Miranda: ‘Italy-style Brazil’

Inter defender Joao Miranda credits Italian football with Brazil’s newfound solidity. “We learned a lot from Serie A about defending.”

The Selecao have swept through to the quarter-finals of the 2018 World Cup in Russia and will face Dries Mertens’ Belgium on Friday July 6.

Even without Italy, betting on the World Cup is interesting and it looks like a wide open field, as the likes of reigning champions Germany, Spain, Cristiano Ronaldo’s Euro 2016 winners Portugal and Leo Messi’s Argentina have all crashed out already.

The final eight in the tournament are Uruguay, France, Brazil, Belgium, Russia, Croatia, Sweden and England, so of that group, Brazil would be considered the stand-out favourites to lift the trophy for a record sixth time.

Tite’s team conceded only one goal in their four games so far, during the opening 1-1 draw with Switzerland, having beaten Costa Rica, Serbia and Mexico 2-0.

“This Selecao is different to those of the past,” Inter centre-back Miranda told El Pais.

“We are defensively strong, we concede very few goals and at any moment of the match we know that our forwards can score a goal.

“In this World Cup, the teams are very well-organised in defence and the attacks are extremely quick.”

Miranda plays for Inter, while goalkeeper Alisson Becker impressed a great deal at Roma last season.

Thiago Silva also has plenty of Serie A experience from his time at Milan, even if he is currently plying his trade for Paris Saint-Germain.

“I would say it is quite an Italian style of Brazil team, as we do focus on the defensive movements more,” continued Miranda.

“Thiago Silva and I both learned a lot from Serie A about defending.”

Miranda turns 34 in September and has been at Inter since 2015, making his €13m transfer from Atletico Madrid.

See the latest Serie A predictions and betting tips with Eurotips.co.uk