The tilt between Belgium and Japan will be played at the Rostov Arena in Rostov on July 2nd. The Red Devils expectedly advanced to the Round of 16 without much of trouble after winning all three games in the group, while Japan was the luckiest team at the World Cup as they reached the knockout phase in an unorthodox manner.
Belgium vs. Japan
Three-Way: 1: Belgium -250; X: +375 Draw; 2: Japan +900
Spread -1.5: Belgium +106; Japan -139
Total 2.5 goals: Over -120; Under +100
The Red Devils secured the top spot in the group following a narrow victory over England, and although they got a relatively easier opponent in the Round of 16 than the Three Lions, Belgium is in a stronger part of the bracket and could face Brazil in the quarter-finals. Still, that is not a problem for the Belgians who displayed solid performances and perhaps showed the best form at the World Cup thus far. Their attack is looking good as they scored nine goals in the previous three games, the highest-scoring team in the group stage, so conceding a goal is not such a big issue for them as Romelu Lukaku, Eden Hazard and co. can outscore any opponent. Belgium’s chances to win the World Cup are now +650, while the Red Devils are +130 to reach the semi-finals.
The Samurai Blue lost the final match of the group phase to Poland, but thanks to their discipline and the fact that they collected fewer yellow cards than Senegal, the Japanese made it to the Round of 16, the feature that never happened at the World Cup before. However, it’s going to be extremely hard to defeat Belgium and reach the quarter-finals as Japan has a mountain to climb against one of the biggest favorites to lift the trophy in Russia. This is a big achievement for them and Japan will play without an imperative to win, which could turn out to be their biggest strength in this clash. Japan’s chances to win the World Cup are now +25000, while the Samurai Blue is +2000 to reach the semi-finals.
Belgium shouldn’t have problems to beat Japan here but playing them to win is an unnecessary risk as you could gain little at -250 odds, so backing the -1.5 spread is a much better option if you are sure the Red Devils will go to the next round.