Martinez names star key to Belgium in Brazil showdown

Belgium's defender Vincent Kompany tries to score against Japan's goalkeeper Eiji Kawashima during their Russia 2018 World Cup round of 16 match at the Rostov Arena in Rostov-On-Don

Martinez names star key to Belgium in Brazil showdown

I have heard a lot of talking from teams this World Cup that were not able to back up what they were saying. Filipe played very well in both matches.

Martinez feels his side, despite being stacked with individual talent, cannot be regarded as favourites due to their inexperience but he is convinced they can flourish. The victory required the Red Devils to exhaust their physical and emotional energy, which we expect will dampen its quarterfinal performance. However, Lukaku stressed that they can be picked apart and seemingly singled out right-back Fagner, who will be winning only his eighth cap, as a potential point to exploit.

"Of course Casemiro is a very important player for us, and it's complicated missing a game like this".

"We're up against the favourites, but this will show us where we stand as a team". Manager Roberto Martínez said the squad did what was necessary, even if it was a stressful affair. "There's a real desire to be on the football pitch, we can't wait to be there so I feel we are as ready as we'll ever be". And I think that's a role that allows us to be a team. Two years later, in the face of determined defending, he faded when it mattered most and drifted out of the game as Wales knocked them out of the Euros with a 3-1 shock.

Along with the return of Marcelo, Fernandinho will also come into the Brazil side.

With two exciting attacking teams, Brazil vs Belgium is destined to yield goals and both sides can be expected to find the net on Friday.

Tite also jumped to the defence of Neymar, who was widely criticised for his reaction to a challenge by Mexico's Miguel Layun in their round of 16 win, and pointed out that the Paris Saint-Germain forward has made considerable improvements to his all-round game.

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According to Sky Bet, Brazil is considered the favorite to win the World Cup at 5/2 odds, but Belgium isn't too far behind at 6/1.

Brazil coach Tite and Belgium's Roberto Martinez.

The five-time world champions have had 150 touches in their opponents' boxes so far at the World Cup, the most of any team left in the tournament.

Casemiro has been a central plank of Brazil's stingy defence, which has conceded only one goal so far in Russian Federation.

Belgium is the competition's top scorer with 12 in its four games, with the goals spread around the team.

"If you want to achieve something, you have to fight for it every time", said Lukaku, who has impressed at the World Cup with four goals and is second in the Golden Boot race, behind England's Harry Kane with six.

For Belgium, Eden Hazard has hit the peak form just on time while Romelu Lukaku, although wasteful in the previous match, is regularly scoring for his side.

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