World Cup Quarter Finals: Brazil v Columbia
The World Cup Quarter Finals kick off tonight and we’ve some massively enhanced offers on for these two matches. Second up is Brazil v Columbia and we’ve got an offer of 4/1 Brazil to win in 90 minutes.
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Brazil v Columbia: Venue: Estadio Castelao, Fortaleza, Date: 4 th July, Kick-off: 21:00 BST
Brazil star Neymar will be fit despite suffering blows to his thigh and knee against Chile. Paulinho may replace banned midfielder Luis Gustavo, although coach Luiz Felipe Scolari is also considering switching to a 3-5-2 formation.
Colombia coach Jose Pekerman has reported no injury concerns. Pekerman boldly fielded two strikers in the last 16 against Uruguay and must decide whether to drop Jackson Martinez in order to field an extra midfielder.
Colombia star James Rodriguez has stressed there is “no pressure” on Los Cafeteros as they prepare for the first World Cup quarter-final in their history.
But for opponents Brazil, the host nation and tournament favourites, the weight of expectation is proving a heavy burden.
Several players burst into tears after their last-16 victory against Chile, including goalkeeper Julio Cesar, who sobbed openly during post-match interviews, and the team’s emotional state has proved a hot topic in the build-up to this game.
Carlos Alberto, Brazil’s World Cup captain in 1970, believes the Selecao should save their tears until after they have lifted the trophy at the Maracana on 13 July.
“The team is crying when they’re singing the anthem, when they get hurt, when they shoot penalties! Come on… Stop crying! Enough!” he said.
Coach Luiz Felipe Scolari asked sport psychologist Regina Brandao to speak to the squad on Tuesday to help them deal with the pressure.
Top scorer Neymar says the sessions have been beneficial but maintains that “nobody has an emotional problem – everything is OK”.
The hosts will need to be fully focussed against a Colombia side who have reached the last eight with a style and swagger largely missing from Brazil’s play.
- Colombia have won just two of their 25 previous games against Brazil and have never defeated them on Brazilian soil.
- Their last victory against the Selecao was a 2-0 win in the group stage of the Copa America in 1991 (staged in Chile).
- It is 11 years since Brazil last beat Colombia. The four most recent meetings all ended in draws. Three of those games finished 0-0.
- The most recent encounter was a 1-1 draw in New York in November 2012. Juan Cuadrado put Colombia ahead before Neymar equalised, but the Brazilian star also hit a penalty over the bar.
- They have reached the quarter-finals for the sixth consecutive time. They have lost at this stage in the last two tournaments, with defeat by the Dutch in 2010 their last competitive loss.
- Their only defeat in the last 25 games came against Switzerland last August (W18, D6, L1).
- Brazil are unbeaten in 41 successive home matches, with their last defeat coming against Paraguay in August 2002.
- Their last competitive defeat at home was 3-1 to Peru in the 1975 Copa America semi-final.
- Los Cafeteros are unbeaten in their last 11 games (W7, D4) since losing 2-0 in Uruguay last September.
- If they avoid defeat in Fortaleza it will be their longest unbeaten run since a 27-game streak between 1992 and 1994.
- They have won more World Cup matches in Brazil (four) than in their previous 13 tournament games combined.
- James Rodriguez has scored in each of his last six appearances for Colombia.
- He has scored five World Cup goals and assisted two more in 310 minutes on the pitch – which equates to scoring or assisting a goal every 44 minutes.
- Ten of Colombia’s last 13 World Cup goals have been scored in the second half of matches.
- Coach Jose Pekerman is unbeaten in nine World Cup matches (W7, D2). However, one of Pekerman’s two draws was followed by a penalty shootout defeat by Germany in 2006 in his final match in charge of Argentina.
Colombia have failed to score in nine of their last 12 games against Brazil and after watching Colombia pick apart Greece, Ivory Coast, Japan and Uruguay, you will probably have difficulty accepting that James Rodriguez won’t net.
However, the stats suggest that a stop-off at shutoutsville beckons. Brazil have prevented seven of their last 11 adversaries from striking, while Colombia don’t score so freely against world football’s elite, firing blanks in two of their last three clashes with other World Cup 2014 quarter-finalists.
The last four games between Brazil and Colombia have ended in draws, with three finishing goalless. However with Neymar plus Oscar plus Rodriguez plus Juan Cuadrado isn’t the most obvious recipe for a 0-0 draw.
It is also notable that the knockout-round stalemate has overtaken the group-stage goalfest as this World Cup’s most fashionable flavour, with the final three round-of-16 ties reaching the full-time whistle without a goalkeeper being beaten and the one before that producing 78 minutes of deadlock.
Brazil have already partaken in one 0-0 this summer.
Plus there’s also the headline offer that any ‘newbies’ would have benefited from in this World Cup…..
Got an opinion on this story, who are YOU backing TO WIN??…….