The World Cup continues on Monday with the favourites Brazil in action. Tom Carnduff has 7/1 and 15/2 best bets for the games.
Monday's recommended bets
For details of advised bookmakers and each-way terms, our transparent tipping record
- Brazil 2-1 Mexico
- Belgium 3-0 Japan
Brazil v Mexico (1500 BST, ITV)
Current favourites Brazil start the knockout phase of the competition against Mexico, who finished as runners-up to Sweden in Group F.
Mexico started off with victory over Germany, which was followed by success against South Korea. However, a final day defeat to Sweden saw them drop down to second.
Philippe Coutinho has been in great form for Brazil so far this tournament, and he is more than capable of finding the net here.
The Barcelona man has two goals to his name already, and whilst the 21/10 available on him scoring in 90 minutes looks tempting, the 15/2 price on him striking from outside the area looks great value.
He has already managed to net from outside the box once this World Cup, that coming in the draw with Switzerland, and there is certainly no fear in trying his luck from distance.
Brazil are the 8/15 favourites for this one, but Mexico have shown us that they are a decent side who are capable of scoring themselves.
6/5 can be found on both teams scoring in 90 minutes here, which isn't too unrealistic of an ask given the attacking form we've seen during the six games involving either side.
When it comes to the outright result, you'd expect Brazil to get it wrapped up without the need for extra-time.
The Seleção started the tournament slowly, but have got better as the games have progressed and may be starting to hit their peak, which will be a worry to any opposition.
Score prediction: Brazil 2-1 Mexico (Sky Bet odds: 8/1)
- Brazil and Mexico have met 40 times previously, with over half of those encounters ending in wins for the Seleção (W23 D7 L10).
- Mexico have won none of their four previous games against Brazil at the World Cup (D1 L3). In fact, the Mexicans haven’t even scored a single goal in those four matches (11 conceded).
- This will be the fifth encounter between Brazil and Mexico at the World Cup. Only three fixtures have been played on more occasions in the competition (Brazil v Sweden 7 times; Argentina v Germany 7 times: and Germany v Yugoslavia 6 times each).
- Brazil last failed to reach the quarter-finals of the World Cup back in 1990. Since then, they’ve always made it to the last eight of the tournament.
- Brazil will be looking to win their third game in a row at the World Cup which hasn’t happened since the 2006 edition.
- Brazil are unbeaten in their last 14 games (W10 D4), with their last defeat dating back to June 2017 against Argentina (0-1).
- Mexico have been knocked out in the round of 16 in each of their last six World Cup appearances. In fact, they’ve never progressed further than the second round when playing a World Cup outside their own borders.
- Mexico are the team with the most games played at the World Cup without ever winning the tournament: 56 games, 0 trophy.
- Should Mexico reach the quarter-final of the World Cup, it would be the sixth time a CONCACAF nation had reached that stage and the first time it had happened in consecutive tournaments, with Costa Rica doing so in 2014.
- Mexico faced five times more shots on target from their opponents than Brazil in the group stages (20 v 4).
- Philippe Coutinho has been directly involved in three of Brazil’s five goals at this year’s World Cup (2 goals, 1 assist). His first ever goal for the national team came against Mexico in June 2015 (2-0).
- Mexico’s Javier Hernandez has only had one shot on target in 270 minutes at this year’s World Cup, although he did score from it (against South Korea).
Belgium v Japan (1900 BST, BBC One)
One of the surprise packages of the group stages face one of the toughest possible tests at the first knockout hurdle as Japan take on Belgium in Rostov-on-Don.
Japan secured victory over Colombia on their opening day, before a draw with Senegal and defeat to Poland - where both teams seemingly 'stopped' playing during the final 15 minutes - saw them end in second in Group H.
However, their World Cup journey is expected to come to an end here with Belgium as short as 1/6 to progress to the quarter-final.
They made wholesale changes for the win over England, but Belgium will be at full strength at that includes the re-introduction of Eden Hazard.
The Chelsea man is a world class talent, and will be a huge problem that Japan will have to try and deal with.
He has two goals and one assist in just under 160 minutes of World Cup football, and you'd expect him to be involved in the goals again here.
One bet has caught my eye, and that's Hazard to score and give an assist in 90 minutes at 7/1.
There should be goals, given the fact Belgium scored nine in the group stages, and it won't be a big surprise to see them hit the net a few more times against Japan.
It's clear to see that he is in confident form, and with the greatest respect to their opposition, they know that there is opportunity to add more to their tally in comparison with other potential ties that they could have been involved in.
Japan were the first team to progress out of the group stage on fair play, picking up four yellow cards in comparison to Senegal's six.
Belgium may have picked up five, but this could be a game where low booking points are a possibility.
Score prediction: Belgium 3-0 Japan (Sky Bet odds: 8/1)
- Belgium have won only one of their five encounters with Japan (D2 L2), although that came in their last meeting in November 2017 (1-0, goal by Romelu Lukaku).
- Belgium and Japan’s only previous World Cup encounter was in the group stages of the 2002 tournament. They drew 2-2.
- Belgium have reached the knockout stages of the World Cup for the sixth time in their last seven participations, the only exception coming in 1998. They will be looking to reach the quarter-finals for the third time in their history after 1986 and 2014.
- Belgium have never kept a clean sheet in their 11 knockout games at the World Cup, losing eight of them (W2 D1). Also, five of their last nine knockout games have gone to extra-time, but only one has seen a penalty shoot-out (v Spain in 1986).
- Belgium scored more goals than any other team in this year’s World Cup group stages (9). They were also one of three teams to win all three of their games (with Croatia and Uruguay).
- Belgium are unbeaten in their last 22 games (W17 D5), their last defeat dating back to September 2016 against Spain (0-2). As of the end of the group stages, only Spain were on a longer run amongst the 32 teams at the 2018 World Cup (23 games).
- Japan have failed to score in five of their last six World Cup games against European opponents (W1 D2 L3), with their only goals coming in a 3-1 victory over Denmark in 2010.
- Since making their World Cup debut in 1998, Japan have alternated between getting knocked out in the group stages (1998, 2006, 2014) and reaching the round of 16 (2002, 2010, 2018). They have so far never made it past the last 16.
- Japan’s two previous knockout games at the World Cup have produced only one goal, for Turkey in 2002 (0-1). The other game ended 0-0 after extra-time against Paraguay in 2010 with Japan losing 5-3 on penalties.
- Romelu Lukaku has scored 23 goals in 20 appearances for Belgium under manager Roberto Martinez, scoring four goals from four shots on target at this year’s World Cup. Alongside Cristiano Ronaldo, he was the only player in the group stages to score with his right foot, left foot and head.
- Since 2010, Keisuke Honda has scored (4) or assisted (3) seven of Japan’s last 10 goals at the World Cup. He has one goal and one assist to his name at the 2018 tournament despite playing only 38 minutes.
Odds correct at 1140 BST (30/06/18)
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