World Cup Round of 16: Two Favorites in Action TodayPublished July 2, 2018 by Sol FH
The Round of 16 continues with action between Brazil vs. Mexico, and, Belgium vs. Japan.
Another day, another four world-class soccer teams going head-to-head from Russia. The 2018 FIFA World Cup has been one of the best in recent memory, with surprises lurking around every corner. We have seen the mighty Messi, and Cristiano Ronaldo ousted from the competition in the same day, earlier in the Group Stage the reigning World Cup Champions Germany were taken out, and, last night Spain was beaten by Russia in penalty shots. Truly worth watching each game religiously as each match has its surprises.
Today, we've got two Round of 16 highlights ready with Neymar and Co. taking on Mexico, and, the star-studded Belgium roster taking on the talented Japanese men. Things are starting to get interesting now that the quarterfinal fixtures are filling up. We already know that France will take on Uruguay, while Russia must go against Croatia. So let's take a look first at today's match-ups and see what we come up with.
Brazil vs. Mexico, 15:00 GMT, Samara Arena
If you think that Mexico is a real underdog then why not take a look at this statistic. Mexico has advanced to the knockout stage in the World Cup for the seventh straight time, only their opponents Brazil can say the same thing. Mexico, the giant slayer's, was behind putting Germany in the proverbial guillotine, and then they beat South Korea. Their third Group Stage match was a flop, losing 3-0 to the Swedes, but they managed to hang on and find themselves live on center stage today against arguably the best team in the world right now, Brazil.
Today at 15:00 GMT, Mexican soccer will be defined. Will they be able to beat the odds and send Brazil packing? Will this be the first quarterfinal berth for the Mexican squad, having never made it that far over the last six tournaments? They will be playing a team that hasn't gotten to its full potential yet, which could be even worse news. Brazil, the powerhouse, the best... Manager Tite has confirmed his starting team for the math, and at this point, Marcelo is out due to injury. Filipe Luis will be able to fill that spot, but we may still see Marcelo in some capacity today.
On the Mexican roster, we need to keep an eye on Hirving Lozano, the 22-year-old PSV star, Javier Hernandez, dubbed the quickest player in the competition reaching top speeds of 32+ km/h, and others bet365 Sports has posted its odds in favor of Brazil at 1.50, while Mexico is way behind at 8.00. Last night both games went to a penalty shootout, so be aware of the draw after '90 listed at 4.33.
Belgium vs. Japan, 19:00 GMT, Rostov Arena
With some of the greatest names in the world of soccer these days, Belgium is becoming a team to watch very carefully. They have been one of the scoring-most teams of this year's World Cup, with Romelu Lukaku in the hunt for the World Cup golden boot with 4-goals already. Belgium won their Group in top form. They won all three of their group matches beginning with a 3-0 win over Panama, followed by a 5-2 win over Tunisia, and lastly a 1-0 win over England. Tonight, they face Japan. A team that somehow keeps on going. Japan won its first group match 2-1 over Columbia, followed by a 2-2 draw with Senegal, until they lost to Poland 1-0, but made it through in the second spot nonetheless.
Belgium is expected to have all eight players that were rested against England back in action tonight. The most-likely lineup is Thibaut Courtois, Jan Vertonghen, Toby Alderweireld, Axel Witsel, Yannick Carrasco, Thomas Meunier, Dries Mertens, Vincent Kompany, Kevin De Bruyne, Eden Hazard, and of course Romelu Lukaku.
Japan is expected to stay the same. bet365 Sports gives the advantage to Belgium at 1.36, while Japan is at 10.50, and a draw at 5.00.