World Cup 2022: Odds, updated predictions for Monday’s round-of-16 matches
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On the world stage, there is nothing quite like the pursuit of the 2022 FIFA World Cup title.
Even in a country like the United States, where the gridiron is king, there was great excitement for the country’s soccer team in Qatar.
So it was a nationwide disappointment when the USMNT lost 3-1 to the Netherlands on Saturday in the Round of 16.
Attention now turns to Monday’s action, with Japan facing Croatia before Brazil face South Korea.
Among the oddsmakers’ favorites are Brazil, Spain, Argentina and France, who reached the quarter-finals with a 3-1 win over Poland on Sunday.
As an added bonus, Kylian Mbappé passed Pele for most goals scored at the World Cup before turning 24 with his ninth strike over two tournaments.
The young superstar can build on that record when Les Bleus take on England in the last eight on Saturday.
There is also a lot of intrigue surrounding Morocco, who have not been this deep in the World Cup since 1986.
However, the Atlas Lions will have their hands full against Spain on Tuesday if they want to extend their stay in the competition.
So far this has been a World Cup full of upsets, surprises and stunning performances, so as the remaining teams head to the quarter-finals, FIFA enthusiasts should expect to have plenty more reasons to root for their squad.
Odds on the knockout stage
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Monday, December 5
Japan (+165; bet $165 to win $100) vs. Croatia (-200; bet $100 to win $200): 10 a.m. ET, Fox
Brazil (-1200) vs. South Korea (+700: 2 p.m. ET, Fox
Tuesday, December 6
Morocco (+255) vs. Spain (-320): 10 a.m. ET, Fox
Portugal (-220 vs. Switzerland (+175): 2 p.m. ET, Fox
Friday 9 December
The Netherlands (+135) vs. Argentina (-160): 2 p.m. ET, Fox
Saturday 10 December
England (+115) vs. France (-145): 2 p.m. ET, Fox
Odds via DraftKing’s Sportsbook
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Japan will try to reach the World Cup quarter-finals for the first time when they face Croatia on Monday.
Samurai Blue defeated European giants Spain and Germany to finish top of Group E and secure their place in the last 16.
Now they have a chance to steal even more headlines with a win over a Croatian side who reached the final in 2018.
However, the European team is the oddsmakers’ favorite to win on Monday, and for good reason: It is unbeaten in Qatar and has lost just once in its last 10 matches.
This will likely play out like a chess match on the court, but eventually Japan’s history book will end.
Prediction: Croatia 2, Japan 1
Barring a setback, Brazilian talisman Neymar should be on the field for the round of 16 tie against South Korea.
Even without the Paris Saint-Germain star, the Seleção will be strong favorites to advance to the quarter-finals.
Brazil is bursting at the seams with the kind of talent that knows how to attack.
But as much as some fans might suggest the South Americans are better off without Neymar, it’s clear they are flat without his creativity.
South Korea will likely rely on defense and counter-attack against its more famous opponent. However, the backline presses intensely, and can leave little room for Brazil’s attack. It will also lean heavily on star forward Heung-Min Son up front.
Ultimately, though, this fight will come down to experience.
In the seven times these two teams have met since their first meeting in 1995, Brazil have won six times, the last of which was a 5-1 victory in a friendly in June.
Prediction: Brazil 4, South Korea 2