Martinez names star key to Belgium in Brazil showdown

Martinez names star key to Belgium in Brazil showdown

Martinez names star key to Belgium in Brazil showdown

It is still hard for us to understand what happened and where we made a mistake.

Marcelo is fit again for Brazil and could return in place of Filipe Luis at left back, while winger Douglas Costa is back from injury and will be on the bench.

With Kompany still finding his feet after his latest period out through injury, Brazil's swarming attacks could prove productive against the ageing Belgian backline.

The victor will play France or Uruguay in the semifinals in St. Petersburg on Tuesday.

"We have worked hard over two years for this and we are as ready as we ever can be".

Kevin De Bruyne has developed into a "leader" for Belgium and is "essential" to their World Cup chances, says coach Roberto Martinez. The way he held up play, created space for others, ran forward with skill, and generally made life a nightmare for Tite's side was another glowing example of how much he has progressed since joining Man United.

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"I think we are always playing with a lot of pressure even if we are seen as underdogs", he said.

"He had three moments in the box where he wanted a penalty twice, where he dived and then the third one he was pushed, I think was a penalty but they're never going to give it to him".

He added "It was significant to see someone that from the outside many people could say, well he would accept if you see a selfish action of Romelu Lukaku on the pitch because you are in front of goal and maybe you are hoping to score a goal".

"But we've been working so hard to get ourselves to this occasion. I think it will be the match of the tournament".

On the flanks, Willian and Philippe Coutinho can stretch defences, and fire in shots and crosses, while Neymar and Gabriel Jesus can also pull defences apart from more central positions.

Brazil came into the 2018 World Cup as favorites to win the trophy, but instead find themselves out at the quarterfinal stage.

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