Match 1: Brazil v Mexico
When we knew that these two nations would be facing each other in the Round of 16, everyone got excited. These two are arguably the tournament’s most attacking teams so this promises to be a classic FIFA World Cup match.
Brazil are coming into the game after topping their group with wins against Serbia and Costa Rica and a draw against Switzerland. Although at times they can look very passive, the Brazilians can turn on the style when it matters as they proved against Costa Rica when they scored two goals in added time to secure victory.
Mexico started the World Cup in the best way possible, by defeating reigning World Cup champions Germany. They then went on to beat South Korea before beating battered by Sweden 3-0. Mexico will have to defend much better today than they did in that game otherwise it could be a cricket score.
Match 2: Belgium v Japan
This is definitely the harder side of the draw with the winner of this match having to face either Brazil or Mexico. Then the winner of that will have to face either France or Uruguay.
Belgium topped Group G with a perfect three wins from three matches, beating a much changed England team along the way. With players like Eden Hazard and Kevin De Bruyne now returning to the starting line-up, Belgium are heavily favoured to breeze past Japan and into the quarter-finals. They know they must take advantage of their golden generation so there is a fair amount of pressure on them today.
It’s not all one sided though, Japan are in the Round of 16 on merit. However, history is not on their side as they have never made it past this stage of the World Cup. It does seem a lot to ask to beat a much stronger Belgium side but it wouldn’t be strange to see an upset here as nations like Germany, Argentina and Portugal are already out.
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