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Thu 03/07/2014 - 21:34 EDT

World Cup Betting: Brazil vs Colombia Quarter-Final Preview

Despite having some of the best attacking talent in the world, Brazil has flattered to deceive so far in this World Cup.  Can Columbia, led by man of the moment James Rodriguez send the host nation packing?

 

Brazil vs Columbia

Friday, July 4th – 4:00 PM ET

Odds: Brazil +1.89, Columbia +3.98, Draw +3.72

Total: 2.5  Over 2.07, Under 1.73

 

Brazil will no doubt be in a familiar position once again come Friday, playing a team content on sitting back and counter-attacking when the opportunity presents itself.  Chile almost eliminated the hosts in the last seconds of extra-time in the last and the Columbians will surely see that match as a template on how to beat Brazil.  Columbia have been impressive thus far, but have yet to face a top tier opponent.  

 

Brazilian talisman Neymar, who suffered a thigh injury against Chile, is expected to be fit, but left back Marcelo is a doubt, in which case Maxwell will most likely replace him in the starting lineup.  Luis Gustavo, who has been excellent in the centre of midfield, will miss the game due to suspension, and either Paulinho or possibly Hernanes will take his place.

 

Columbia are suspension and injury free, which means they should field the same side which saw off Uruguay in the round of 16.

 

The last time these two teams met was for an international friendly in November of 2012, a game which ended in a 1-1 draw.  Most expect this game to be similarly close. Brazil struggled against Chile and Mexico, two Latin American teams which closely resemble Columbia: disciplined, solid at the back, and quick moving forward.  The Columbians have impressed thus far and topped the Guardian World Cup Power Rankings after their win against Uruguay in the round of 16.  Despite this, none of the favoured teams lost in the first knockout round which is a trend we expect to continue.  Despite the wonderful attacking talent on display in Fortaleza, expect a tight match with Brazil having just enough class to see off their South American rivals.

 

Handicapping The Total

 

After going 1-0 up on Chile, Brazil were content to sit back and counter-attack, a strategy which worked well until a careless turnover resulted in a Chilean equalizer.   Against Mexico, they had perhaps the better chances but the match ended in a 0-0 draw. Brazil will be weary of Columbia’s attacking prowess down the wings, especially if Marcelo can’t be fit enough to start, and will be content to control the game and press for a late winner ending the game 1-0.

 

Prediction: Brazil +1.89, Under 2.5

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