In a one of a kind tournament that has broken the glass ceiling, Belgium’s fate at the 2018 FIFA World Cup rests upon their round of 16 match against Japan.
The Red devils are set to cross swords with the Blue Samurai on Monday night in Rostov, as the knockout phase of the World Cup continues to gain momentum.
Belgium heads into the tie with the distinct advantage having reaped maximum points from all three opening matches to top Group G. Already genuine contenders heading into the competition, Roberto Martinez’s charges flagged off their campaign with a 3-0 rout over debutants Panama, followed by a thrilling 5-2 victory over Tunisia before rounding off the group with a 1-0 win over England.
The blistering start in the opening matches ensured that Belgium became only the third team after Uruguay and Croatia to top their group with the maximum nine points. Both Uruguay and Croatia have since gone on to qualify for the quarterfinals; one which underlines the supposition that the Belgium national team is indeed on the right track.
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The England match lived up to the pre-match expectation of being a lifeless nonevent, as both sets of managers made staggering chances to their lineups. Gareth Southgate had enacted eight changes from their win over Panama while Martinez effected nine, seeing as both teams had already progressed into the last 16.
Even though is seemed the teams would settle for a draw after a drowsy half of football, Adnan Januzaj grabbed the only goal of the match six minutes after the interval; the former Manchester United forward cutting inside his left foot to curl a sublime strike past Jordan Pickford. As such, the Three Lions finished second in the group on six points, with the magnitude of the loss to the proven when they step up against Colombia in the last 16.
Whereas Belgium qualified with maximum points, Japan survived by the skin of their teeth thanks to the fair play rule. The Blue Samurai booked their passage into the round of 16 by virtue of having fewer yellow cards than Senegal; having being level of points and goal difference with the Lions of Teranga.
Belgium vs. Japan betting prediction
Belgium has a well rounded squad with what is quite rightly the best attacking side in the tournament. Their main man upfront Romelu Lukaku is already on four goals from his first two matches, only one goal less than the entire Japan team has scored in all their group matches.
Fate may have played a pivotal role in the final match, but the sun looks poised to set on the Blue Samurai.
|Best Bet||Odds||Bet Now|
|Belgium to win||-277.78 at WilliamHill||Place Bet|
|Belgium to qualify||-625 at WilliamHill||Place Bet|
Belgium & Japan recent World Cup results
Belgium 3-0 Panama (June 18, 2018)
Dries Mertens 47′
Romelu Lukaku 69′, 75′
Belgium 5-2 Tunisia (June 23, 2018)
Eden Hazard 6′ (P), 51′
Romelu Lukaku 16′, 45+3′
Michy Batshuayi 90′
Dylan Bronn 18′
Wahbi Khazri 90+3′
England 0-1 Belgium (June 28, 2018)
Adnan Januzaj 51′
Colombia 1-2 Japan (June 19, 2018)
Juan Quintero 39′
Shinji Kagawa 6′ (P)
Yuya Osako 73′
Japan 2-2 Senegal (June 24, 2018)
Takashi Inui 34′
Keisuke Honda 78′
Sadio Mane 11′
Moussa Wague 71′
Japan 0-1 Poland (June 28, 2018)
Jan Bednaker 59′
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