Brazil v Belgium: Toughest Test Yet for World Cup Favourites

Attention! Actual odds referenced are correct at time of publishing at 8:50 am July 5, 2018 and are subject to change.

Five time World Cup winners Brazil started Russia 2018 as clear favourites to make it a sixth triumph but things started slowly for Tite’s men in Group E. The South Americans could only draw their opening match with Switzerland and they followed up with a late and unimpressive win over lowly Costa Rica.

Since then, the side look to be back to their full potential and are justifying that position as pre-tournament favourites but on Friday, Brazil face their toughest test so far. Belgium await in this quarter final and Roberto Martinez’s men come here after breezing through Group G with a 100% winning record.

The bookmakers feel they have identified a favourite but this may well be tighter than the markets suggest.

Match Odds

The result betting for 90 minutes shows Brazil in front at best odds of 29/25 with MarathonBet for the win. The draw follows at a top price of 5/2 with Unibet while victory for Belgium completes matters at a best of 14/5 with Betway.

Those are the numbers for the normal time outcome but if you switch to the To Qualify betting, Brazil’s price drops considerably to 59/100 with MarathonBet. Meanwhile, for those backing Belgium in the same market, the top price here is the 13/8 offered by William Hill.

It’s interesting that odds-against figures are listed in the straight result betting and that suggests we could have a close game that goes right down to the wire. Brazil have however, been building great momentum since that opening draw to the Swiss and while Belgium showed their resilience in overcoming Japan, the Red Devils also underlined their vulnerability in going 2-0 down and we suspect the Brazilians may come through without the need for an extra period.

Individual Goal Scorers

Neymar da Silva Santos Júnior

The media tends to focus on just one man whenever Brazil play but is Neymar the obvious choice to open the scoring in Friday’s tie? The bookies certainly think so as they’ve made the PSG striker the favourite in the first goalscorer market at best odds of 4/1 with 10Bet and Sport Pesa.

Like the rest of his teammates, Neymar started this tournament slowly but after two goals in three games he could be ready to convert at that price. Behind the favourite, Gabriel Jesus follows at 5/1 with William Hill and Betway while Romelu Lukaku sneaks in for Belgium as the third favourite at a top price of 29/5 with MarathonBet.

There are threats on both sides from all over the pitch and the candidates just keep coming. Brazil’s Roberto Firmino follows at best odds of 13/2 with 10Bet and Boylesports while his teammate Philippe Coutinho is next on the list at a top price of 7/1 with Unibet and 888Sport.

For Belgium, Michy Batshuayi may not start so he should perhaps be avoided in the first goal scorer betting at 15/2 with Unibet but we could certainly look to Eden Hazard at a generous best of 9/1 with Boylesports.

Hazard for an anytime goal at best odds of 13/4 with Unibet will attract some interest, but it’s in this market that we’ll make a confirmed tip on Philippe Coutinho. The former Liverpool man scored in both of Brazil’s opening two games at Russia 2018 and as a constant threat, he looks a sound selection at a top price of 37/13 with 888Sport for a goal in 90 minutes.

Other Side Bets

With so much firepower on either side, Both Teams to Score looks particularly strong here and although it’s available at an odds on figure, the top industry price of 5/6 from Sun Bets looks to be a reasonable one.

Alternatively, it could be safer to opt for Over 2.5 goals and this is on offer at Even Money in most places and at a best of 17/16 with 188Bet. Brazil haven’t conceded many but we think it’s a strong option to be a little braver and go above the 3.5 line at best odds of 11/4 with William Hill.

Belgium will have to attack as it’s going to be hard to contain such an explosive Brazilian side with the likes of Neymar and Coutinho in the ranks. As for the result, Brazil have enough quality and momentum to convert and we don’t expect them to sit back and wait for extra time and penalties.

Brazil to win in normal time is the prediction and the other tips here are also for 90 minutes.

Best Bets:

  • Brazil to win at 29/25 with MarathonBet
  • Philippe Coutinho to score anytime at 37/13 with 888Sport
  • Over 3.5 Goals at 11/4 with William Hill
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