World Cup: Looking for Silva linings…

The World Cup knockout stages continue, with Brazil playing Mexico in today’s first clash.

After a stuttering start Brazil have progressed undefeated to the knockout phase conceding only one goal. Mexico surprised the Germans in their first game and have looked dangerous on the break, if a little dodgy at the back.

We think Brazil should win, but Mexico have caused them problems in the past, including drawing at the last World Cup.

We’ll take a bit of a punt with this game. Big Brazilian central defender Thiago Silva has already scored in this tournament, and there is plenty of quality in set piece delivery in his side. Mexico have looked shaky defensively, so we’ll take the 25/1 that Paddy Power offers he scores with his head.

The second game sees Belgium take on Japan.

The Japanese were reasonably fortunate to get through to this stage, relying on a better disciplinary record than Senegal. Belgium, by contrast, have eased through, winning all of their group games.

Surely this game can only go one way – a Belgian win with plenty of goals likely.

Romelu Lukaku and Eden Hazard have been impressive for the Belgians, and there could be value in backing them to score. But we have also enjoyed the play of Thomas Meunier as right wing back.

With high goal expectations, we’ll take the 6/1 on offer that he assists the scoring of a goal at any time.

Recommendations:

Brazil/Mexico: Thiago Silva to score with his head, 1 pt, at 25/1, Paddy Power

Belgium/Japan: Meunier to assist a goal, 1 pt, at 6/1, Paddy Power 

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