World Cup 2014: Fixtures, Match Odds, Predictions, Updated Bracket for Day 20

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World Cup 2014: Fixtures, Match Odds, Predictions, Updated Bracket for Day 20
Ian Walton/Getty Images

Jurgen Klinsmann's USA side will be looking to continue a fine 2014 World Cup campaign when they face the unbeaten Belgians in Salvador in the last 16 on Tuesday.

Also on Day 20, Lionel Messi and his Argentina side face Switzerland for their first knockout-round encounter in Sao Paulo, with the Barcelona star looking to continue his fine form that has seen him score four goals already in the tournament.

The respective winners of each tie will advance to the last eight and meet in the fourth quarter-final after Brazil, Colombia, Netherlands, Costa Rica, France and Germany already made it through.

B/R

Read on for a look at the match odds for each game, as well as a prediction for both encounters.

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

OddsShark.com

 

USA vs. Belgium

Michael Steele/Getty Images

USA proved in their group victory against Ghana and draw with Portugal—in which Paulo Bento's side claimed a last-minute equaliser—they can contend with top teams.

Even in a 1-0 loss to Germany, the returning Omar Gonzalez showed they have strength and depth in defence, per Bundesliga expert Cristian Nyari, which could prove valuable against the Belgians:

They are unlikely to be able to contend with Belgium playing them at their own game, but they can certainly restrict them going forward as the European side have not been free-flowing in attack so far this tournament.

Belgium have netted just four times and struggled for goals against weaker defences than the Americans in the shape of Russia, Algeria and South Korea.

Team USA have proven effective on the counter-attack, per Squawka, and their fitness, drive and organisation could unlock Belgium's defence:

They should also see the added benefit of a newly fit Jozy Altidore, per the team's official Twitter, who could be very effective if he comes on from the bench. The encounter in Salvador is unlikely to be a goal-fest, but if Klinsmann can set his team up correctly, they have a good chance of upsetting the Belgium side.

Prediction: 1-0

 

Switzerland vs. Argentina

Victor R. Caivano/Associated Press

In the same way that the USA will look to restrict Belgium's attacking threat, the Swiss will be blown away by Argentina if they are not solid in defence.

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Either side of relatively strong displays at the back against Ecuador and Honduras, Ottmar Hitzfeld's side were thrashed, 5-2, by France in the group stages.

This is a worry for the Swiss, as Argentina are potentially better in attack than Les Bleus, boasting as they do arguably the world's best player in Messi

Furthermore, the likes of Angel di Maria and Gonzalo Higuain provide great quality while Ezequiel Lavezzi will likely come in for the injured Sergio Aguero, with many people arguing this will improve the side, including sportswriter Liviu Bird:

However, that is not to say Switzerland themselves won't get good chances to score. In Xherdan Shaqiri and Josip Drmic they have a strong attacking duo and, as The Sun alludes to, Argentina are suspect in defence:

Argentina should be able to get an early breakthrough, and that will open up the game and provide opportunities for both attacks.

Thus, the better attacking unit will likely seal the win—and that belongs to Argentina.

Prediction: 2-3

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