World Cup last 16 games five and six previews

The World Cup knockout stages continue on Monday, as another four teams look to book their places in the quarter-final of the competition. Here is what is happening in Monday’s action:

Brazil v Mexico (Kick-off 3 PM)

Perennial World Cup challengers Brazil will face Mexico in Samara in the last 16 on Monday. The Selecao will be highly confident of booking their place in the quarter-finals of Russia 2018.

Tite’s team finished top of their group beating Costa Rica and Serbia after a disappointing 1-1 draw in their opener. The results in Russia mean that the South American giants are now undefeated in 14 games. In fact, they have suffered just one defeat in their last 24 outings.

The Selecao have been impressive at both ends of the field, as they have kept clean sheets in seven of their last eight matches while scoring two or more goals in four of their previous five outings.

Mexico looked to be cruising to the knockout stages after victories over Germany and South Korea in their first two group games. However, a 3-0 defeat against Sweden in the final match saw El Tri demoted to second spot in the group.

Juan Carlos Osorio’s side has been highly inconsistent of late, as they have won three and lost three of their last seven outings. The Central American team face an uphill struggle to make the last eight of the competition.

Prediction

Brazil win and over 2.5 goals

Belgium v Japan (Kick-off 7 PM)

Belgium head into their last 16 clash with Japan as big favourites to make it through to the quarter-finals of the competition.

Roberto Martinez’s side has been in fine form of late, winning all three group games against Tunisia, Panama and England. The wins in Russia extend the Red Devils winning run to five games.  The Red Devils have been prolific in their recent games, scoring two or more goals in six of their last seven outings.  Striker Romelu Lukaku heads into this clash hoping to add to his goal tally of four goals, as he chases the Golden Boot.

Japan were supposedly the whipping boys of Group H. However, the Asian nation qualified for the knockout stages after accruing just four points. The Blue Samurai made the last 16 courtesy of a superior disciplinary record to Senegal.

Akira Nishino’s team have a poor recent record in international football, despite qualifying, winning just two of their last nine games. Their recent defensive record is also weak, conceding at least two goals in six of their previous seven games.

Prediction

Belgium win and over 2.5 goals

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