Kompany trying to hide Belgium's 'fear', says Miranda

De Gea doesn't make gaffes like this often. Or ever

Their win over Mexico showed textbook defending from the central pairing of Thiago Silva and Miranda, assisted by full backs Fagner and Filipe Luis.

The core of that side remains in place in Russian Federation, where Belgium has won all four of its matches, including coming back from 2-0 down to beat Japan in the round of 16 with a thrilling counterattack in the final seconds of injury time.

Belgium striker Romelu Lukaku admits Brazil do not have many weaknesses but believes their defence can be exploited with the correct approach. "They have individual technical value". "It won't be easy, but we have the quality to make the difference".

"We shouldn't play Brazil, we shouldn't be in awe of the opportunity we have".

"Traditionally, in Belgian culture, we would feel defeated even before the game [against Brazil]", Kompany said. "I will be doing everything possible to win, but we will continue to be friends". The signs are positive and of a real desire to be on the football pitch.

"If we play as a team, if we fight for each other, we can do it and that's what matters to me". However, this is the kind of encounter towards which the Red Devils have worked in the last two years. "We would have of course preferred to have played Brazil in the actual final, but this is our final, and that's just how it is".

This will be the fifth meeting between these sides.

Playing the anchor man role in front of the Brazil back-four, keeping Belgium talisman Eden Hazard quiet will be his primary task. Willian assisted Brazil's opener and put on a great all-round showing against Mexico, helping the South Americans to an impressive 2-0 win.

Tite believes the biggest challenge in the way of his players winning the World Cup for a record sixth time is not falling victim to the pressure.

Brazil have been knocked out of the World Cup by a European side in each of the last three tournaments (vs France in 2006, Netherlands in 2010 and Germany in 2014).




At Euro 2016, heavily fancied Belgium was considered to be on the easier side of the draw to make the final but ended up being knocked out at the quarterfinal stage by Wales, which was in its first major competition in almost 60 years.

Of the four Manchester City players named in Brazil's World Cup squad, only Gabriel Jesus has featured regularly.

Tipped as dark horses for the title leading up to the tournament, Belgium kept excitement brimming over during a superb group phase that reaped nine goals for only two conceded.

Belgium are unbeaten in their last 23 matches (W18 D5), the longest current run of any team left in the 2018 World Cup.

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

Neymar has scored two goals in Brazil's four matches, but he has been slammed by soccer pundits across the world for diving and rolling on the ground theatrically in Russian Federation.

Coach Roberto Martinez won praise for his substitutions, with both Marouane Fellaini and Nacer Chadli scoring, the latter with practically the last kick of the match.

Which nation actually has the better players?

"It is the quarter final and there are teams who aren't here that I think most people expected to be here". Brazil and Belgium possess multiple ways in which they can hurt each other.

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