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FIFA World Cup: July 3: Update, Preview and Best Bets

Tue, Jul 3, 1:23pm by Staff Writer

Highly-fancied Belgium were fortunate to progress to the quarterfinals of the 2018 FIFA World Cup after coming from two goals down in the second half to beat Japan.

One of the tournament favourites, the Belgians were in strife when Takashi Inui scored in the 52nd minute to give Japan a 2-0 lead.

Goals to Jan Vertonghen and Marouane Fellaini had the match headed for extra time, before Nacer Chadli scored in the 94th minute in incredible scenes in Rostov.

Belgium next face Brazil in Rostov, after the South American’s defeated Mexico 2-0 in Samara. Belgium are $6 to win the World Cup, with Brazil priced at $4.

It is El Tri’s seventh consecutive loss at the round of 16 stage of a World Cup, as they were unable to break the shackles against the tournament favourites.

Brazil scored two second half goals through Neymar and Roberto Firmino to ensure victory, with their quarterfinal match on July 6.

The final matches in the round of 16 bracket take place tonight, with Sweden and Switzerland meeting in Saint Petersburg.

After winning group G ahead of Germany and Mexico, Sweden will continue their run in the 2018 FIFA World Cup riding a wave of momentum.

The Swedes have kept clean sheets in four of its past five matches and defeated Mexico 3-0 in a must-win game last week.

Switzerland themselves will not be without confidence after drawing with Brazil and going nine matches undefeated themselves.

Sweden are $2.88 outsiders at Sportsbet to progress to the quarterfinals, with Switzerland narrow favourites at $2.70. The draw is a low price at $3.00.

11 of Switzerland’s last 13 goals at the World Cup have been scored in the second half, including four of five this tournament.

This is the biggest match for both countries in some time and with a winnable opponent in either Colombia or England in the next round, a win could set up their campaign.

Backing the half-time result to be a draw at $1.87 in what will be a defensive match looks a good play, given the low price available on the full-time draw.

The final round of 16 match between Colombia and England takes place in Moscow, with both teams performing well at the World Cup thus far.

Colombia recovered from a game one nightmare against Japan to finish atop group H. England won their first two matches to ensure progression before a dour 1-0 loss to Belgium in a dead rubber.

England are heavy favourites for the match at $2.10, with Colombia $3.75 outsiders. The draw is paying $3.25.

England will be looking to make the quarterfinals for the first time at a major tournament since 2006, with this World Cup an open tournament with the likes of Spain, Germany and Argentina eliminated.

James Rodriguez is a fitness concern for Colombia with a late call to be made on his availability, which would drop the Colombians odds dramatically.

England are undefeated against Colombia in five meetings, winning three of them.  The teams last met over a decade ago in New Jersey with England winning 3-2.

Set piece goals are the Colombian’s strength, scoring three of their five goals from them at the World Cup. They have scored a goal in their past eight World Cup matches which is the longest run of any team left in the competition.

Colombia are a dangerous team and England only beat minnows Panama and Tunisia, albeit convincingly. Their recent big game disasters are front of mind and a draw after 90 minutes is the best value result in this fixture at $3.25.

FIFA World Cup Round of 16 Match Odds – Sportsbet

Sweden $2.88 Draw $3 Switzerland $2.70

Colombia $3.75 Draw $3.25 England $2.10

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