Brazil should be too strong for South American rivals.
Brazil breezed through their group, scoring seven goals in the process. But now the serious stuff starts and the hosts could find Chile tough opponents to conquer.
Neymar, the darling of the home crowds, is well on course for the Golden Boot having netted four times so far.
The 22-year-old Barcelona forward now has 35 goals in 52 international starts. It’s a phenomenal strike rate but is his team becoming over-reliant on their talisman? He’s under immense pressure to perform every time he crosses the white line and Brazil haven’t impressed everyone so far against largely modest opposition.
Last year’s Confederations Cup experience should stand them in good stead now that the knockout stages are upon us but Chile, probably the most hard-working side in the tournament, are not going to make things easy for Luiz Felipe Scolari’s men.
What is probably in Brazil’s favour is that the Chileans were beaten in their final group game by the Netherlands when victory would have given them an easier route to the quarter-finals.
The Dutch comfortably kept Jorge Sampaoli’s team at arm’s length in Sao Paolo and were able to pick them off in the closing stages but scoring goals wasn’t a problem in their first two matches.
They put three past Australia and had two before half-time against defending champions Spain. They will try to impose their pressing game on Brazil but it’s just possible that they’ve had the stuffing knocked out of them and though their fans will turn out again in their thousands they will still be heavily outnumbered in the Estadio Mineirao.
Mexico, who play a similar formation to Chile, held Brazil in the group stages and caused them one or two problems, but this is a match that the hosts should come through with their quality likely to be evident in the final third. Scolari’s team are 4/7 for the win in 90 minutes and the Draw/Brazil in the HT/FT is 3/1.
The match kicks off at 5pm UK time on Saturday June 28th at the Estadio Mineirao, Belo Horizonte.