WC 2022: Odds and predictions for Tuesday’s 2nd round matches
0 out of 3
Youssef Loulidi/Fantasista/Getty Images
The round of 16 of the 2022 FIFA World Cup concludes on Tuesday with two exciting matches with what on the surface should be fairly obvious winners.
Spain and Portugal look set for the quarter-finals, but an unbeaten Morocco side and a resilient Switzerland side respectively will look to cause an upset.
Can the underdogs win and which stories bear watching in Qatar?
Find out with this preview of Tuesday’s schedule, as well as the current favorites according to oddsmakers.
Tuesday schedule and odds
1 out of 3
Wu Zhizhao/VCG via Getty Images
Morocco vs Spain
10 a.m. ET; Streaming on Fox Sports, Telemundo and Peacock
Spain (-185; bet $185 to win $100)
Draw (+310; bet $100 to win $310)
Portugal vs Switzerland
2 p.m. ET; Streaming on Fox Sports, Telemundo and Peacock
All odds from DraftKing’s Sportsbook.
Morocco vs Spain
2 out of 3
AP Photo/Pavel Golovkin
On the surface, Spain is a team with the potential in the world to win the World Cup. The talent and depth is off the charts. There were expectations that they would enter the tournament and they rose to the occasion, annihilating Costa Rica 7-0 in the first match of Group E play.
Then came a 1-1 draw with Germany, followed by a 2-1 loss to Japan, and suddenly there was a real question about the Spanish team’s ability to compete realistically. Fair enough as it hadn’t proven to that point that it could be the consistently dominant team to take home the most coveted prize in the sport.
Things don’t get any easier on Tuesday in their second round match with Morocco.
The opposition went undefeated in Group F on their way to finishing in first place. They tied England and the Netherlands for the most points in group play (7) and advanced to the knockout round for only the second time in their nation’s history (1986).
A win on Tuesday would not only send them to the quarter-finals, but also mark the deepest advancement in World Cup play in the country’s history.
Morocco have gone eight games unbeaten and conceded just two goals during that stretch, making them both incredibly dominant and somehow underrated. Hakim Ziyech is the most prominent star in an under-the-radar side, but striker Yousef En-Nesyri is worth keeping an eye on as the team tries to score one of the higher-profile upsets in a rather unpredictable tournament.
Despite Morocco’s unblemished record at the tournament, it would certainly be an upset if for no other reason than the abundance of talent in the Spanish squad and its status as a genuine contender for the Cup.
Gavi, Pedri, Álvaro Morata and Ansu Fati would on paper be the difference in the tournament and ensure that the bigger country is the favorite to emerge victorious.
High goals, increased control and an opponent whose own excellence throughout this World Cup game to this point will produce a fantastic result as Morocco become the country’s most successful team ever.
Tip: Morocco defeats Spain, 2-1
Portugal vs Switzerland
3 out of 3
Mohammad Karamali/DeFodi photos via Getty Images
There is no “me” in the team, but there is a Christiano Ronaldo in the Portuguese dressing room, and that could be enough to generate the kind of turmoil that costs the country this World Cup.
Ronaldo angered his own head coach, Fernando Santos, when he launched an outburst in response to being substituted midway through the second half of a shock defeat to South Korea.
Santos was vocal in his displeasure with his star player for his actions after the match.
“I saw the pictures and I didn’t like it at all, I really didn’t like it at all. From then on, everything is finished, these matters are resolved at home, and everyone is focused on tomorrow’s game.” he told the media after the loss.
Ronaldo, who made history in this tournament by becoming the first player to score in five World Cups, probably thought he was too valuable to his team not to play. Frustration has probably boiled over, but that doesn’t excuse blowing up after the coach’s decision on an international stage.
While things were dealt with and the focus shifted fairly quickly, the fact that Santos is still being questioned as the team prepares to take on Switzerland in the last round of 16 match suggests there is certainly a distraction in the dressing room. .
A distraction the Swiss will look to take advantage of.
The underdog side have proven their grit, defeating Cameroon and Serbia while being tough with world number 1 team Brazil, losing by just a single goal. A solid midfield and backfield will prove difficult for the Portuguese to overcome, even with the internationally acclaimed Ronaldo leading the way, and could be the difference in another massive upset, with Granit Xhaka a player to watch in the match.
Big players do turn up in high-profile places, though, and for all the controversy surrounding him and his actions in what has been a troubled year professionally, Ronaldo is a big player.
One of the best to ever lace up a pair of cleats, he proved the difference on Tuesday afternoon, propelling Portugal past Switzerland and into the quarter-finals.
Tip: Portugal narrowly wins, 1-0