, with both Vincent Kompany and Thomas Vermaelen unavailable.

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"The two sides are very similar in terms of qualities", added Martinez.

The Manchester City captain should start once again in the Belgian back-three alongside Jan Vertonghen and Toby Alderweireld on Friday. It's not like we've been failing up to now but there is a level above, which we need to achieve, which can be done by a game like the one we are playing against Brazil.

Eden Hazard has been directly involved in 19 goals in his 18 games for Belgium under Roberto Martinez, scoring 10 and assisting nine. But, Axel Witsel's presence in midfield is vital, meaning Mertens remains the only expendable player in attack. Against Japan, Kevin De Bruyne was deployed far too deep until the latter stages. Over the course of history Brazil have played just one game fewer than Germany in World Cup finals football and yet have conceded 22 fewer goals, while only Italy have a better goals-per-game defensive average.

Belgium have not lost a game since a friendly defeat to Spain in August, 2016 - a 23-game unbeaten run. They've only gone out twice at this stage in that run (vs France in 2006 and vs the Netherlands in 2010).

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Tite believes the biggest challenge in the way of his players winning the World Cup for a record sixth time is not falling victim to the pressure. This is where Fernandinho will be crucial for Brazil. Brazil 2, Belgium 1.

"I find it hard to play against Courtois, it is hard to find a weakness in him".

Brazil centre-back pairing Joao Miranda and Thiago Silva have been solid and will aim to keep it that way as the five-time champions target a place in the semi-finals and a match with either France or Uruguay.

"I am friends with him at the club but he is on his side and I am on mine, and I hope I can get the better of him".

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