FIFA World Cup: Monday 5 December

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Japan vs Croatia

5 December 2022

BCA Prediction: Croatia win or draw (X2)

Japan booked their place in the last 16 for the fourth time in their World Cup history, but they have never made it into the quarter-finals. Having claimed two massive scalps on their way to topping their group, they will be confident of making this their greatest World Cup ever. They scored twice in each of their wins over Germany and Spain, so they have shown they are a side that is capable of soaking up pressure and then picking their moments to strike. In all their 3 matches so far, the Japanese averaged just 32.3% possession, with their wins against Germany and Spain coming with 26.1% and 17.7% possession, respectively.

Zlatko Dalic’s Croatia dumped Belgium’s ageing generation out of the tournament by holding out for a goalless draw. They scored their only goals of this tournament against a Canadian side that lost to all 3 teams in the group. Even though their attack has failed to impress, they have been solid defensively, with the early goal from Canada’s Alphonso Davies being the only goal they have let in so far. Croatia’s defence will take all the acclaim for such miserliness, but a lot of it should also go to their midfield trio, whose technical abilities have helped control possession and keep opponents away from their goal area. 

Japan are comfortable playing without much of the ball, so they will not be overly fazed. Also the fact that Croatia failed to score in two of their 3 group-stage matches, means that we do not expect Croatia to blow Japan away. Croatia have drawn after 90 mins in five of their last six knockout matches in major tournaments, while both teams have scored in 6 of Japan’s last eight World Cup games. Both teams could cancel each other out here, but the quality in Croatia’s midfield tips the scale in our view, so we expect them to win or draw.

Key Takeaways:

  • Japan scored four goals against Germany and Spain in the group stage
  • Croatia have drawn 5 of their last six tournament knockout games, including three 1-1 draws at the last World Cup
  • Croatia failed to score in two of their 3 group-stage matches

Brazil vs South Korea

5 December 2022

BCA Prediction: Brazil win

Brazil are still most people’s favourite to win this World Cup, even after a 1-0 loss to Cameroon in their final group match. They had already qualified, so Tite rotated heavily, which means the big guns will be back for this match. Brazil have an array of attacking options, and even if Neymar can not return in time for this game, the likes of Vinicius Jnr, Rodrygo, Richarlison and Raphinha are waiting to make their mark. Therefore, it is not surprising that they scored 29 goals in their last 10 games.

South Korea will know how tough this encounter will be as they lost 5-1 to the Samba stars in a friendly back in June. However, in their final group stage match, they showed real spirit to come back and beat Portugal, so they will not be pushovers here. They scored twice in each of the last two group stage games and have now scored 12 goals in their last 8 competitive fixtures. They have conceded five goals in the last 4 of those same fixtures, so we can be assured that they will contribute to what promises to be an entertaining clash.

Tite’s side are not the usual swashbuckling Brazil sides of previous years. Even though they have been scoring goals and playing some entertaining football, it is at the back that they have impressed the most. With a world-class goalkeeper in Allison and an experienced Centre back pairing of Thiago Silva and Marquinhos flanked by solid defensive fullbacks in Alex Sandro and Danilo, they have conceded just 3 goals in their last 10 competitive games. We expect their stingy defence to keep the Koreans at bay while their exciting forwards do the damage upfront.

Key Takeaways:

  • Brazil have scored 29 goals across their last 10 games
  • Brazil beat South Korea 5-1 the last both teams met in a friendly earlier this year
  • South Korea have conceded 5 goals in their last 4 competitive fixtures

FIFA World Cup 2022

The FIFA World Cup is the biggest sporting event in the world, and this will be the first time the event will be hosted by a Middle Eastern country. Qatar 2022 is set to have a massive geographical impact on the region for the first since the tournament’s inception in 1930. 

The World Cup is a unique event in many aspects, bringing about various opportunities, especially for football enthusiasts,  and with it comes many betting markets. The competition among the 32 qualified national teams will be very fierce; hence you need a guide and insight on which teams or players to stake on.

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