Belgium vs Japan will kickoff at 2pm ET on Monday, July 2 and will be played at Rostov Arena in Rostov-on-Don.
Belgium Likely Starting XI
- Thibaut Courtois
- Toby Alderweireld, Dedryck Boyata, Jan Vertonghen
- Thomas Meunier, Kevin de Bruyne, Axel Witsel, Yannick Carrasco
- Dries Mertens, Romelu Lukaku, Eden Hazard
This is the exact lineup that took the field against both Panama and Tunisia, and we can’t see Roberto Martinez making any drastic changes.
Vincent Kompany came off the bench against England, although we don’t think Martinez will risk playing the Manchester City man just yet.
Japan Likely Starting XI
- Eiji Kawashima
- Hiroki Sakai, Maya Yoshida, Gen Shoji, Yuto Nagatomo
- Gaku Shibasaki, Makoto Hasebe, Genki Haraguchi
- Shinji Kagawa, Takashi Inui
- Shinji Okazaki
Defence will be the prerogative for the Japanese side, and we’re expecting Gen Shoji to regain his spot ahead of the more experienced Tomoaki Makino. The make up of this four man unit mirrors that used in Japan’s first two games.
Shinji Okazaki hasn’t been used as a solo striker yet, although we think his pace on the break is exactly what Japan need against an experienced defensive unit.
Other Betting Opportunities
Remember that the head to head market is relevant for the result at the end of 90 minutes, and in the event of the match going to extra time or penalties the ‘draw’ option would be the winner.
If you think there is the possibility of extra time, the ‘will there be an overtime’ market from Sports Interaction is paying +305. Japan will certainly be playing for the game to go the distance, but we feel Belgium are too good and will win in regulation time.
If you would rather take the option of picking which team will progress, Betway offer a ‘to qualify’ line, and are paying -600 for a Brazil win regardless of whether penalties are required to separate the teams. Mexico are paying +400, and this gives you an indication of the expected gap between the teams.
Of course, there are plenty of other markets that could provide a decent outlay, and may be a safer bet than the head to head opportunities.
Belgium are an excellent chance to score early in this match, and for that reason we have picked the Belgium – Belgium double in the ‘half-time/full-time’ market. You’ll get great odds of +107 here.
We can’t see Japan troubling their opponent’s solid defence, and have picked only Belgium to score in this match. You can get close to even money (-102) in the ‘which teams will score?’ market.
Picking the correct score is tough, although there’s plenty of reward for your risk. At +446, our 2-0 prediction is one of the top choices, yet will still provide a decent outlay.
FIFA World Cup Knockout Stage Odds
***Round of 16
SATURDAY, JUNE 30
Match 50: France vs Argentina Odds (10 a.m. ET)
Match 49: Uruguay vs Portugal Odds (2 p.m. ET)
SUNDAY, JULY 1
Match 51: Spain vs Russia Odds (10 a.m. ET)
Match 52: Croatia vs Denmark Odds (2 p.m. ET)
MONDAY, JULY 2
Match 53: Brazil vs Mexico Odds (10 a.m. ET)
Match 54: Belgium vs Japan Odds (2 p.m. ET)
TUESDAY, JULY 3
Match 55: Sweden vs Switzerland Odds (10 a.m. ET)
Match 56: Colombia vs England Odds (2 p.m. ET)
FRIDAY, JULY 6
Match 57: Match 49 winner vs. Match 50 winner (10 a.m. ET)
Match 58: Match 53 winner vs. Match 54 winner (2 p.m. ET)
SATURDAY, JULY 7
Match 60: Match 55 winner vs. Match 66 winner (10 a.m. ET)
Match 59 Match 51 winner vs. Match 52 winner (2 p.m. ET)
TUESDAY, JULY 10
Match 61: Match 57 winner vs. Match 58 winner (2 p.m. ET)
WEDNESDAY, JULY 11
Match 62: Match 59 winner vs. Match 60 winner (2 p.m. ET)
SATURDAY, JULY 14
Match 63: Match 61 loser vs. Match 62 loser (10 a.m. ET)
SUNDAY, JULY 15
Match 64: Match 61 winner vs. Match 62 winner (11 a.m. ET)
=> World Cup Final Odds