World Cup Round of 16 | Day One | Preview and Odds

The knockout stages are upon us, and we kick off with two huge matches in the form of France versus Argentina, while Uruguay take on Portugal in the later kick-off.

Our footballing expert reveals his World Cup bets ahead of Saturday’s showdown.

France v Argentina

France haven’t yet performed the way they are capable of, but seven points from nine was enough to earn them top spot in their group, and they’re fancied to make the quarter-finals.

While star performers Antoine Griezmann and Kylian Mbappe have both been on the scoresheet in their opening matches, Les Blues have yet to get out of first gear in the World Cup so far, and they will need to show more to reach the quarter-finals of the tournament.

While goals haven’t been flowing for Didier Deschamps’ side, they have only conceded once in three matches, and it’s unlikely the Frenchman will ring too many changes to his side.

The French are definitely in better form than Argentina heading into this one, and they are 11/8 favourites to see off Argentina in this fixture.

Argentina can thank themselves lucky that they scraped through to the last-sixteen, after they needed a late Marcus Rojo goal against Nigeria to send them through to the knockout stages.

Lionel Messi also stepped up to the plate against the Super Eagles when it counted after a couple of poor performances in the opening Group D matches. Jorge Sampaoli will be counting on his star man tomorrow, and we may see another rousing team talk in the tunnels from Argentina’s captain.

If Argentina have any aspirations of reaching the final like they did four years ago, they will need to be at their very best to see off the French. They can be backed at 9/4 for this one.

I think this one will be tight, and it could go to extra time. I believe France will just shade it after 90 minutes, and they are 10/1 to win in extra time.

Uruguay v Portugal

Uruguay v Portugal is one of the hardest last-sixteen matches to call – it could go either way and it could be a tight and tense affair.

Uruguay have turned on the style in their previous two matches – and the front pairing of Edinson Cavani and Luis Suarez are in amongst the goals at the right time.

While the south Americans are turning on the style at one end of the pitch, they have also yet to concede in this tournament. Marshalled by Atletico Madrid centre back Diego Godin, the Uruguayans boast one of the meanest defences in the world, and they will be tough to break down.

Uruguay are slight favourites for this last-sixteen tie, and are 13/8 for tomorrow’s match.

Portugal will be looking to take out their frustrations on Uruguay after a contentious penalty was awarded to Iran in their final group match to leave them second behind Spain in qualifying.

Cristiano Ronaldo has been in good form, and he’ll also be looking to put right his missed penalty against Iran and continue his hunt for the Golden Boot.

I think he can be the man to break down the sky-blue wall of Uruguay – and he is 4/1 to score first tomorrow. More importantly for Fernando Santos’ men are 15/8 to get through to the quarter-finals.

Another cagey affair could be on the cards here, and if you agree that it’s too close to call, then under 1.5 goals at 5/4 wouldn’t be a bad call considering the solid defences of both sides.





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