Brazil v Colombia: World Cup Quarter-Final - Match Preview
Brazil and Colombia have faced each other on 25 previous occasions with Brazil having won 15 and Colombia 2. Many observers believe Brazil could be toppled by the Colombian surprise packages especially if James Rodriguez continues with his sizeable threat on goal as creator and scorer. Neymar will of course be key to Brazil’s hopes of progressing to the semi-finals.
Brazil (Possible, 4-2-3-1): Cesar; Alves, Silva, Luiz, Marcelo; Fernandinho, Paulinho; Hulk, Oscar, Neymar; Fred.
Colombia (Possible, 4-4-2): Ospina; Zúñiga, Zapata, Yepes, Armero; Cuadrado, Aguilar, Sanchez, Rodríguez; Gutiérrez, Martínez.
Referee: Carlos Velasco Carballo (Spain).
Betting: Brazil 5-6, Colombia 7-2, Draw 12-5.
Estadio Castelao, Fortaleza
Kick-off: 21.00 BST.
Going into this match you have to assume that Colombia will be in confident mood having won their match in normal time and with no team selection headaches. Brazil however endured a hard match only decided on penalties and must do without suspended Luiz Gustavo. The defensive-midfielder was Brazil’s best defensive player making more interceptions than anyone else in the team.
The likely replacement for Gustavo will be Spurs midfielder Paulinho. Also of concern to Scolari will be the form of Fred and the manager will need to decide on whether to keep faith with the striker or try something new.
The battle between Neymar and Rodriguez could be crucial with Rodriguez having scored six times in six matches and Neymar, although considered fit, having suffered knee and thigh injuries in the win against Chile.
Ramires said: “I’ve never played against him but I’ve been watching him since he was at Porto.
"I saw Rodriguez had quality and he is doing great in this World Cup. He is the Colombian player we have to keep an eye on most. He has been outstanding and he is leading them.”
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