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World Cup 1/4 Final Betting Preview: Brazil v Colombia
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QUARTER-FINAL

Friday 4th July 2014 13:00 LOC / 17:00 BST / 5th July 02.00 AEST Estadio do Maracana Rio de Janeiro, Brazil 

 

Brazil Screenshot 2014-06-04 10.13.08

• Luiz Gustavo is suspended and will miss his first game of the tournament, likely to be replaced by Paulinho.
• Neymar picked up a thigh injury against Chile but should be fit to play.
• Many media & fans believe Brazil’s name is on the cup after heroics against Chile so expectation remains high.

Unavailable

Luiz Gustavo – CM – Suspension

Team News

Doubtful

Neymar – LW – 80%

Returning

None

Expected Team (4-2-3-1)

Screenshot 2014-07-04 11.38.02

Brazil will have to make do without the suspended Luiz Gustavo for the clash with South American neighbours Colombia. The loss of the defensive midfielder, who has excelled in a role protecting the defence, will be a big blow and is likely to see a recall for Paulinho. The Tottenham midfielder started the first 3 games but was dropped for Fernandinho for the Round of 16 match after some poor performances. He is now likely to start alongside Fernandinho, although Ramires is an option to bring in if Scolari chooses.

Neymar picked up a knock to the thigh early in the game against Chile and despite playing the full 120 minutes it was obvious it was hampering him and he was far from his best. It is thought that he should be fit after a couple of days rest from training. They will understandably be desperate to get him ready for this game.

Fred continued to frustrate up front and was replaced by Jo after just 65 minutes, however the substitute showed little as to why he should start and Fred will get the nod again.

Bench (from): Jefferson GK, Victor GK, Maicon RB, Dante CB, Henrique CB, Maxwell LB, Hernanes CM, Ramires CM/RW, Willian AM/RW, Bernard LW/RW, Jo ST

 

Tactical Keys to the Game:

  •   Brazil have failed to really spark in any of their games other than against a poor Cameroon side. They struggled to break down Chile just as they did against Mexico. If they cannot get Neymar fully fit it will be a huge blow as they are heavily reliant on his individual skill.
  •   Fred needs to show more movement up front to stretch the Chile defence. While he stays high up the pitch to create space in between the lines for the attacking midfielders, he doesn’t offer a mobile option in the box for crosses or short passing.
  •   The loss of Luiz Gustavo will be a big blow to preventing Colombia’s swift counter attacking play. Paulinho and Fernandinho will have to be disciplined in order to close out the space and prevent Rodriguez from seeing a lot of the ball. The battle between Marcelo and Cuadrado will also be very closely fought and could be a key battle.

    Motivational Keys to the Game:

 Many Brazilians feel that their name is on the cup after the penalty shoot-out victory over Chile. A heavily partisan crowd is expected once again, and despite a sluggish performance on Saturday the crowd stayed with them throughout the game. 

 

 

 

Colombia Screenshot 2014-05-31 09.59.13

• No new injury or suspension concerns so starting eleven likely to be same as beat Uruguay 2-0.
• Rodriguez has arguably been the player of the tournament so far and is revelling in the pressure.
• They have never been this far in a World Cup before so mood is great and motivation extremely high.

Unavailable

None

Doubtful Returning

None None

Expected Team (4-2-3-1)

Screenshot 2014-07-04 11.41.13

Team News

Jose Pekerman has no fresh injury or suspension concerns ahead of Colombia’s first ever World Cup Quarter-Final, so barring any late knocks picked up in training between now and Friday is expected to name the same starting eleven that made fairly easy work of Uruguay.

He brought Jackson Martinez in for Victor Ibarbo in that game and the Porto striker did not look at all out of place down the left, with his added goal threat when tucking in alongside Teofilo Gutierrez offering another dimension and making more space for the brilliant James Rodriguez to play in. The tactical freedom offered by this switch is also vital, with the shape able to change to a more attacking 4-2-2-2 at a moment’s notice if required, with Martinez moving up and Rodriguez pulling out left. Juan Cuadrado was also very strong down the right to continue what has been an excellent tournament for him on a personal level, so none of these four players should be in any danger.

