World Cup Predictions: Lawro’s best bets on Monday includes 8/1 punt

We're halfway there and Mark Lawrenson's back to shake down Monday's last 16 clashes

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3pm: Japan 0-2 Croatia
7pm: Brazil 3-0 South Korea

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Japan v Croatia tips

TV: BBC, RTE

I honestly think Croatia have the best midfield three in the tournament. I think that’s a real problem for Japan. Croatia are battle hardened, they’ve been to the latter stages, they made the final in 2018. People say, ‘Their best players are well into their 30s,’ but they’re still playing really, really well.

The thing with Croatia is, if they need to ding in and scrap then they will. I’ll just go 2-0 to Croatia. Japan have done really, really well do get where they are, they’ve had some amazing results, and they’re improving all the time. The gap between the traditional big sides and those coming up are getting smaller and smaller and that’s, in no small part, down to Japan but I think they go out here.

Brazil v South Korea tips

TV: ITV, RTE

Brazil lost to Cameroon but they made loads of changes. Son Heung-min is the key man for South Korea and they’ve done well. You looked at them and thought, ‘Nah, don’t see them getting out of the group.’

They’re a technical team and they’re all very good on that front. I don’t see anything other than a big Brazil Win. I might even go 3-0 to Brazil. I think the word is that Neymar might not be back until the final but in many ways I think Brazil are a little bit better without him which sounds daft.

He has so many touches and slows the game down so everyone can watch him do his tricks. You know, it’s one of those where you’re tempted just to give the ball to the outstanding player all the time. More often than not there’s a better pass on that would benefit the team more.

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