By William Hill
Last Updated: 5th June 2020
The knockout stages of the 2018 World Cup are here and we’ve picked out one great punt from each of the eight matches. Brace yourself for a tidal wave of wagering opportunities – it’s the World Cup last 16 best bets.
World Cup last 16 best bets: France v Argentina – Draw @ 15/8
Neither side have excelled in Russia so far, with France far from fluent in winning what should’ve been a straightforward group, while Argentina would’ve been eliminated already had it not been for two spectacular goals and Odion Ighalo’s profligacy.
Despite their manifold problems, La Albiceleste made it to the first knockout match, a stage from which they are, according to recent history, tough to dislodge. Argentina have won one and drawn three of their previous four last-16 ties, ultimately winning them all with the assistance of either extra-time or penalties.
Uruguay, Brazil and Belgium – win to nil treble @ 15.74/1
Portugal, Mexico and Japan are the respective outfits who are set to meet their World Cup maker in the last-16 stage.
Uruguay stretched their win-to-nil streak to six last time, while Portugal have found goals tough to come by since Cristiano Ronaldo’s hat-trick against Spain. Diego Godin and co will pose a far tougher assignment than Morocco and Iran.
Brazil have kept seven clean sheets in eight games and won six of those, ahead of facing a Mexico team who drew blanks in four of their last seven.
Finally, Japan face Belgium in what is their third last-16 game – they failed to score in their previous two attempts.
Under 1.5 goals in Croatia v Denmark @ 11/8
This won’t be the walkover the odds suggest, largely due to the fact that while the Danes don’t score many, they very rarely concede. Were it not for a dubious VAR penalty awarded to Australia, they’d currently be on a seven-match clean sheet streak, having held France, Chile and Mexico on that run.
They’ll batten down the hatches against Croatia, but a late goal may ultimately cost them – Zlatko Dalic’s side have scored four in the final 15 minutes across their previous four matches.
Spain (-1) to beat Russia @ 8/5
Uruguay ruthlessly exposed the flaws Russia masked against Saudi Arabia and Egypt and Spain will do the same.
There’s evidence to support this assumption too – the hosts have conceded exactly three goals in each of their last four meetings with teams placed in the current top 15 of FIFA’s world rankings, while La Roja have followed each of their last three draws with wins, keeping clean sheets twice.
Both teams to score – No in Switzerland v Sweden @ 8/13
The shortest selection on our smorgasbord is certainly one to feel strongly about.
Sweden’s 3-0 win over Mexico was, staggeringly, the 11th match of 14 to feature the Blagult where only one or neither outfit found the net. The same applies to 12 of Switzerland’s last 17.
England to score exactly one goal v Colombia @ 29/20
They may have reached the Promised Land we’ve come to know as ‘The Easier Half of the Draw’, but the Three Lions will have a battle on their hands against Colombia.
A solitary strike is all Gareth Southgate’s men could muster in each of their last five matches against South American adversaries at the World Cup. Two of those games ended in defeat, while three finished 1-0 to England, a repeat of which can be backed at 4/1.