Abel Aguilar and Carlos Sanchez have exceeded all expectations in the centre of midfield, keeping Freddy Guarin and Alexander Mejia rooted to the bench, so will go up against Brazil as well. Similarly the back four of Pablo Armero, Mario Yepes, Cristian Zapata and Juan Zuniga are yet to concede when fielded as a unit ahead of David Ospina and so will not be tampered with by Pekerman unless totally necessary.

Bench (from): Mondragon GK, Vargas GK, Arias RB, Alvarez CB, Valdes CB, Mejia DM, Guarin CM/AM, Ramirez CM, Quintero AM, Carbonero RW, Ibarbo LW/RW, Bacca ST

 

Tactical Keys to the Game:

  •   After another match winning display in the 2-0 victory over Uruguay a few days ago Rodriguez will again be the key play for Pekerman here, with the attacking midfielder having already scored 5 and assisted 2 so far in his 4 games. His free role makes him incredibly difficult to pick up and he may be even more of a factor due to Luiz Gustavo’s suspension.
  •   Brazil will offer a totally different test to any that Colombia have faced so far, though, with their passage to this stage relatively easy so far. However, the fact that the hosts will be required to attack and press high could play directly into their hands as they often look most dangerous on the break, where the pace of Cuadrado and Martinez becomes key.
  •   Aguilar and Sanchez have been outstanding in central midfield so far, with the absence of Edwin Valencia hardly felt, though it will be interesting to see how they cope if Luiz Felipe Scolari’s side press them the same way they did Chile’s men in the middle. They also have the job of blocking the space in between the lines where Neymar likes to do his work.
  •   Yepes and Zapata have been another strong part of the side as well, despite reservations heading into the tournament. They must hold firm in that central zone, as both Armero and Zuniga are poor one-on-one and often get caught upfield.

    Motivational Keys to the Game:

  •   Motivation is excellent as Colombia have already surpassed their best ever performance at a World Cup, so everything from this point on is a bonus. In the media this week their players have spoken about their excitement at playing Brazil on home soil but also of having no fear at spoiling their party by continuing on from the performance against Uruguay.
  •   With 5 goals to his name already Rodriguez is on the hunt for the Golden Boot, while he could become only the sixth player to win both the Golden Boot and the Golden Ball together and the first since Salvatore Schillaci back in 1990. 

 

 

 

Football Form Labs Betting Preview: Brazil (3) v Colombia (4)

Both sides came through tough matches against South American opposition in the Last 16 and they’ll have to do the same again to reach the final four. Colombia were more impressive in their group and in their first knockout match than their opponents but the hosts are hot favourites (1.40) to progress.

Brazil’s icon Neymar appeared to pick up a knock in the early stages of their match with Chile and he was largely absent in the game until he scored the winning penalty to put them in the quarters. So much depends on the attacker that it would be wise to wait until his involvement is confirmed here if you fancy Scolari’s men to triumph particularly as all of Brazil’s other strikers have failed to impress thus far.

Brazil have won just two of their last nine Finals matches as they’ve been level after 90 minutes on five occasions. They’ve also won just four of their last 11 knockout matches. Stretching back to 1970, Brazil have played in 51 knockout matches and won 27 in normal time with 26 over 2.5 goals games. Their record against top-10 teams in that sample is also good – W9-D7-L6 – but it still makes them look short at odds-on to win in 90 minutes.

Colombia’s unbeaten run of games now stands at 12 after their comfortable 2-0 win over Uruguay. The victory was their fifth in a row and the seventh consecutive time that they’ve netted at least twice. Colombia don’t have as much experience in the knockout phase as their opponents (not many teams do) but they’ve lost just two of their last seven in 90 minutes with five wins – all of which were to nil. Colombia haven’t played a knockout match as the lower-ranked side since 2004 but in their 11 such games since 1975 they’ve gone W4-D3-L4.

Much was made of Brazil’s dominant head-to-head record against Chile in the Last 16 but they haven’t got such a stronghold over Colombia. All of their last four meetings have been tied with Under 2.5 Goals and three of the games have ended goalless.

Brazil look short here at odds-on and we like the look of Colombia not to lose in 90 minutes.

 

Recommendation:

Colombia in the Draw No Bet market at $3.45 with Screenshot 2014-05-21 12.49.05

 

 

Screenshot 2014-06-12 20.13.28

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