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Japan v Croatia & Brazil v South Korea: Ian Wilkerson's World Cup betting tips

The Round of 16 continues on Monday when two more quarter-final places will be filled.

Racing Post’s Ian Wilkerson gives his best bets for those matches - Japan v Croatia and Brazil v South Korea.

Clash could prove a slow burner

What: Japan v Croatia, World Cup last 16

Where: Al Janoub Stadium, Al Wakrah

When: 15:00, Monday 5th December 2022

How to watch: BBC One

Odds: Japan 3/1, Draw 9/4, Croatia 1/1

Whether they book their place in the quarter-finals or not, it has been a remarkable World Cup for Japan, who punctuated surprise wins over Spain and Germany with a shock defeat to Costa Rica.

Topping their section was a huge achievement for Japan but their progress owed much to short golden periods in both of their victories where they were able to score twice in quick succession.

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Other than that, they have not shown much ability in the final third and, if they struggled to find a way through a Costa Rica defence who shipped seven goals against Spain, they may struggle against Croatia.

The same, though, could probably be said of their opponents who, despite beating Canada 4-1, were involved in goalless draws against Morocco and Belgium. 

This could prove a cagey encounter, so under 2.5 goals at 8/13 could be a sensible play.

Perisic is capable of making his presence felt

Even though this could be a low-scoring encounter, it is Croatia who look to have the greatest ability up front and they should create the greater number of chances.

Expect Tottenham wideman Ivan Perisic to be in the thick of the action as he still retains plenty of pace that can threaten the Japanese defence, even though he is now 33 years old.

He set up two of the goals that helped his country towards what proved a vital 4-1 success over Canada in their second group game. and odds of 10/3 that he can register an assist against Japan.

Brazil ready to put on a show

What: Brazil v South Korea, World Cup last 16

Where: Stadium 974, Doha

When: 19.00, Monday 5th December 2022

How to watch: ITV1

Odds: Brazil 3/10, Draw 17/4, South Korea 10/1

South Korea were shock qualifiers on a crazy final day in Group H, but their luck looks set to run out when they face Brazil on Monday.

The Koreans grabbed a last-gasp winner against section toppers Portugal which sent Uruguay and Ghana home, but their defence could be vulnerable against the tournament favourites.

Brazil lost their final qualifying match to a late Cameroon goal, but they had already booked their place in the last 16 with victories over Serbia and Switzerland in their first two group matches, so it is easy to put a line through that showing in which they rang the changes.

It took them a while to get on the scoresheet in those wins - all three of the goals in those matches came in the second half - but they have the chance to add to their goals tally against a team that have already conceded three times against Ghana in this tournament.

Brazil’s price to win the game in 90 minutes does not provide much of a profit, so take Tite’s side to win and over 2.5 goals in the game at 21/20.

Richarlison now Brazil’s main man

Brazil’s progress to the last 16 has not been without incident as, while they gained the notable scalps of Serbia and Switzerland, they have suffered key injuries.

Neymar has not played since he was injured in their opening match and, while hopes are high that the PSG forward will still be involved later in the tournament, the campaign is over for Arsenal’s Gabriel Jesus.

However, coach Tite has a huge cast of forwards who can rise to the occasion and there is great potential for Tottenham’s Richarlison to demonstrate his value to the team.

He scored both goals in the opening victory over Serbia and came into the tournament having found the net seven times in his previous six internationals.

Richarlison can lead from the front again and is a good bet at 15/8 to score at any time.

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