World Cup – Round of 16 – 1 July
World Cup Spotlight Bet – Big Show
Betting tips and soccer previews and predictions
Spain (win and over 2.5 goals) v Russia @ $2.45
Luzhniki Stadium, 12.00am
After seeing quite a few goals in the first two games of the knockout stage, I think we will be seeing more of the same in this one with a convincing Spanish win to set them on their roadmap to the final. Spain were patchy in the group stage, only grabbing the one win but they have had time to bed after a disruptive lead in to the Cup with the sacking of their manager. They have quality all over the park and De Gea has gotten his howler out of the way, I expect Costa to get on the scoresheet again, the big man has been hungry for goals.
On the other hand you’ve got a Russian side who have probably exceeding expectations and been heavily amongst the goals, showcasing some firepower that would make Putin’s Crimea offensive proud. Taking Spain and BTTS isn’t a bad shout at $3.60 but that Spanish backline with a Busquets screen is a different beast to breakdown than the likes of Saudi Arabia and Egypt. Therefore, Russia might not manage to find the back of the net if Spain are to step it up but it’s important to note that La Roja have been more fragile than usual, conceding 5 times in their group matches.
This should be decent viewing with both sides inclined to play attack football and when Spain put it together, it can be football art. The last time these two met in November 2017, it ended in a 3-3 draw which will give Russia some confidence. Weighing into this leg is the fact that 10 of Spain’s last 15 matches have seen over 2.5 goals and with their quality, particularly in the middle, I can see them creating many chances for the big ogre to get on the end of.
Prediction: 3 – 1
Croatia (win and over 1.5 goals) v Denmark @ $2.55
Nizhny Novgorod Stadium, 4.00am
I’ve landed on this leg after an inner tussle between Croatia and over 1.5 goals or under 3.5 goals. Philosophically, you would rather be cheering on goals and if Denmark end up scoring then it does only allow for one outcome, plus under 3.5 goals was only sitting at $2.20 so this is where I’ve landed.
Croatia are everyone’s second favourite side. They’ve got a strong squad and have played some good football so far, arguably coming out of the group stages as the most impressive side of the tournament. Denmark were lacklustre in their last game against France with both sides coming to the table and settling on a point. Australia were unlucky (to not have a decent finisher) in their game against the Danes and probably should have taken all three points, then it was a far from convincing win against Peru to get them to where they are now.
Denmark are organised at the back, Schmeichel in goal is of decent quality but apart from Eriksen and some wirey touches from Sisto, there’s not a whole lot in this Danish side that suggests they will get past this game. Where I believe it will be won, is in the midfield. With Modric and Rakitic pulling the strings in the middle, the Croats will have too much class. Mandzukic playing as a target man is freeing up Modric in a more advanced role and he’s been a dangerous goal threat, we could see him amongst the goals again. Perisic is another key figure in a quality squad. I can see the Croats going up by 1 and subsequently Denmark having to commit men forward and getting caught out for a 2-0 win to the men at from the Adriatric Sea.
Prediction: 2 – 0