Well, it’s not like there is a country on the edge of its seat, but there are plenty of fans throughout Brazil who are very concerned about the well-being of their star, Neymar, who is perhaps about to inherit the title of best in the world but right now a little banged up going into the quarter-final match against Colombia, as World Cup betting action is slated to get underway at 4 PM ET on Friday at the Estadio Castelao in Fortaleza.
It’s the Fourth of July, and even though Independence Day is only celebrated in America, there may be fireworks, health permitting, between two of the great scorers in this tournament, as Neymar duels Colombia’s James Rodriguez. The Brazilians came in as one of the favorites, if not THE favorite, considering they were the host squad, but they may have met their match against “Los Cafeteros.”
In the first game of the knockout phase, Colombia took advantage of the absence of suspended Luis Suarez and took a “bite” out of Uruguay by the score of 2-0. Brazil had a close call, tying 1-1 in regulation and extra time on Saturday with Chile but managing to win a 3-2 penalty kick round with Neymar firing home one of those shots.
The World Cup
Colombia vs. Brazil (Quarter-Finals)
Friday, July 4 — 4 PM ET
Estadio Castelao, Fortaleza
Betting Odds – Handicap Line
Brazil -1/2, -124
Colombia +1/2, +104
Betting Odds – Moneyline:
Under 2.5 Goals -124
Over 2.5 Goals +109
(The above numbers apply to 90 minutes plus stoppage time)
Brazil advances -240
Colombia advances +200
Colombia cruised through Group C play, defeating Greece, Ivory Coast and Japan by a combined 9-2. Then came the win over Uruguay. Rodriguez’s extraordinary talent has been the center of attention, as he has scored five goals thus far, some of them in spectacular fashion. Oscar Tabarez, Uruguay’s coach, insists that he is the best player in the tournament and has even gone so far to compare him to Diego Maradona. VietBet customers know that this is not just lofty praise; it’s like a coronation.
Rodriguez’s exploits have been especially important because of the ACL injury suffered by his AS Monaco teammate (though reportedly on his way to Real Madrid), Radamel Falcao, who had been expected to be the star of Colombia’s effort after nine goals in the qualifying stage. Brazilian midfielder Fernandinho has told his teammates that they better keep a tight rein on Rodriguez, who has encountered him before. “The less space he gets against us, the better it will be for Brazil,” he says.
There will be something of a cloud cast over the proceedings, as it is the 20th anniversary of the murder of the captain of Colombia’s 1994 World Cup team, Andres Escobar, who netted an “own goal” that contributed to the team’s elimination against the United States.
Neymar, who has had four goals thus far, came out of the game with Chile with a left thigh injury that was bothersome enough for him to seek out the team doctor, and there is also a report of a knee injury that may hurt even worse. He has sat out practices, watching from the sidelines as he exercises on a stationary bike. World Cup bettors have read reports that coach Luis Felipe Scolari will make him a “game time decision” of sorts, but because there has been tremendous consternation over his uncertainty, team spokesman Rodrigo Paiva has said, “He will be evaluated again, but team doctor Jose Luiz Runco said fans don’t have to worry because he’s not a concern for the match.”
Indeed, VietBet patrons should not expect that the 22-year-old sensation will be sat out, especially since there is some worry within the Brazilian ranks as to where that would leave this squad offensively. After all, he has scored half their goals. But one has to wonder how constructive practicing a game plan really is without him on the field.
Keep in mind that you can wager on the World Cup match while it is in progress, with Live Betting Extra, available to customers at VietBet!
CHARLES JAY, a contributor to BangTheBook.com, is one of the most experienced sports betting writers in America, as he has written more than 10,000 pieces specifically for the industry over the last seven years. At one time employed as an editorial consultant with USA Network, he is also a former syndicated radio talk show host (American Radio Networks) and has also done color commentary on boxing events in the past for Prime Network (now known as Fox SportsNet). He is a veteran of more than a decade and a half working within the professional sports industry, and has been handicapping sporting events for over 25 years. In addition to this, he has compiled specialty odds for a number of online sportsbook operations and media outlets.