QF preview: Brazil vs Colombia

Brazil have not lost a competitive match at home since 1975 but that record will be put to the test in Fortaleza.

    Neymar has been declared fit to play but is nursing a thigh injury picked up against Chile [AFP]
    Neymar has been declared fit to play but is nursing a thigh injury picked up against Chile [AFP]

    Brazil are under intense pressure to breathe life into their World Cup campaign and produce a performance worthy of champions when they face Colombia and their free-scoring midfielder James Rodriguez in their quarter-final.

    After a laboured win over Chile in a penalty shootout in their last match, the Brazilians have been berated by their fans and former players.

    Head to head
    In their 25 previous meetings Colombia have won just twice and the last time was 23 years ago, before the baby-faced James Rodriguez was even born.

    Striker Neymar has scored four of Brazil's eight World Cup goals but is nursing a thigh injury picked up against the Chileans.

    Scolari's biggest selection headache is in midfield, where Luiz Gustavo is suspended after being booked against Chile. Ramires is his most likely replacement.

    In stark contrast to the angst-ridden Brazilians, the Colombians seem to be enjoying every minute of their best ever World Cup campaign.

    They have won all four matches, scoring 11 goals in the process and conceding just two.

    In Rodriguez, they have produced one of the revelations of the competition. He has scored five, including a contender for goal of the tournament in a 2-0 defeat of Uruguay in the last round.

    Venue: Estádio Castelão, Fortaleza

    Kick-off: July 04, 2100GMT

    Most recent meeting: A 1-1 draw in New York in November 2012. Juan Cuadrado put Colombia ahead before Neymar equalised, but the Brazilian star also hit a penalty over the bar.

    SOURCE: Reuters


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