Croatia v Brazil: 17/2 Bet Builder for World Cup QF

Marcelo Brozovic, Croatia midfielder
Marcelo Brozovic will have to deal with Neymar

Our football props column focuses on the World Cup quarter-final between Croatia and Brazil on Friday and is going low on goals and high on fouls...

Brazil turned on the style in the last 16 of the World Cup but the Selecao were helped on their way by the Koreans and they won't find things as easy against a solid Croatia side.

The 2018 runners-up have proved very difficult to beat at this stage of a tournament over the past decade or so - seven of their last eight knockout ties have gone to extra time with six of them featuting under 2.5 goals.

In Qatar, Croatia have conceded only twice so far with renaissance man Dejan Lovren forming an excellent partnership with rising star Josko Gvardiol and even money about there being less than three goals looks tempting.

That's occurred in six of the eight games these two teams have played at the tournament so far, while the recent history of World Cup knockout encounters also favours the bet.

Under 2.5 goals has now landed in 23 of the last 38 KO games. At quarter-final level, it's five of the last eight.

Fouls can also be expected.

English official Michael Oliver takes charge of this one and his massive average of 34.5 fouls per game across his two matches makes him the pickiest referee in Qatar.

With Neymar - the most-fouled player still in the tournament - playing 'in the hole' behind Richarlison and being given plenty of licence to move around, it's not hard to see the Croatians conceding free kicks.

Playing at the base of the midfield, Marcelo Brozovic is set to be in the Neymar firing line - the Brazilian has been fouled 12 times in his 159 minutes on the pitch so far in the tournament.

Brozovic has been a regular card candidate in recent years - he's 11/5 to pick up another here - but it's the 2+ fouls bet I prefer at evens given how easy Neymar tends to win fouls. The Croatian has hit 2+ fouls in two of his four matches so far.

His team-mate Ivan Perisic smacks of value in the same market at 7/4.

This is a bet he's won in two of four matches so far (seven fouls in total). He also committed at least two fouls in both Nations League games in September, as well as qualifiers against Russia, Slovakia and Slovenia (ie, the bigger teams in their group).

In total, Perisic has now landed this bet in seven of his last 11 internationals.

He'll be expected to track back and help nullify the threat of Raphinha so it's easy to see him adding to that tally.

The three legs put together form a Bet Builder which pays 17/2.

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Column P/L 2022/23

Staked: 159pts
Returned: 187.09pts
P/L: +28.09pts

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