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Brazil vs. Colombia: Date, Time, Live Stream, TV Info and 2014 World Cup Preview

Brazil's coach Luiz Felipe Scolari embraces Brazil's Neymar after the World Cup round of 16 soccer match between Brazil and Chile at the Mineirao Stadium in Belo Horizonte, Brazil, Saturday, June 28, 2014. Brazil won 3-2 on penalties. (AP Photo/Frank Augstein)
Frank Augstein/Associated Press
Rob BlanchetteFeatured ColumnistJuly 4, 2014

The battle of the poster boys ensues in Fortaleza as Neymar from Brazil takes on Colombia's hotshot James Rodriguez.

The Brazilians struggled in the first knockout match of the tournament after being taken to a penalty shootout by a resilient Chile side.

However, Colombia sparkled in their round of 16 game as they sent Uruguay home with a 2-0 defeat.

Silvia Izquierdo/Associated Press

Here is how you can watch this electrifying quarter-final game:

 

When: Friday, July 4, at 9 p.m. BST (4 p.m. ET)

Where: Fortaleza, Brazil

TV: ITV HD (UK only); ESPN (U.S. only)

Live Stream: ITV Player (UK only); ESPN Player (U.S. only)

 

Brazil Formation and Tactics

Predicted Starting Line-Ups
Predicted Starting Line-UpsWhoScored.com

Brazil are without midfield lynchpin Luiz Gustavo who is suspended, so a central midfield of Tottenham's Paulinho and Fernandinho of Manchester City looks most likely.

Further forward Brazil coach Luiz Felipe Scolari definitely seems to favour the inclusion of Hulk on the right-hand side of his attack, and Fred as the striker.

So despite both players' lack of form they will be his first choices against Colombia.

Fred, in particular, is a kind of anomaly. The player's reputation back in Brazil is larger than in Europe but his visual work-rate appears to be shockingly poor when you consider the best strikers at the tournament.

BELO HORIZONTE, BRAZIL - JUNE 28:  Fred  of Brazil acknowledges the fans after defeating Chile in a penalty shootout during the 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil round of 16 match between Brazil and Chile at Estadio Mineirao on June 28, 2014 in Belo Horizonte, B
Buda Mendes/Getty Images

However, he has scored 11 times for his country since February 2013, per Barney Ronay of The Guardian, and he will be entrusted to take his nation to the final from the centre-forward position.

Indeed, Ronay wrote about the opinions in the press of Fred and spoke of Alan Shearer's criticisms of the player:

On the BBC, even that renowned global football frontiersman Alan Shearer has picked up the theme, finding himself embroiled in an unlikely spat with Dani Alves, who described Shearer as “idiotic” after some dismissive but fair comments about Fred’s effectiveness as a Brazilian centre-forward.

Despite the criticisms, Fred will play in front of Neymar and Oscar as Brazil employ their favoured 4-2-3-1.

The formation suits the players in Scolari's squad but you cannot help but think that the bulk and power of Hulk would be used more wisely in the striker's role.

Hulk is not an effective wide player and his ball retention is not what it should be for a Brazilian in an advanced midfield position.

Football correspondent Kevin McCarra posed the question about the host's depth of quality as he tweeted:

Scolari will persist with his selection and will have to carry the can if it all goes wrong. Positionally, Brazil are not performing but the match against Colombia will be the defining point on whether the manager has got it right or wrong.

 

Colombia Formation and Tactics

Marcio Jose Sanchez/Associated Press

In stark contrast to Brazil, the Colombians look tactically solid and composed. James is thriving in his wider attacking role allowing him to come central when he needs.

And the performances of Juan Guillermo Cuadrado on the other flank have been nothing short of sensational.

Colombia set up in a 4-4-2 but not in the conventionally English sense of the formation. 

The front four are allowed freedom to express themselves and Cuadrado specifically is encouraged to carry the ball from midfield to attack.

If they carry on in the same vein as we have witnessed in the past couple of weeks it will be very hard for Brazil to resist their brilliance.

Yes, Colombia are yet to be fully tested in defence and Neymar will offer this threat. But with Brazil's other attackers struggling for form, the Colombians will feel they can park the bus if need be. 

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