Belgium vs Japan preview, betting tips and prediction

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Will the Red Devils find their feet?

Belgium to win with a -2 handicap @ 10/3 with Betfair

Belgium face Japan in the last 16 of the World Cup on Monday night in Rostov. The Red Devils topped Group G ahead of England, who they beat 1-0 on Thursday evening, but they are yet to find their feet properly in the tournament, facing trouble in both games against Panama and Tunisia in different ways. Panama’s defensive organisation frustrated them in the first game; they didn’t score until after half time in the 3-0 victory. Tunisia caused them problems at the back, too, which will give Japan hope. Eden Hazard has been sporadic so far, Romelu Lukaku has scored four goals so far and Kevin De Bruyne hasn’t hit the heights. Roberto Martinez’s side need to make a statement if they are to win the tournament, and we think they may make that in this one.

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Japan slipped through to the knockout stages by the skin of their teeth; the only thing that separated them from Senegal in the end was fair play. But having beaten ten-man Colombia in their first game, they have shown their quality. Keisuke Honda and Shinji Kagawa are key players for the Blue Samarai, but they rarely play together. If Belgium can stay compact in midfield, as they did for long periods against England, they should ease through to the quarter finals, where they could meet Brazil. It will be very interesting to see if Martinez can finally get a tune out of his side.

The obvious player to back when it comes to the goalscoring markets is Lukaku. He has scored four goals so far and Will fancy his chances to hunt down Harry Kane, who leads the race for the Golden Boot on five. Anytime won’t give much value as he is odds on, though Hazard is at 7/5 and could be worth a punt, but as FGS, you can back him at 11/4.

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