We are almost through with the group stages of the ongoing FIFA World Cup in Russia and the top 16 teams are set to take on each other starting June 30.
A good number of football punters had their money on Germany to go all the way, but the last time’s World Cup champions made an unceremonious exit from the tournament after they lost 0-2 to South Korea.
The focus is now on the teams in form like Uruguay, Portugal, Belgium, Spain, Brazil and the likes. So anyone who wants to bet on the tournament winners from hereon should make his/her predictions very carefully. To be on the safer side, if you’re just starting out with World Cup football betting, you must make use of some free bet offers to maximize your winnings.
Let’s now briefly analyse what the round of 16 games between the following four teams would be like.
Uruguay vs Portugal
Uruguay have gotten into an excellent position after having won all their group games. They are up against Portugal instead of the highly feared Spanish side. Having said that, Portugal drew their match with Spain and have stayed unbeaten in the competition so far.
If we take a look at the South American sides that have gone up against European teams in the World Cup tournaments of the past, particularly in the knockout stages, they have won only 8 out of the 31 matches since 1990. 65% of these matches ended up under 2.5 goals, and that brings the 0-0 and 1-1 stalemates into the picture.
Interestingly Portugal have drawn 6 out of their last 7 matches (which were played against top-10 sides). Uruguay on the other hand drew only their last match (against the top 10). Furthermore, when talking about the major tournaments, Uruguay have normally scored less than 3 goals in 14 out of their last 20 outings.
Spain vs Russia
Needless to say that Spain go as huge favourites into this last 16 encounter. This match against Russia comes to them after they topped their group B ahead of Portugal, Iran and Morocco. Portugal being the second ranked side in that group play a much tougher match against Uruguay. Here’s a preview of that encounter.
Russia enjoyed a fairly lenient draw so far, after having been grouped alongside Egypt and Saudi Arabia. The last time they faced Uruguay, they were beaten 3-0 by the South American side. On the whole, Russia has lost 8 out of their last 10 matches against the top 10 teams of the world, including to the likes of France, Brazil and Argentina during the international friendlies before the tournament.
On the other hand, the Russians did manage to score a goal in half of these encounters and Spain haven’t had the best of the defensive line so far in the ongoing tournament. They conceded 5 goals in their last 3 matches. Even if the Russians get on the score line against them, we all know that Spain has a high quality side that can bounce back any time they like. Moreover, they have a very formidable away record, having won an impressive 24 games out of their last 27 competitive away outings.
On the whole, you can easily back Spain to win this one, and go with Uruguay in the other Round-16 encounter.