The final two days of round of 16 action at the FIFA World Cup takes place on Monday and Tuesday. Pre-tournament favourites Brazil will be in action against South Korea in their round of 16 clash on Monday, while Croatia can also book their spot in the last eight with a victory against an impressive Japan side.
Croatia vs Japan
- Croatia: 11/10
- Draw: 23/10
- Japan: 3/1
One of the most engaging round of 16 ties to be played at the World Cup this year will come from the Al Janoub Stadium, as the impressive Japan take on Croatia. It has been a fine run to this stage of the competition for Japan, as they have impressed against European opposition. In the group stages, they picked up victories against Spain and Germany. Before those wins, they had claimed just two wins in ten against European opposition at the World Cup.
This is the fourth time that Japan has reached the round of 16 at the World Cup, which also includes appearances at this stage in the previous two editions. However, they have never reached the quarterfinals. If successful, they will become only the third nation from Asia to reach that stage, and the first since South Korea at the 2002 World Cup.
Croatia eventually needed to settle for second in their group, as Morocco seized top spot on the final day of action. However, they are yet to lose at the World Cup so far this year, with their 0-0 draw against Belgium in their previous fixture being their second stalemate at the competition.
Croatia will be playing in the round of 16 for the third time in their history, but they have managed to advance on both previous appearances. Their record in knockout games at the World Cup is also very strong, as they have only lost twice in their previous eight.
However, there is something about Japan at the World Cup this year, and they have been able to stand up to every test that they have faced. We could see this match ending in a draw, before Japan advance on penalties.
Brazil vs South Korea
- Brazil: 3/10
- Draw: 5/1
- South Korea: 9/1
The pre-tournament favourites will be back in action at the World Cup on Monday, as they compete in their round of 16 fixture against South Korea. Brazil has an excellent record against their Asian rival, as they have won six of the previous seven fixtures. Their most recent win came back in June, as Brazil landed a 5-1 win against South Korea.
Brazil has looked exceptionally strong throughout the competition to this point, and they topped their group in commanding fashion. However, they do come into this fixture having been beaten in their previous fixture by Cameroon. But, Tite is expected to recall all his big stars for this showdown against the Asian nation, and they will likely dominate the possession.
South Korea hasn’t previously beaten a South American nation at the World Cup. They have lost four of the six matches that they have played, and have picked up just two draws. South Korea previously reached this stage of the competition in 2010, but they were beaten by Uruguay in the round of 16.
However, they should come into this fixture in good confidence, having beaten Portugal 2-1 in their last match. But, we still find it extremely hard to see any other outcome than a victory for Brazil to book their place in the last eight of the competition.