Brazil vs Colombia
World Cup quarter-final
Estádio Castelão, Fortaleza
Live on ITV
Neymar v James
Brazil and Colombia meet on Friday night in arguably the most anticipated of the four World Cup quarter-finals, with two of the stars of this year’s tournament, Neymar and James Rodriguez, carrying the hopes of their respective nations.
The hosts reached this stage of the competition after overcoming Chile in an unbelievably tense penalty shootout, with Neymar scoring the decisive kick for Brazil before Gonzalo Jara’s miss ended the tie.
It had to be Neymar, of course, and the young forward was reduced to tears after Brazil’s passage into the next round was secured. With four goals to his name in this World Cup so far, a positive result against Colombia will surely come thanks to his influence.
The only player in the 2014 edition of this FIFA showpiece to have scored on more occasions is James Rodriguez, with the new poster boy of Colombian football netting five to Neymar’s four.
Rodriguez scored both goals for Colombia in the 2-0 victory over Uruguay in the last round, the first of which was a stunning volley from 25-yards, which crashed into the net off the underside of the crossbar.
It will take some beating as the goal of the tournament.
Could Rodriguez complete an individual triple? Well, if Colombia are able to dump out the hosts on Friday then the golden ball, golden boot and goal of the tournament accolades could well be his to lose.
Confirmed team line-ups
Brazil: Julio Cesar, Maicon, Thiago Silva (c), David Luiz, Marcelo, Fernandinho, Paulinho, Oscar, Hulk, Fred, Neymar,
Colombia: Ospina, Zapata, Yepes (c), Sanchez, Armero, Gutierrez, James Rodriguez, Cuadrado, Guarin, Ibarbo, Zuniga
- This will be the first World Cup meeting between the two South American sides
- Colombia have failed to score in nine of their last 12 games against Brazil
- Brazil have reached the quarter-finals at the last six World Cups, but haven't gone further since 2002
- The last four games between Brazil and Colombia have ended in draws, with three finishing goalless
- James Rodriguez is looking to become the first player since Rivaldo in 2002 to score in the first five games of a World Cup.
- Brazil have lost just one of their last 16 World Cup games when they had scored first (W13 D2).