Belgium vs Japan World Cup Picks and Predictions 7/2/2018
World Cup Round of 16
Monday, July 2, 2018
Belgium will play at Rostov Arena when they take on Japan on Monday, July 2, 2018 in a Round of 16 matchup. The opening line for this game has Belgium at -256 and Japan at +600. The total has been set at 2.5.
After winning all three of their Group G games and scoring a group stage-high nine goals, Belgium will try to continue their winning streak against Group H runner-up Japan in the round of 16. Belgium has one of the best all-around teams at the World Cup this year, so that's why they are the favorites going into this matchup. Japan does have good chemistry and a lot of experience in their squad, though, so they have a chance in this one if they are able to play a perfect game.
Belgium has become known for letting their fans down and playing below their potential, but that has not been a problem so far at the World Cup. Their excellent attacking players have stepped up and put pressure on defenses, and they only gave up a total of two goals during the group stages. If they can keep that momentum going and play attacking football against Japan, they should be able to ease into the quarterfinals.
The big Belgian striker had four goals in the group stages despite only playing in two games. He will once again be the target man for his team against Japan and should be able to use his strength and quickness to do some damage in this game. Lukaku is known for his inconsistency at times, but he's shown so far at this World Cup that he is at the top of his game and should be a key player in this and future games in the tournament.
The Napoli forward has been involved in the majority of Belgium's big plays so far in the World Cup and will need to continue attacking against Japan. The 31-year-old is a great dribbler and he is excellent at picking out fellow attackers with through balls, so he should have an impact on this matchup.
Japan will feel a bit lucky to get to this stage of the tournament after only doing so by having fewer yellow cards than Senegal during Group H play. They did show that they can win as underdogs, though when they defeated Colombia in their first fixture. They have a lot of talent up front and will probably need to take some chances to be able to beat powerhouse Belgium in this game.
Yoshida will be right there in the center of the defense for Japan, which means he has a huge role to play in this game. Belgium has some of the best midfielders and forwards on the planet, so it will be up to Yoshida to stay in the right positions and keep Belgium from finding holes in Japan's defense.
Probably Japan's top player right now, Kagawa will need to step back and help on defense against Belgium, but the attacking midfielder will also be counted upon to take it to Belgium's defense at times. He should be able to use his quickness against Belgium's full backs and will need to make the most of his passes and goal scoring opportunities.
Key Belgium Injuries
No key injuries to report
Key Japan Injuries
No key injuries to report
Who will win tonight's Belgium/Japan World Cup game against the spread?
Tony's Pick: Take Belgium -256
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