World Cup Bracket 2014: Round of 16 Odds and Predictions for Day 20

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World Cup Bracket 2014: Round of 16 Odds and Predictions for Day 20
Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

Argentina will be looking to move one step closer to World Cup glory when they play their last-16 tie in Sao Paulo on Tuesday, but they will have to get past a strong Switzerland side.

Equally, the much-fancied Belgians take on the USA in Salvador and, while Marc Wilmots' side are favourites to advance, it will not be an easy encounter.

Indeed, Tuesday's games—the final two last-16 matches, the winners of which will face each other in the quarter-finals—are very tricky to call and hence offer the possibility of a decent bet with the bookies.

Read on for match odds for Day 20 as well as a prediction as to the outcome of both games.

World Cup 2014: Day 20 Match Odds
Team Odds
Switzerland 6-1
Argentina 8-15
Draw 10-3
USA 10-3
Belgium evens
Draw 12-5

Oddsshark.com

 

Switzerland vs. Argentina

Victor R. Caivano/Associated Press

Switzerland look to be very good value at 6-1 for the win. While Argentina won all of their group games, they were not overly convincing, and the Sao Paulo encounter is likely to be a much tighter affair than the odds suggest.

The Swiss need to re-find the defensive solidity that saw them concede just six goals in 10 qualifying matches, per UEFA. They conceded five against France in the group stage but did pick up a clean sheet as they downed Honduras 3-0 in their most recent match.

Xherdan Shaqiri scored a hat-trick on that occasion, and he and Josip Drmic are vital to Switzerland's chances in attack, per tactics expert Michael Cox:

However, they will do very well to keep out an in-form Lionel Messi and, if Argentina get the first goal, the game could become very open as Ottmar Hitzfeld's side search for an equaliser.

As displayed in their 3-2 victory over Nigeria, Argentina do not have the strongest of defences, either, so both teams should likely get on the scoresheet.

But Argentina's quality should shine through—as well as Messi they have the likes of Angel Di Maria and Gonzalo Higuain—to see them into the quarter-finals with a narrow victory.

Prediction: 2-3

 

USA vs. Belgium

Julio Cortez/Associated Press

Despite pre-tournament predictions that they would be full of attacking flair, Belgium have actually been quite underwhelming thus far but still managed to grind out three victories in a weak Group H with Russia, South Korea and Algeria. 

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They only conceded once in the first round—a penalty to Algeria—while scoring four goals. The USA, on the other hand, made it out of arguably the toughest group in the whole tournament consisting of Germany, Ghana and Portugal.

Thus, at 10-3, the USA are a good bet to beat Belgium and reach the last-eight in Salvador. Jurgen Klinsmann's side are well organised, have a terrific work ethic within the team and sound full of confidence, per ESPN's Jeff Carlisle:

They most certainly have the players to match the Belgians' intensity and will provide a sterner test than any of the European side's group opponents, all of whom they beat by just a single-goal margin.

In Clint Dempsey and the returning Jozy Altidore, the USA have quality in attack which can exploit a Belgian defence that may be without talismanic skipper Vincent Kompany, per Fox Soccer:

The USA have the squad to pull off a famous victory and, based on Belgium's tournament form, they should be confident of completing the job.

Prediction: 1-0  

 

All odds taken from Odds Shark

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