Thu, Jun 21, 10:51am by Staff Writer
The field for the Round of 16 in the 2018 FIFA World Cup is starting to take shape with results over the past couple of nights.
Group A has already been decided with a round of matches remaining with hosts Russia and Uruguay to progress.
Russia and Uruguay will meet early next week to determine top position in Group A. The hosts have a superior edge in goal difference with their two victories being a 5-0 drubbing of Saudi Arabia and yesterday morning’s 3-1 triumph over Egypt.
Despite dominating possession in both games, Uruguay have emerged 1-0 victors in their two fixtures to date, defeating Egypt in their opener and Saudi Arabia overnight.
Russia are favoured to win Group A at $1.50 with Uruguay a $2.50 chance.
Action in Group B overnight has seen Morocco eliminated from progressing to the next stage of the tournament, after losing 1-0 to Portugal in the opening game of yesterday’s action.
Cristiano Ronaldo scored in the fourth minute of the encounter, perfectly converting Joao Moutinho’s cross into the back of the net, which provided to be the only goal of the game.
Morocco dominated play in various parts of the game and were unlucky not to score as they were in their first game of the tournament against Iran.
The other game of Group B overnight was between Spain and Iran with a Diego Costa goal in the 54th minute proving the difference in a 1-0 victory for Spain. Iran thought they had equalised in the 62nd minute but a VAR review saw Saeid Ezatolahi’s goal disallowed.
By winning their opening game against Morocco, Iran are still able to progress through to the next stage, despite Portugal and Spain holding a one point advantage in the group standings.
Spain are favoured to win Group B at $1.67 with Portugal at $2.10 and Iran $26.
In outright betting, Spain are a $5.50 second favourite, with Portugal at $17 and Iran a $501 chance.
Round two of Group C kicks off tonight with the Socceroos set to take on Denmark at 10pm AEST.
Despite quite a positive performance against France in their opening clash of the tournament, betting wise Australia is a clear $4.25 underdog with the Danes a $1.95 favourite in the Win-Draw-Win market, with the Draw at $3.30.
In the correct score market, a Denmark win 1-0 is the favoured option at $6.50.
In what is essentially a must win encounter for Australia, expect them to put everything on the line to make sure they stay in contention for the knockout stages.
Take Australia and the draw in the double chance market at $1.72.
In the other Group C fixture tonight, France and Peru will meet at 1:00am Friday morning AEST. Peru will be keen to atone for their 1-0 defeat to Denmark while the French will look to show why they are equal third favourites to win the tournament.
An Australia and Peru win tonight will certainly open up Group C leading into round 3 and with Peru in the same position as Australia, they will be desperate to not concede defeat here.
Expect the goalkeepers to be busy tonight in this encounter with quality strikers from both sides including Antoine Griezmann for France and Paolo Guerrero of Peru.
We like both teams to score at $2.10.
In the third match on Thursday’s schedule, Argentina and Croatia will face off at 4:00am Friday morning AEST in what many would have considered to be the two expected qualifiers out of Group D.
With Argentina being held to a 1-1 draw against Iceland over the weekend, this does not appear to be a formality with tonight’s game especially important for Argentina where a defeat could prove disastrous for their chances of progressing.
Croatia kicked off their campaign with a clinical 2-0 victory over an underwhelming Nigeria and will take this momentum into their clash with the Lionel Messi side.
Expect a high quality encounter and Argentina to narrowly prevail.
Our suggested bet in this one is the draw then Argentina in the half-time/ full-time market at $5.50
FIFA World Cup Match Odds – Sportsbet
Denmark $1.95 Draw $3.30 Australia $4.25
France $1.57 Draw $4.20 Peru $6.50
Argentina $2.10 Draw $3.25 Croatia $3.75
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