France, Spain among Round of 16 favourites on World Cup odds

France, Spain among Round of 16 favourites on World Cup odds

France, Spain among Round of 16 favourites on World Cup odds

A harsh defeat to Germany aside, Sweden have been quietly impressive at the tournament so far, beating Mexico 3-0 in their final group game.

Federation Internationale de Football Association fined Mexico for homophobic chants by their fans, Denmark were fined for a sexist banner, and some women at the tournament have been targeted by discriminatory behaviour. Atletico Madrid defender Diego Godin will be a familiar foe from La Liga derbies, but the Uruguay captain is one of the toughest centre-backs around.

Just days ago, it looked like Lionel Messi would play no part in the knockout stages at the World Cup.

The Real Madrid star bagged four goals in his first two games, taking his total World Cup tally up to seven.

"Over and Out! (already)", it said, comparing the scenes to 2014 with a picture of the team's celebrations at the last World Cup. The World Cup has cut its 32-team field in half, and starting Saturday, every match will end with someone going home. There were also rumours of rift within the team between the Confederations Cup winners and the World Cup winners, while the mini-scandal involving Mesut Ozil and Ilkay Gundogan and their decision to pose for a photo with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan also did not help the team's preparations.

Uruguay, though, are the only team not to have conceded a goal. "We made our way to the top over a period of 14 years - we were the most consistent team in the world for the past 10 years and became world champions".

Japan squeaked into the knockout rounds in the strangest of circumstances, Senegal missing out on the last 16 due to their inferior fair play record.

Top stat: With nine goals scored in their three group games, Belgium are the top scorers in the competition.

Switzerland held Brazil in their opening game before beating Serbia and drawing with Costa Rica sent them through, but even though Federation Internationale de Football Association rank them the sixth best in the world, they have not reached the last eight since hosting the tournament in 1954. Monday's later match pits Neymar and a Brazil lineup that seems to be finding its form against a mercurial Mexico squad that knocked off Germany and South Korea but got hammered by Sweden.

It seems Russian Federation have been somewhat found out, which doesn't bode well for their chances against Spain, who have won their last four World Cup knockout games by a 1-0 scoreline.

The game plan is simple and Sweden appear to be able to execute it.

Croatia are possible quarter-final opponents for Spain.

The PFA Young Player of the Year victor had an outstanding season in the Premier League, scoring 14 goals and making 17 assists, helping Pep win the Premier League.

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