2014 World Cup Brazil – Last 16 – 29th June

Well the group stage games along with the controversy is now out of the way and we can look forward to the start of the last 16. This is where things get really serious with the stakes a lot higher because if you falter here you’re out. We’ve got South American start to the last 16 with two huge matchups with Brazil taking on Chile and Colombia taking on Uruguay. It’s a fitting way to start the last 16 and hopefully the incredible football will continue.

**Odds from betfair as at 28th June

Brazil ($1.58) versus Chile ($6.8), Draw ($4.5)

Brazil’s Run

  • Brazil 3 – 1 Croatia
  • Brazil 0 – 0 Mexico
  • Brazil 4 – 1 Cameroon

Chile’s Run

  • Chile 3 – 1 Australia
  • Chile 2 – 0 Spain
  • Chile 0 – 2 Netherlands

You can feel the tension every time you watch Brazil at this World Cup so far. They certainly have a lot of pressure on them and whilst they certainly aren’t the strongest Brazil squad we have seen, they’ve done enough to get to this stage. They face a tough task here in taming Chile who have shown how dangerous they can be. Personally though I still have question marks over Chile’s defence but I cannot argue with the fact that offensively they are as dangerous as anyone at this World Cup. They will however need to be at their dangerous best to beat Brazil here as they have not beaten Brazil since 2000. There are also some concerns over the fitness of Medel and if he isn’t fit to play it’d be a massive blow defensively to this side that aren’t exactly gifted with central defenders (especially considering Medel is actually a midfielder). Perhaps less of a concern is the fitness of Vidal. He’s certainly not 100% but being able to rest through the Netherlands game he should be right to go for this one and could certainly be the key for Chile.

Looking at the past two times these two have met back in 2013, we’ve seen a 2-1 win for Brazil and a 2-2 draw. Prior to this the goal margin was at least 2+ in their previous 4 games to this dating back to 2007. With Chile’s confidence high through their strong performances through the group stage I’d suggest we could be in for a tight score line rather than a blowout win by Brazil. I do however fancy Brazil in this one despite how much pressure they’ll be under. I feel like they’ve started slowly in this World Cup with the expectations of the home crowd weighing heavily on their minds but I also feel they’re improving as they go along. The pressure is certainly on Neymar to score and carry this team through but he’s done well so far with 4 goals from 3 games and I’d expect him to again be a threat here. One for Chile to watch out for is Vargas as he’s scored a goal in his last two games against Brazil in 2013.

Predicted score: Brazil 2-1

Best Bet: Over 2.5 goals at $1.78 (80%)

Next Best: Both teams to score at $1.86

Anytime goal scorer: Neymar to score anytime at $2.04

Colombia ($2.02) versus Uruguay ($4.3), Draw ($3.55)

Colombia’s Run

  • Colombia 3 – 0 Greece
  • Colombia 2 – 1 Ivory Coast
  • Colombia 4 – 1 Japan

Uruguay’s run

  • Uruguay 1 – 3 Costa Rica
  • Uruguay 2 – 1 England
  • Uruguay 1 – 0 Italy

All the talk has been about the infamous Suarez biting incident which has taken the spotlight off the World Cup itself which is unfortunate. Hopefully though with this second last 16 game between Colombia and Uruguay we can get football back to the main talking point. On the topic of Suarez though, he’s a big loss for this one in footballing terms but we can’t discount their chances just because he won’t be playing as Uruguay are still a very good team without him. As a result we should see Forlan start in his place alongside Cavani in what is still a lethal attack. The Colombian’s will be hoping to capitalise on his absence though and continue their dream run having won all three of their matches thus far, albeit in an easier group. I can’t help but wonder though how the rest of the players in the Uruguay squad are thinking and feeling after Suarez’s ban. It’s something they’ll need to clear their heads of if they are to play at their best in this one as Colombia are in really good form.

The last two games these two have played have had contrasting results with Uruguay beating Colombia 2-0 in September 2013 and prior to this Colombia beat Uruguay 4-0 back in September 2012. Colombia are certainly the form team here and I quite like them to continue their run led by the form of James Rodriguez who’s knocked in 3 goals, 1 in each game, and also contributed 2 assists in the 4-1 win over Japan. I don’t think it’ll be an easy win by Colombia by any means as this Uruguayan side is still very strong and are pretty attractive at odds of $4.3 for the win. In the end though I think we can expect at least over 2.5 goals in this one in what should be an exciting high tempo contest even without Suarez.

Predicted score: Colombia 2-1

Best Bet: Over 2.5 goals at $2.4 looks good value (80%)

Next Best: Colombia to keep a clean sheet – No at $1.62

Anytime goal scorer: James Rodriguez for 4 in a row? He’s $3.5 to score anytime

Please Note:
All of the above are the opinions of the author and are not recommendations or advice. The author may not be taking every bet listed above. Bet at your own risk.
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As an Australian growing up AFL was always my no.1 sport especially given I was lucky enough to grow up a few blocks from Carlton’s home ground, Princes Park, where I was lucky enough to attend many games. That’s where my passion for sport began but it was until the early 2000’s when I discovered a real passion for football with the Socceroos 2002 World Cup qualifiers against Uruguay accelerating my football journey. From there I began to follow the Premier League and haven’t looked back since. These days I’m a massive Tottenham fan where I’ve enjoyed many sleepless nights religiously watching them without missing a game despite many roller coaster feelings. There’s just something magical and glamorous when you watch the EPL and knowing the Profits owners Drew and Euan through studies, I’m now lucky enough to be able to share my thoughts on each game each week of the season.

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