World Cup Daily Briefing: Spain exit sees Croatia price slashed

Croatia midfielder Luka Modric.
No one is happier to see Spain out of the tournament than these guys.
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Dan Fitch looks at the fallout from another shock World Cup exit, while pointing you in the direction of today's best bets...

"So now one of either Russia or Croatia will reach the semi-final, which is not a sentence that I imagined I would be writing a couple of weeks ago, before this World Cup revealed itself to be as mad as a box of frogs."

Croatia are [7.2] to win the World Cup.

Today's games - Last-16, Monday 2 July

Brazil [1.53] v Mexico [7.8]; The Draw [4.4]
Kick off 15:00, Live on ITV

The pre-tournament favourites Brazil have yet to show their best form, but are still expected to breeze past Mexico and into the quarter-finals.

"Brazil have never lost to Mexico at the World Cup (W3 D1), and in fact have never even conceded a goal, so it's no great surprise that the South Americans are favourites to triumph."

Read Jack Lang's Brazil v Mexico match preview and betting tips here.

Belgium [1.39] v Japan [11.5]; The Draw [5.0]
Kick off 19:00, Live on BBC One

Belgium have won all of their games at this World Cup and can add Japan to their list of conquests to book their place in the last-eight.

"One of the strengths of Roberto Martinez's current Belgian team is their ability to put away teams they should and it's probably fair to view Japan as one of the light-middleweights of this World Cup."

Read Dave Tindall's Belgium v Japan match preview and betting tips here.

What happened yesterday?

Spain's World Cup campaign has been an interesting experiment. In an age where we are sold on the cult of the manager and his importance to a team's success, could a very talented nation just bring some random bloke in off the street and expect him to be able to guide them to a tournament victory?

Yesterday's events answered that question pretty conclusively. Turns out that Spain would have been better keeping a manager that hadn't lost a single game in nearly two years in charge, even if Julen Lopetegui was a dirty double crosser. Spain never truly convinced under the managerial novice Fernando Hierro and have now been eliminated from the World Cup by Russia after a penalty shoot out, in a game which their coach's lack of decisiveness saw them drift through a match they should have won easily.

Joining the hosts Russia in the quarter-finals are Croatia, who scraped through against Denmark with an unconvincing display. They too would need penalties to take them through, after 90 minutes and extra time in which they struggled to deal with the Danes' energy and directness.

So now one of either Russia or Croatia will reach the semi-final, which is not a sentence that I imagined I would be writing a couple of weeks ago, before this World Cup revealed itself to be as mad as a box of frogs. Croatia are [1.6] to qualify, with Russia at [2.58].

Who will win the World Cup?

Spain's exit has had a dramatic impact on the World Cup winner market, as the third favourite were eliminated to leave a path through for an unlikely finalist. Croatia have replaced Spain as the new third favourites at [7.0], though they are likely to be replaced by England, should Gareth Southgate's team reach the quarter-finals. England are [7.4] to win the World Cup, which is the same price that Belgium currently trade at.

Leading the betting is France at [5.1] after their impressive victory over Argentina, with Brazil the second favourites at [5.2]. Russia may have beaten Spain and have home advantage, but they are still only rated as the eighth favourites at [23.0].

England watch

England are now the only team on their side of the draw to have won the World Cup, with Sweden the only other nation to have reached a final before. Their supposedly 'easy' path could add pressure to a young team that are now the [3.8] fourth favourites to reach the final. Tuesday's match against Colombia promises to be terrifying.

What other sport is on today?

The days that are to come which will be without a World Cup match, will be made a little less painful for the welcome news that Wimbledon has arrived.

The Grand Slam starts today and our team of tennis experts are on hand with all the best Wimbledon betting advice and tips.

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