FIFA World Cup: Three reasons why Brazil can be beaten today
On eve of the hosts' quarter-final clash with their South American neighbours Colombia, we look at why Brazil are vulnerable.
(L-R) Neymar, Fred, David Luiz. Pic/ AFP
1) James Rodriguez
In a World Cup in which the star names have turned up at the party, it is not Neymar, Lionel Messi or Cristiano Ronaldo who lead the scoring charts but Colombia’s James Rodriguez. James has netted five times and provided two assists in his first four World Cup games, including a goal of the tournament contender with a sumptuous dipping left-foot volley against Uruguay.
2) Neymar's fitness
Brazil's own talisman continues to show remarkable courage whilst shouldering the expectation of the host nation as he slotted home his side’s fifth penalty in their shootout win over Chile. However, the 22-year-old was on the end of some rough treatment from the Chileans leaving him battered, bruised and far from fresh to face the Colombians.
3) Missing Luis Gustavo
Another setback from Brazil’s encounter with the Chileans was a second yellow card of the tournament and subsequent suspension for the understated midfield general Luis Gustavo. The midfielder is key to Scolari’s system in covering a huge amount of ground to allow full-backs Marcelo and Dani Alves to fly forward. Gustavo would have been key to containing James Rodriguez.