World Cup Betting Tips: Predictions & Best Odds On Monday's Games
The round of 16 at World Cup 2022 continues on Monday and betting sites see the two matches differently.
Japan, the surprise package in Group E, have already beaten Germany and Spain at this tournament, but they are nevertheless underdogs against Croatia in the first game of the day.
Brazil are strong favourites to get the better of South Korea, who squeezed into second spot in Group H in dramatic fashion.
Here is our betting preview of Day 16 at the World Cup in Qatar.
Japan vs Croatia, Monday, 3pm
As supporters across the globe and football betting sites made their pre-tournament predictions, very few anticipated anything other than Spain and Germany sailing through Group E.
Football fans in Japan were more receptive to the possibility of their progression, but only the most ardent followers of the Samurai Blue could have envisaged Hajime Moriyasu’s men finishing top of the table.
Yet that is exactly what Japan did thanks to remarkable victories over Germany and Spain, in between which they lost 1-0 to Costa Rica.
Trailing 1-0 to the Spanish last time out, Japan were heading out of the World Cup.
But they turned the game on its head in three extraordinary second-half minutes, scoring twice to take the lead and then holding out thereafter.
The lesson from the group stage is that this Japan team should never be written off.
They possess a rare ability to go from all-out defence to an intense burst of attacking, and then back to defence again.
Japan have long been the easiest on the eye of Asia’s World Cup representatives, but this team also possesses grit, resolve and character in abundance.
In the end, Croatia could count themselves a little fortunate to have progressed to the round of 16.
They only needed a draw with Belgium on matchday three to qualify for the next phase, but they very nearly did not get it.
The Red Devils created numerous good chances in the second half, and it was only their profligate finishing (mainly courtesy of Romelu Lukaku) that kept Croatia in the competition.
It is true that the 2018 runners-up turned on the style against Canada in their second encounter of the tournament, but they were aided on that occasion by some pretty naïve defending from the CONCACAF outfit.
But, back in their first game, they were ponderous and pedestrian in a goalless draw with Morocco.
Croatia have some excellent technical footballers, not least the midfield trio of Mateo Kovacic, Marcelo Brozovic and the evergreen Luka Modric.
But at times they look slow and one-paced. With their energy and dynamism, Japan could take advantage.
Unlike World Cup betting sites, we fancy the Samurai Blue to continue their fantastic tournament with another memorable win on Monday.
Tip: Japan To Win – 31/10 with Unibet
Brazil vs South Korea, Monday, 7pm
Brazil suffered their first ever World Cup defeat by an African nation on Friday, as Vincent Aboubakar struck late on to give Cameroon a famous 1-0 victory.
Yet the Selecao were already through to the knockout phase before that match and, as expected, they advanced as the winners of Group G.
For a while on the day, it looked like Tite’s charges would be facing neighbours Uruguay in the first knockout round.
But late drama in Group H saw South Korea leapfrog both the Celeste and Ghana to finish second, after Hwang Hee-chan slotted the ball home in second-half stoppage time against Portugal.
Making it this far is a fine accomplishment for South Korea, who are participating in the knockout stage of an overseas World Cup for only the second time.
The only other occasion was in 2010, when they were eliminated by Uruguay in the round of 16.
Unfortunately, betting apps believe their journey is unlikely to last any longer this time around.
Brazil might have lost to Cameroon but Tite named a second-string starting XI for that match on account of his team’s dominant position in the group. That means many of the Selecao’s biggest names will be well rested for this match.
Neymar is not expected to play as he continues to recover from an ankle problem sustained against Serbia, but the likes of Vinicius Junior, Richarlison, Casemiro, Thiago Silva and Golden Glove contender Alisson Becker will be back for Brazil – and that is bad news for the Taeguk Warriors.
It took a while for Brazil to get going against both Serbia and Switzerland, but that was in large part due to first-game nerves for the former and the latter’s dogged defensive work.
This time, we fancy Brazil to make a breakthrough earlier in the game, which should give them a platform to win pretty comfortable.
Back the five-time world champions to march on to the quarter-finals by winning both halves of Monday’s clash with South Korea.
Tip: Brazil To Win Both Halves – 17/10 With William Hill
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