World Cup Predictions: Who will Brazil face in Round of 16?
With Brazil on 4 points in Group A and facing a twice-beaten Cameroon in their final game on Monday night, the 2014 World Cup hosts are strong favourites to progress from their group. Even a draw puts them through to the next round as the other game between Mexico (4 points) and Croatia (3 points) is the real tie-breaker with both teams expected to go all out to win and book a place in the next round.
Group A Predictions According to Cameroon v Brazil predictions put Brazil at a 30% chance to win. That percentage can be deceiving as Brazil only need a draw or better to progress to the knockouts, and with Cameroon accorded only 16% chances of winning, that gives Brazil a 84% chance of getting through to the knockouts.
The other game in Group A is important too, as it not only affects Brazil's progress from the group but also Brazil's position in it.
The Croatia v Mexio predictions are, as expected, varied as the two teams are close to equal in ability and strengths. Croatia have a 40% chance of progressing, although a draw (33%) favours Mexico, who are a point ahead of their European opponents.
Fans' voting on the two games is more extreme - with Brazil given an 88% chance to beat Cameroon, and Croatia a 70% chance to beat Mexico.
Brazil's goal-difference advantage over Mexico and Cameroon's weak showing in this year's World Cup means Brazil are favourites to top Group A after tonight's games, much as we predicted at the start of the tournament.
Group B Predictions
Brazil fans will also be keeping a close eye on Group B's final matches as they will determine the final group standings for Netherlands and Chile (both on 6 points) and thus which team Brazil will get to play in the Round of 16.
Both teams won their group in convincing fashion (although Netherlands had a scare against Australia) but while Group B's fate is sealed, the match between Netherlands and Chile is too close to call. Betegy puts the Dutch's winning chances at 35%, just ahead of Chile (32%).
With Netherlands defensively suspect (Spain missed key chances and Australia nearly recorded an epic win), we think Chile have a better chance this game than the bookmakers and predictions expect.
Just a draw keeps Netherlands on top, so assuming that Brazil top their group, we can predict Brazil's next round opponents:
Brazil v Chile - 68% Brazil v Netherlands - 32%
Of course, there's also Spain v Australia tonight. Spain would be expected to win this under normal circumstances but then again they had been expected to win their last two games too. An Australian team angry about the Netherlands result could, in Chile fashion, hustle the champions and secure a memorable win.
We expect Brazil and Croatia to win tonight, and Netherlands to secure a draw against Chile and therefore avoid the hosts in the second round.
Who would you prefer as Brazil's second-round opponents - Netherlands or Chile?