Brazil vs Belgium: Each team bringing more stars than an Oscar night

Nacer Chadli

EPANacer Chadli scores a dramatic 94th-minute winner for Belgium

In arguably the tie of the round, Brazil and Belgium will fight it out on Friday looking to book their place in the semi-finals of the World Cup.

The victor of the clash between Brazil and Belgium will face either France or Uruguay in the semi-finals.

"It is a big occasion, you can't hide that".

But his impressive goalscoring prowess and his aim to be remembered as Belgian's most successful goalscorer faces its sternest test in Kazan against a Selecao defence that has conceded only once in four World Cup games so far.

"For the last two years we've been preparing for this moment", continued Martinez, whose side certainly looks far more coherent than the often-hesitant outfit bequeathed by Marc Wilmots.

"I would have preferred it to be in the final", said Kompany when asked how he felt about having to face the Brazilians at this point in the knockouts.

'Perhaps we should be talking about the officials?,' he added.

"As individuals we've also improved". It was not a vintage Argentina side that they faced in Brasilia and, despite going behind to an early Gonzalo Higuain goal, they had plenty of time to put things right.

The teams have progressed through different means but each arrive with confidence after rousing wins in their last starts. The difference in quality at the back should make all the difference to the final result as well though, which is where Brazil should triumph eventually.

Although he failed to score in Belgium's final group game, it was Lukaku's inspired contribution during a late counter-attack that allowed Nacer Chadli to score a last-gasp victor against Japan that avoided the humiliation of an early exit to a team ranked 44th in the world. Of those 58, 23 have been won by Neymar, who is the most fouled player at the tournament with 23 - four more than any other player. You have to be ideal defensively but we rely on what we do on the ball, the same with Brazil.

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

On the opposite flank, Filipe Luis has always been an able deputy to Marcelo in the National side, proving the same once again in the last two games as well. The main questions following disappointing defeats in the 2014 World Cup and the 2016 European Championship centred on the team's character.

But Tite told a news conference in Kazan that the 30-year-old was ready to return to action and would come in for Felipe Luis. "At least I hope we can". "Don't listen, don't watch (the attention) because there is a lot of psychological pressure".

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