15:00 Monday

Japan vs Croatia – Croatia to Win & Both Teams to Score

While Croatia were expected to qualify from their group, they were pipped by Morocco to top spot. However, they could argue a round of 16 tie against Japan is easier to navigate than a match against Spain, so the Croatians will fancy their chances.

Croatia kept two clean sheets in the group stage, as well as beating Canada 4-1 to highlight their attacking ability against weak opposition. After finishing as runners up to France in the 2018 World Cup, Croatia will want to reach a similar stage this time round, and will have to be aware of Japan’s threat and approach the game professionally.

Japan caused all mayhem in their group, toppling both Germany and Spain to top the group, which no one saw coming. They are a determined squad of players, and will fancy their chances against Croatia.

They have raised their game against strong opposition, which we have seen in the group stage, by beating both Germany and Spain, but also losing to Costa Rica. They are also yet to keep a clean sheet, unlike Croatia, who have only conceded a single goal.

With that in mind, there is every chance both teams can get on the scoresheet. Croatia’s experience in the knockout stages from 2018, where they reached the final playing in extra time in all their knockout games, will serve them well here, and we expect them to set up a quarter final with either Brazil or South Korea.

We also think, with Croatia and Japan’s scoring record, that both teams will get on the score sheet, so Croatia to win and both teams to score is the play here.

19:00 Monday

Brazil vs South Korea – Brazil to win and Over 2.5 goals

Brazil play South Korea in the Round of 16 with a chance to play either Japan or Croatia in the quarter finals.

Many expect Brazil to go all the way, and many may expect this to be an easy Brazil win. They qualified without conceding a shot on target in their first two games, before conceding to Cameroon having already topped the group. Richarlison hit a brace in their opening game and a Casemiro goal got them past Switzerland.

While many didn’t see South Korea progressing into the knockout rounds, their reward for edging past Uruguay is a knockout game against favourites Brazil. We have seen many shocks in the tournament so far, and South Korea will need to pull off another miracle to book their place in the knockouts. They have already beaten Portugal in the group stage, but Brazil in the knockouts is a very difficult task at hand.

South Korea will need to dig deep against Brazil, but we think the flair and passion from the Brazilians will be too much for the well-disciplined South Koreans. We think Brazil will win, and there will be over 2.5 goals in the game. South Korea have shown their attacking prowess against Ghana and Portugal, while also showing their defensive resilience against Uruguay, and will not pose an easy task for Brazil.