The second match of the day will see Group G winners Belgium facing off against Group H runners up Japan at the Rostov Arena.
What’s their current form?
Belgium went through their group matches undefeated, starting with a 3-0 win over Panama, before belting Tunisia 5-2 and then eclipsing England 1-0 in a dead rubber, as both sides had already advanced.
Japan won through to the second round after beating Colombia 2-1 and scoring a 2 all draw with Senegal before scoring a shock 1-0 loss to Poland in the final match. They finished equal with Senegal, but won through on the back of a better ‘fair play points’ record.
Belgium: Courtois; Alderweireld, Boyata, Vertonghen; Meunier, de Bruyne, Witsel, Carrasco; Mertens, Lukaku, Hazard.
Japan: Kawashima; Endo, Ueda, Shoji, Sakai; Shibasaki, Yamaguchi; Muto, Kagawa, Inui; Okazaki.
Any interesting facts I should know?
Belgium are undefeated in their 13 games this year, scoring 39 goals and conceding just 9 in the process.
What should I be betting on?
Belgium are expected to win this game.
On paper this is a complete mismatch and The Wolf thinks this will be a rare occasions where class prevails in Russia. Belgium won all three of their group game including the battle with England after resting most of their key players. They are the form side in world football with an undefeated run that stretched 22 games. They have scored 39 and conceded just 9 times in 2018 and have the complete package. They have the twin towers at the back (Alderweireld and Vertonghen) with de Bruyne and Hazard completely dominating in the middle of the park. Meunier and Mertens have been fantastic on the flank and Lukaku has been a beast up front. Japan are 0-2 in Round of 16 matches at the World Cup but only 3 of their 11 all-time losses have come by multiple goals. They have a knack of finding the back of the net and only 4 of Belgium’s 17 World Cup wins have been by multiple goals. Japan to score but Belgium to progress in a 2-1 win.
TV channel, kick-off time, betting odds, tips, live stream and team news
What time is kick off? The game starts at 9pm (local time) on July 2. In Australia, kick-off will be at 4am on July 3rd.
What TV Channel is it on and can I live stream it? In Australia, the only network with live broadcast rights is SBS. SBS Radio will also cover games that aren’t broadcast. Optus Sport in Australia will broadcast every game live as well via live streaming, however it will be available to subscribers only.
What’s the team news and who’s injured? Both sides are at full strength for this game.
Who’s the referee? Not yet announced.
What happened the last time they played each other? There have been 5 games between these sides, with Japan registering 2 wins to Belgium’s 1, while 2 games have been drawn. They last met in 2017 where Belgium scored a 1-0 win.