Both Teams to Score: Yes – 6/5
It’s difficult to see this one being a cagey affair. With the attacking power Belgium have and their willingness to push forward, it’s also hard to see a Japanese defence holding them out for long.
Japan caught a break in their first game, Colombia suffering the double blow of a red card and penalty conceded in the opening minutes of the game. Still, against ten men, the Japanese struggled to capitalise on the advantage until the South Americans tired.
The sole remaining Asian side were more impressive against Senegal, their intricate play creating enough chances to win that game, but they conceded two, and took just a point instead of three.
What they’ve shown so far is they can make opportunites, and Belgium under Roberto Martinez will give them some. We fancy the skills of Inue, Kagawa, Honda and the Blue Samurai attack can combine to get on the scoreboard in this one. They’ll have to if Japan are to be competitive.
2.5 Goals: Over – 17/20
With both teams capable of scoring and questionable defensively – Tunisia managed two goals against this Belgian defence – we’d reckon three goals isn’t too much to ask for ninety minutes here.
The Red Devils of Belgium are spoiled for attacking options. Their manager has crowbarred former Atletico Madrid attacker Yannick Carrasco in as a wing-back just to have him in the side.
Eden Hazard, Dries Mertens and Romelu Lukaku form a three-pronged front-line that can skewer the best defences. With Kevin de Bruyne pulling the strings behind them, it could be a long night for the Japanese defence.
To Score Two or More: Romelu Lukaku – 4/1
The Belgian battering ram can bowl over centre-halves seemingly at will when on form. He’s also collected a reputation for looking his best against overmatched opponents.
The Asian side can call on Premier League experience in the form of Maya Yoshida at centre-back, but whether that’s enough to hold up the Man United striker’s charge for the topscorer gong is another question.
Lukaku will have to see this tie against the wekest remaining side in the competition as a golden opportunity to take the lead from England’s Harry Kane and score his fifth and sixth goals of the competition.
*All odds correct at time of posting