WORLD CUP MONDAY: The Ultra previews Monday’s knockout games in the World Cup between JAPAN v CROATIA and BRAZIL v SOUTH KOREA both including a recommended BETDAQ bet.


3pm It’s a new week at the World Cup, and the knockouts continue on BETDAQ Betting Exchange. We have two very interesting games on Monday, everyone will expect Brazil to beat South Korea later, but the Japan v Croatia game is a competitive start to the day. Not many, and that’s an understatement, football fans would have picked Japan to top Group E with Spain and Germany in it! The Group turned out to be full of drama, starting from the very first match with Japan beating Germany. Remarkably, Japan came from 1-0 down to beat Germany and Spain! If Croatia are shrewd, they won’t take a 1-0 lead in the first half! Croatia will obviously be absolutely delighted to meet Japan here compared to who it could have been. While they aren’t coming into this game as the odds on favourites, they are trading 2.18 to win so they are pretty well fancied! They wouldn’t have started favourites against Spain or Germany and would have been expected to go out – I don’t think Spain will be too bothered about finishing second though because they avoided the draw with Brazil; whom the winner will play here. However, given the amount of drama we’ve had at this World Cup who can really rule out South Korea winning!

This should be a good game. Most casual fans will expect Croatia to breeze through it, but the underlining numbers tell a different story. Croatia were exceptionally lucky to get a 0-0 draw with Belgium – they conceded an xG of 3.22 and were so lucky that Lukaku had probably his worst performance in front of goal in a Belgium shirt. Their Group was full of drama too, with Belgium getting knocked out and Morocco topping the Group. Apart from the 4-1 Canada win, Croatia really didn’t create much and I would suggest the jury is definitely out on them. 2.18 looks very short looking at their performance levels. Japan had the most remarkable journey so far at this World Cup. Imagine beating Germany and Spain, but losing to Costa Rica? Incredible. They would have been kicking themselves after losing to Costa Rica, they were a little unlucky because they only conceded an xG of 0.13 but they just didn’t take their chances. Both sides have created more similar xG numbers – Croatia have a higher xG by 0.77 but that is mainly down to the Canada game. I really feel Japan will give Croatia a good game here, and I fully expect a closer game than odds of 2.18 suggest. From a value point of view I’m very happy to be against Croatia here, and I even wouldn’t be surprised to see Japan win.

The Ultra Says:
Three points lay (liability) Croatia to beat Japan at 2.18 with BETDAQ BETTING EXCHANGE.

You can view all markets here ->

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7pm We finish Monday with tournament favourites Brazil taking on South Korea. Brazil added themselves to the list of teams who eased off the gas when looking certain of top spot in their Group. That list includes France, Spain and Portugal as well as Brazil – you would have made plenty taking them all on in their final Group games! It’s definitely been a World Cup of surprises. South Korea also surprised everyone with a 2-1 win over Portugal on the final day to break Uruguay hearts – they came back from 1-0 down early, and scored the winner in the 91st minute. Massive joy for them, and they are pretty much on a freeroll now. Brazil come into the game with all the pressure of being expected to win easily and being tournament favourites too – they are trading 1.33 at the time of writing, which apart from Argentina to beat Australia is the shortest price in the Last 16. South Korea finished the game with a higher xG figure than Portugal, so you couldn’t knocked their victory there and they were a little unlucky to lose 3-2 to Ghana as well. They went 2-0 down and battled back to 2-2, only to concede again afterwards. They finished with an xG of 2.29 and could have got a draw, but credit to Ghana they took their chances and then battled it out. While you could say Uruguay didn’t fire in their first Group game, South Korea pretty much stopped them from playing and it will be interesting to see what tactics they go with here and can they stop this fantastic Brazil side full of talent.

While I wouldn’t read too much into the Cameroon result because of the Group situation, they were exceptionally unlucky. They actually created their highest xG figure of the tournament finishing the game with a figure of 3.13 and they just got sucker punched in injury time. While South Korea have been impressive at this World Cup, they clearly aren’t at Brazil’s level and it’s hard to see past a Brazil win here. I feel it’s a case of how many goals can they score rather than will they win. Since playing a very cagey game with Uruguay, South Korea have enjoyed two open games so it will be interesting what tactics they go with – surely their aim will be to put XI men behind the ball. Not only have Brazil been impressive going forward, they have been rock solid at the back. I wouldn’t be surprised to see them grind out a 1-0 or 2-0 so Under 2.5 goals is tempting in that sense at around 2.0, but Brazil did create a lot of chances in their last game so I prefer Both Teams Not To Score at 1.62. Brazil have been rock solid at the back and can keep a clean sheet, with the likely negative tactics of South Korea helping in that regard. We could easily see 0-0 at half-time and then Brazil take control in the second half.

The Ultra Says:
Two points win Both Teams Not To Score at 1.62 with BETDAQ BETTING EXCHANGE.

You can view all markets here ->

DAQMAN Sat: Kempton NAP
THE STRIKER Sat: Premier League Preview
THE ULTRA Sat: La Liga and Bundesliga Preview
PGA Tour: Mexico Open at Vidanta preview/picks
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