Our tips for the first day of last-eight matches feature two close games and plenty of goals.
URUGUAY v FRANCE
France are favourites after finally hitting form against Argentina in the round of 16.
But they face a much tougher test against Uruguay, whose resilience and organisation is far superior to their South American counterparts.
Though the absence of Edinson Cavani is a concern, Oscar Tabarez’s side – led by centre-half duo Diego Godin and Jose Gimenez – have the nous and experience to thwart France, making a 90-minute draw the value bet here.
BTTS: Yes –
France’s 4-3 victory over Argentina was arguably the game of the tournament so far, and it is difficult to imagine them approaching this one any differently.
Though Uruguay are stubborn opposition, the form of Paul Pogba, Kylian Mbappe and Antoine Griezmann should ensure that Les Bleus find the net at least once.
Didier Deschamps’ side are still unconvincing defensively, though, so their opponents should score for the ninth consecutive match.
BRAZIL v BELGIUM
The odds look to be too heavily weighted in Brazil’s favour, given they haven’t been seriously tested so far in the tournament,.
The five-time world champions are still yet to find much of an attacking flow, and have relied on moments from big players to see off inferior opposition.
Tite’s side rode their luck in keeping clean sheets against both Serbia and Mexico, but Belgium – who have scored more goals than any other team in this tournament – will not be so profligate.
Roberto Martinez will reportedly be a little more pragmatic with his selection here, replacing Dries Mertens with Marouane Fellaini, so his side are worth backing to avoid defeat in 90 minutes.
BTTS: Yes –
This looks like one of the bankers of the tournament.
No team has hit the net more often than Belgium, who netted three times in quick succession after been given a scare by Japan in the last round.
And they will surely concede to Brazil, who have scored 16 goals in their last eight games.
*Odds subject to change.
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