Day 16 World Cup Preview & Picks

Brazil and Portugal started out attacking, but then seemed content with a draw, which sent both of them into the second round. The Ivory Coast won against North Korea, but the 3-0 victory wasn’t enough. They needed to make up nine goals to pass Portugal and advance, but failed to score enough.

Switzerland disappointed after the opening shocker against Spain and couldn’t score against Honduras. With Chile losing 2-1 the Swiss would have needed a 2-0 win to advance. Instead they drew with Honduras and were eliminated.

Brazil, Portugal, Spain, and Chile are the four teams that clinched their spot in the knockout stage today. Brazil face Chile, and Portugal face Spain in the Round of 16.

Day 16 marks the first day of the knockout stage. There will be no more draws, only winners and losers on the pitch. Keep in mind, though, that many bookies offer three-way bets, that don’t include extra time and penalties. And the way this tournament has been going, we could see quite a few matches go into extra time and penalties.

Saturday starts out with a match between Uruguay and South Korea. Uruguay go into the knockout stage as winner of Group A, beating out Mexico, South Africa, and 2006 runners-up France. They have a 2-1-0 record and have yet to concede a goal. They beat hosts South Africa 3-0 and Mexico 1-0. They got a scoreless draw in their opener against France.

Uruguay have been playing from a very solid defense, and focused mostly on counter attacks. And they have done so masterfully. They had three clean-sheets in the group stage, and striker Diego Forlan has shown why he is considered one of the best attackers in the world.

The Uruguayan side hasn’t won a Wold Cup since 1950, but they have a doable road to the semis. They have looked rock solid so far, and it will be tough for any team to score on them.

South Korea has been one of the surprise teams at this World Cup. They beat Greece 2-0 and drew with Nigeria to finish runners-up in Group B. They lost 4-1 against Argentina in their second group match.

The South Koreans have shown that they can score, but they have a shaky defense at times. This could be deadly when they face Uruguay Saturday. They will try to control the game and get their offense to go, but they will have a tough time against Uruguay’s defense. South Korea’s defensive players aren’t good enough to keep Forlan in check.

Uruguay comes in as the heavy favorite, and I don’t see them losing this. They might concede their first goal Saturday, but they should come out on top in regulation. Go to 5Dimes for the best value at -106.

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