WORLD CUP KNOCKOUT STAGE PREVIEW: THE ULTRA previews what he expects to see in the last 16 Knockout Stage of the World Cup with his recommended BETDAQ bets …..


Round Of 16 Projection:

While we have a lot of fascinating situations in Groups, most of the major nations should get through. There’s seemingly no Group of death for example, and although we will no doubt see a shock at some stage, I think it’s basically set up for most of the big names to get through. My Round Of 16 Projection is:

• Netherlands v Wales
• Argentina v Denmark
• Spain v Croatia
• Brazil v Portugal
• England v Senegal
• France v Mexico
• Belgium v Germany
• Uruguay v Switzerland

If that turns out to be the case, we have a fascinating Last 16 ahead and keep checking the BETDAQ Betting Exchange markets. Belgium v Germany looks the pick of those fixtures, but we should have some crackers, Brazil v Portugal will have a huge amount of hype if that’s the way things turn out and Argentina v Denmark will be a good game too.

From those fixtures, I can see the Quarter-Finals looking like this;

• Netherlands v Argentina
• Spain v Brazil
• England v France
• Germany v Switzerland


Those are some mouth-watering Quarter-Finals, but you have to say although England might have to face France in the Quarter-Finals they are actually on the “easy” side of the draw again should they top their Group. Playing either Germany or Switzerland in a World Cup Semi-Final is a good draw in my opinion, but obviously the huge test for England is the France game if they get there.

Possibly the biggest selection up for debate here is Germany beating Belgium, even though Germany haven’t really impressed lately. I just think Belgium fail to deliver in the big moments, and Germany will come through that Last 16 game. You have to say it’s a very tough draw for either, even if Belgium finish second in their Group they then have to play Spain and then possibly Brazil. Winning their Group will be key.

The Quarter-Finals will be absolutely epic, however I see the Semi-Finals being;

• Argentina v Spain
• France v Germany

I have to say this was a very tough call. To be honest either of those Quarter-Finals could go any way and they are all going to be very close. Netherlands are a brilliant attacking side, but I would expect them to have issues at the back against a side like Argentina. When you look at the draw too, it will be their first big test. Spain and Brazil is going to be the highlight fixture, and although it might be a surprise for some I can see Spain edging it. Both sides are excellent going forward but Spain are more solid at the back for me – maybe this game goes to Extra-Time for example.

Then of course England v France will have a huge amount of hype around it. England have been very poor lately, especially creating chances and they might not even reach this stage. If they do that’s where the road ends in my opinion though because France will be too good. And then Germany should come through against Switzerland who would have had a very good tournament if my draw works out.

The next big question is who wins the Semi-Finals? Two absolutely fantastic Semis but I can only see one Final: Argentina v France is my selection for the World Cup Final.

France have a relatively easy draw to get here, and I would expect them to reach the Final once they top their Group. There’s no side on their side of the draw they aren’t familiar with and they are the best side in Europe. They have a good depth to their squad too should they pick up any injuries and whatnot. Argentina v Spain is obviously going to be very close, and that’s another game I can see going the distance. I think the game against Brazil will take a lot out of Spain, and there’s a chance Argentina will meet them will a little edge in that sense.


Best Tournament Bets:

Because there’s a lot of value in the Outright market, I’m happy to back France at 7.4 and Argentina at 7.6. That prices are very attractive, and although I have Spain knocking out Brazil, you’d have to say the main danger to my bets would be that Spain v Brazil game. I’m happy to have a bet on either side of the draw though, and I would be very surprised if either didn’t top their Group and ended up on the same side. France is more of a worry in that sense, but Argentina should sail through their Group. If I was looking for a trade I’d have to go with Switzerland at 130.0 or bigger. Things could really work out for them looking at the draw – but then again the race for second in their Group is very competitive.

We should have a wonderful tournament though once it kicks off. You can say that it doesn’t sit right that FIFA have taken a World Cup here, and that is true – they have opted for the money and we all know there are huge issues at FIFA as well, however the players and teams haven’t decided this. Once the tournament gets going I’m sure they will produce some magical moments and overall it will be a very good tournament for watching back home in the UK or Europe. This could be the tournament that gives Messi a real legacy. No pressure then!

The Ultra Says (outright bets):
Two points win France at 7.4 to win the World Cup with BETDAQ BETTING EXCHANGE.
Two points win Argentina at 7.6 to win the World Cup with BETDAQ BETTING EXCHANGE.

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