2018 World Cup Quarterfinals Betting Prediction: Brazil vs Belgium

Posted by Derrick Harper on July 5, 2018 in

On paper, the most intriguing matchup of the 2018 World Cup quarterfinals appears to be Friday’s showdown between Brazil and Belgium. With only eight teams left, the Brazilians have become the tournament favorites, and they are +111 favorites to advance past Belgium. However, the Red Devils should not be overlooked at +259, especially since they continue to be a dark horse to win the tournament.

2018 World Cup Quarterfinals Betting Prediction: Brazil vs Belgium

Brazil

Brazil has slowly grown into this tournament and is now looking like the team most expected heading into the World Cup. Neymar has shaken off questions about his health and criticism about his flopping and delivered in key moments. One could argue that Brazil is still waiting for Willian and Gabriel Jesus to find their top form and make the team even more dangerous going forward. However, Philippe Coutinho has already provided one wonder goal and he’s more than capable of giving Brazil another.

It’s also important to give Brazil’s defensive players credit for the team’s success. The Brazilians have allowed just one goal in four games, and one could argue that goal shouldn’t have counted. The back line has held up well, while Casemiro and Paulinho have provided a strong backbone in the midfield, with Fernandinho coming off the bench as an extra defensive midfielder to help close out games. That being said, Brazil is yet to face a team with anywhere close to the attacking talent of Belgium. Even Mexico’s attacking band doesn’t stack up to the challenge the Red Devils offer with Romelu Lukaku, Kevin De Bruyne, and Eden Hazard, so keeping up their string of three straight shutouts will be difficult.

Belgium

Belgium didn’t face a real challenge in this tournament until they fell behind 2-0 against Japan in the Round of 16. The good news is that they responded with three unanswered goals to earn a spot in the quarterfinals. The Red Devils could use that comeback as the point in this tournament where they kick it into another gear and start playing up to their enormous potential. In fact, they may need to do just that if they expect to topple Brazil.

Belgium is the underdog for the 2018 World Cup Quarterfinals against Brazil.

The thing to watch with Belgium is if they make any tactical changes. The team’s three-back formation was a little exposed against Japan and could be even more vulnerable against Brazil. Belgium is lacking a true left-wing back, which may force Roberto Martinez to switch to four in the back. The midfield of De Bruyne and Axel Witsel has had its issues as well. After his heroics against Japan, Martinez may want to insert Marouane Fellaini into the starting lineup and push De Bruyne further up the field so he can be more of a threat to Brazil’s defenses.

Prediction

This is a matchup between a five-time world champion in Brazil and a country in Belgium who’s hoping that its golden generation can finally fulfill its enormous potential. Both teams present the biggest challenge the other has faced during this tournament. In the end, this World Cup has been about surprises, and it’s also been about traditional powers falling at the hands of underdogs. That points to Belgium beating Brazil 2-1 in the 2018 World Cup Quarterfinals.