Tenner On: Our writers' best bets for the quarter-finals
Armed with nothing but a £10 stake and their own judgement, the Insider editorial team fight to be crowned the World Cup's top tipster.
BTTS in Uruguay v France and Brazil v Belgium: £10 at 3/1*
Only two teams managed to keep a clean sheet in the last 16, and I’m backing that pattern to continue in Friday’s quarter-finals.
France finally found some fluency in hitting four past Argentina, so should have an enough to breach an excellent Uruguayan defence at least once.
They still shipped three against disjointed opposition, though, and have kept just three clean sheets in nine games in 2018 – conceding against Russia, USA and Australia.
Even if Edinson Cavani doesn’t make it, I trust the South Americans to find a way through.
The same goes for the late game between two naturally attacking sides.
Belgium have only failed to score once in their last 23 games, and have hit three or more on 15 separate occasions.
But Roberto Martinez is no defensive mastermind, so expect Gabriel Jesus, Neymar, Coutinho et al to have some fun of their own.
Uruguay to qualify for the semi-final and over 2.5 goals in Brazil v Belgium: £10 at 4/1*
Uruguay’s pragmatism won through against Portugal on Saturday and can do so again against a vulnerable France.
Les Bleus conceded three against Argentina and were close to shipping another, despite being two goals ahead going into stoppage time.
That poor game management will be punished by Oscar Tabarez’s side.
I’m expecting the second game of the day to be entertaining one.
Brazil have scored twice in each of their last three World Cup matches, while Belgium are the top scorers in the tournament with 13 goals.
At close to evens, over 2.5 goals looks a steal.
Brazil to beat Belgium - £10 at 23/20*
Belgium’s recovery against Japan was thrilling, but the fact they found themselves two goals down feels of more significance heading into this match.
Brazil are the best team in the tournament. They are superb in attack – especially now Neymar is playing his way into form – and, unlike Belgium, are reliable in defence, having kept three successive clean sheets.
Tite is a superior tactician to Roberto Martinez, too, and I fancy his side to eke out the win inside 90 minutes.
England to win and under 2.5 goals, Croatia to win and under 2.5 goals: £10 at 11/1*
World Cup knockout games tend to be tight and cagey, and that’s been the case in Russia, with under 2.5 goals scored in five of the eight last-16 games.
I’m expecting that pattern to continue on Saturday, after all four of these teams scored just once in the last round.
England needed penalties to beat Colombia but should really have won in normal time, and I fancy them to see off Sweden inside 90 minutes.
Croatia’s game against Denmark also went to a shoot-out. Zlatko Dalic’s side were poor in that tie, but they’re comfortably the better team of these two and should beat a very limited Russia side.
Under 2.5 goals in Sweden v England, Croatia to qualify v Russia: £10 at 7/5*
England have struggled to create chances from open play throughout this World Cup, and that is unlikely to change against Sweden.
Janne Andersson’s side have kept three clean sheets in their four matches, only scoring more than once in one of them.
In the evening game, Croatia should have too much for a Russia side that will surely tire after their arduous 120-minute victory over Spain.
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