Brazil is three victories away from becoming the first host nation in 16 years to win the World Cup. They’ll look to get their next win against Colombia in Fortaleza on Friday in the quarterfinals.
Heading into the 2014 World Cup, Brazil was the favorite to win it all and the most popular pick among experts. The team is unbeaten through four matches and still has the best betting odds, according to the oddsmakers. Brazil’s road to being one of the final eight teams, however, hasn’t been an easy one, and things could get even more difficult against Colombia.
The hosts got two victories in the group stage, and a surprising draw against Mexico. In the Round of 16, Brazil barely survived, needing a shootout to move past Chile.
"It's normal to have people demanding that we play better," Brazil coach Luiz Felipe Scolari said, according to the Associated Press. "But it's also normal what we have been seeing in this World Cup so far. There were a lot of even matches. There is no difference between teams that have tradition and world titles and the rest of the teams. Matches are being decided on penalties, in the final minutes, on mistakes."
Colombia has been as impressive as any team in the 2014 World Cup. They registered nine points in the standings in group play and a plus-7 goal differential, defeating Ivory Coast, Japan, and Greece. Colombia didn’t have much trouble in their match just prior to the quarterfinals, shutting out Uruguay 2-0.
James Rodriguez has been one of the stars of the tournament. The Monoco star leads all players with five goals, helping the team rank second behind the Netherlands with 11 total goals.
Historically, Brazil has fared well against their rival, losing twice in the last 25 head-to-head meetings. Recently, though, Colombia has played Brazil tough, forcing a draw in the last four matches.
Ultimately, Brazil is expected to win and advance to the quarterfinals. Below are betting odds, courtesy of Bovada.lv, for Brazil’s upcoming match, as well as the rest of the tournament.
Brazil vs. Colombia
Regulation Win -130
Regulation Loss +350
Regulation Draw +280
Brazil Top Goalscorer
Luiz Gustavo 200/1
Brazil Stage of Elimination
Runners Up 4/1