World Cup Bracket 2018: Predictions, Odds and Picks Entering Monday Play

Rory Marsden@@roomarsdenFeatured ColumnistJuly 2, 2018

Brazil's forward Neymar takes part to a training session on the eve of the Russia 2018 World Cup round of 16 football match between Brazil and Mexico on July 1, 2018 in Samara. (Photo by Manan VATSYAYANA / AFP)        (Photo credit should read MANAN VATSYAYANA/AFP/Getty Images)

Four of the eight quarter-finalists for the 2018 FIFA World Cup have been decided, and there was a major shock on Sunday as hosts Russia knocked out Spain, one of the pre-tournament favourites.

Another two sides will make it through to the last eight on Monday as Brazil play their last-16 clash against Mexico and Belgium meet Japan.

Brazil and Belgium are the likely candidates to go through but, at this World Cup, nothing is guaranteed.

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Here is the day's schedule, along with the predicted results:


3 p.m. BST, 10 a.m. ET: Brazil 2-1 Mexico 

7 p.m. BST, 2 p.m. ET: Belgium 3-1 Japan 


The match odds have Belgium and Brazil as strong favourites, per OddsShark:

Brazil 25-47, Mexico 6-1, Draw 16-5

Belgium 25-64, Japan 6-1, Draw 4-1


Brazil have yet to produce their best so far in Russia, but they arguably have the best squad left in the competition.

They will be eager to walk in France's footsteps after Les Bleus followed an ordinary group stage with a thrilling performance to beat Argentina 4-3 in their last-16 clash on Saturday.

Mexico, meanwhile, have blown hot and cold, shocking defending champions Germany with a 1-0 win in their opener but then losing 3-0 to Sweden in their final group game and only scraping through.

El Tri have been knocked out at the last 16 in each of the last six World Cups.

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They have the firepower to scare Brazil, especially on the break, where Hirving Lozano, Carlos Vela and Javier Hernandez can cause trouble.

However, Brazil have looked solid defensively so far in Russia, conceding just one goal—from a corner to Switzerland in their opening match.

Going forward, they also looked as though they were beginning to click last time out in a 2-0 defeat of Serbia, and they could cause havoc against a Mexico defence that conceded three times to an unspectacular Sweden side.

SOCHI, NULL - JUNE 18:  Romelu Lukaku of Belgium in action during the 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia group G match between Belgium and Panama at Fisht Stadium on June 18, 2018 in Sochi, Russia.  (Photo by Richard Heathcote/Getty Images)
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Belgium were the most prolific scorers in the group stage as they netted nine goals, and they were also one of only three sides to claim the maximum nine points.

Japan collected only four points as they came second in Group H, and it is likely they would have exited the tournament had Colombia's Carlos Sanchez not been sent off after three minutes of their opener, which the Samurai Blue ended up winning 2-1.

But Japan are not a poor team. Takashi Inui, Gaku Shibasaki, Yuto Nagatomo and Yuya Osako have all impressed in Russia and could cause problems for Belgium.

It is unlikely Japan will look to go toe-to-toe with Belgium—they may sit back, try not to concede and attempt to get a goal on the break or win in a penalty shootout.

However, they will fail to keep out an attack that includes Romelu Lukaku, Eden Hazard, Dries Mertens and Kevin De Bruyne.