South American duo Brazil and Colombia will go head to head on Friday with a place in the last four of the world cup up for grabs. Ahead of the clash, Footybunker looks at the key players, team news, form and history between the two sides.
The star of the World Cup so far has without doubt being James Rodriquez. The 22 year old Monaco man has scored five goals and assisted two to help the Colombians to the last eight of the tournament and his form has not gone unnoticed with Real Madrid reportedly keen on his services. Another big money move aside, he only joined the French club in a €35 million pound deal last summer, the player will have plenty on his plate especially with Phil Scolari reportedly set to play three central defenders. The transformation from winger to number 10 has been one of the decisions of the tournament and much credit must go to Jose Pekerman for seeing the potential. His performances have ensured that Colombia haven’t missed Radamel Falcao.
While Rodriquez is the current top scorer, he has some impressive people breathing down his neck, one of whom is Brazilian forward Neymar. The Barcelona has been the liveliest Brazilian player at the world cup with his four goals ensuring that his side have reached the last 8.
Neymar is set to shake off a knee complaint to play in the game however suspended midfielder Luiz Gustavo misses out. Colombia meanwhile have no injury concerns ahead of the game and in addition they will hope that Juan Cuadrado, with four assists to date, and Jackson Martinez, with two goals, can continue their superb form.
Form and history:
Brazil have been the dominant force in meetings between the two sides winning 15 of their 25 games to date and losing just two. Their last defeat to Colombia came in 1991 when they lost 2-0 in a Cope America clash. Since then they have played 12 times with Brazil winning 7 games. Interestingly, the last four games between the two have all ended in draws, including three successive 0-0 draws in qualification for the 2006, 2008 and 2010 world cups. This will be their first meeting at a world cup tournament whilst it will also be Colombia’s first appearance in the last 8.
Prediction and betting:
History would suggest that Brazil are the clear winners in this tie, with a 60% win rate so far in clashes between the two sides. However Colombia will be full of confidence after an 11 game unbeaten run, including four successive wins in the world cup. Colombia are an attractive 5/1 to beat Brazil with Titanbet which given their form to date and the fact that nothing has separated the sides in the four meetings is very appealing. Equally attractive is the 11/2 on offer for Rodriquez to score anytime which against a Brazilian that has looked shaky at times is a real possibility. If Brazil are to score chances are it will be Neymar, the youngster has been the stand out performer for the home nation and at 3/1 is a good bet for anytime scorer.