Brazil v Colombia: Key battles - Spurs midfielder could start

Paulinho

Paulinho could start for Brazil in their World Cup quarter-final against Colombia, and he will need to be at his best to stop James Rodriguez.

Neymar v Mario Yepes

The golden boy of the Brazilian team is definitely Neymar. He is the player that football obsessed Brazil look to in guiding their team to victory on home soil, and has done a good job in doing so to date. His pace and athleticism has troubled defences so far, and driving in off the left wing onto his right foot has really worked for him in this tournament.

Yepes may be 38 years old, but his performances have been superb. Playing in the heart of the Colombia defence, he has used his experience brilliantly to stop attackers getting the better of him, he proved that against Cavani in the 2-0 win over Uruguay. He will need to use his experience again, this time to stop Neymar when he drives into the centre of the pitch.

Thiago Silva v Jackson Martinez

Thiago Silva is one of, if not the best central defender in world football. Being captain in a World Cup held in their own country must be an incredible honour, and his performances so far have been superb. This is the first time in a long time Brazil have a very strong defence, and that is fully down to Thiago Silva's leadership.

Jackson Martinez is a striker who, if given the chance, is bound to finish a chance. He doesn't often get involved in build up play, but when he is given the ball in front of goal he is often clinical. His pace does mean he is potent on the break, and although he has only scored two goals so far in this tournament, he will be confident in adding to that on Friday.

Paulinho V James Rodriguez

With Luis Gustavo suspended, there is a great possibility that Paulinho could return to the Brazil starting line-up in midfield. His energy and workrate could be important if Brazil are to win the midfield battle in Fortaleza. If they can do that, they will stop the supply of James Rodriguez.

James Rodriguez has produced elite level performance after elite level performance in this World Cup. Scoring in each of Colombia's four matches to date, he has shown his quality on the world stage. If Brazil are to beat Colombia, they will need to keep him quiet. That task is likely to fall to the midfielder of Paulinho, and if he doesn't keep him quiet, then Brazil could be in for a long night.  

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