World Cup Daily Briefing: Favourites Brazil crack against Belgian pressure

Brazil fan.
They're coming home, they're coming, Brazil are coming home.
Join today

Dan Fitch examines how Belgium's defeat of Brazil has given us new World Cup favourites and points you in the direction of all the best tips and bets for England's crucial match with Sweden...

"Belgium finally dumped the fiasco named Carrasco, pushed Kevin De Bruyne further forward and reaped the rewards, as they beat Brazil 2-1."

Belgium are the [3.7] second favourites to win the World Cup.

Today's games - Quarter-finals, Saturday 7th July

Sweden [5.1] v England [1.95]; The Draw [3.35]
Kick off 15:00, Live on BBC One

Is it coming home? England are the favourites but Sweden have a great record against them and a have built up a list of notable scalps en-route to the quarter-finals.

"Southgate has given a dedicated young group the tools to succeed, and the England attack is capable of breaking down a determined Swedish side."

Read Kevin Hatchard's Sweden v England preview and betting tips here.

Russia [4.2] v Croatia [2.24]; The Draw [3.1]
Kick off 19:00, Live on ITV

The hosts Russia weren't expected to get this far. Can they surprise again against fancied Croatia?

"All bar one draw in the World Cup knockout stages since 1994 has concluded either 0-0 or 1-1."

Read Mark O'Haire's Russia v Croatia preview and betting tips here.

What happened yesterday?

The favourites Brazil are out, that's what happened yesterday. Belgium finally dumped the fiasco named Carrasco, pushed Kevin De Bruyne further forward and reaped the rewards, as they beat Brazil 2-1.

As this was the obvious thing to do since before the tournament, no one should be painting Roberto Martinez as some sort of tactical mastermind, particularly as he has neglected to pick another proper right-back to replace the now suspended Thomas Meunier. Belgium certainly looked stronger with the changes he made though, even if some of them raised eyebrows. You can imagine Gareth's team talk should England meet the Belgians in the final: "Lads, it's Fellaini..."

With the Brazil nut cracked, Belgium will meet France in the semi-final. After their drama against Argentina, the French got back to their policy of recording somewhat non-dramatic victories, as they beat Uruguay 2-0. Indeed, it was a moment of high comedy that confirmed Uruguay's tragedy, as their goalkeeper Fernando Muslera gifted Antoine Griezmann a goal that confirmed France's win.

France are the narrow favourites at [1.81] to reach the final, with Belgium at [2.18]. Whoever wins will be the favourite in the final, which is frankly weird. Haven't they heard that it's coming home?

Who will win the World Cup?

With Brazil leaving Russia, it's all change at the top. France are the new favourites at [3.15] and having knocked Brazil out, Belgium have moved from fourth favourites to second favourites at [3.7].

England remain third favourites at [5.4], with Croatia next at [7.0]. Both prices will get smaller if they win their quarter-final ties today. Russia are the fifth favourites at [21.0], while Sweden are the rank outsiders at [24.0].

Stat of the day

Eleven of Sweden's last 14 goals at the World Cup have been scored in the second-half, including five of their six goals at this tournament.

The England half-time/draw full-time double result is [20.0].

Who will be the top scorer?

Harry Kane's grip on the Golden Boot tightened yesterday, as potential rivals Romelu Lukaku and Kylian Mbappe both failed to score. Kane is now at [1.26], with Lukaku at [11.5] and Mbappe at [36.0].

Griezmann scored his third goal of the tournament in the victory over Uruguay and has moved into [27.0], ahead of Mbappe.

England watch

England gained an early advantage over Sweden yesterday, as a fire alarm at the Swedish hotel in Samara interrupted their beauty sleep early in the morning. As most of them were probably having nightmares about Harry Kane scoring against them and Jordan Pickford saving penalties, the unexpected wakeup might have been for the best anyway. England are [1.47] to make the semi-finals, with Sweden at [3.1].

Who will win the Golden Ball?

With France going through to the semi-finals and the price of Neymar and Philippe Coutinho spiralling, Mbappe is now the [4.4] favourite to win the Golden Ball, with Griezmann in to [13.5].

Kane is the second favourite at [5.2], with the third favourite now Belgium's Eden Hazard, after a fine performance against Brazil. De Bruyne scored a crucial goal in that match and is the fourth favourite at [11.5].

What other sport is on today?

With the UK enjoying unusually hot weather, Wimbledon is bang on schedule and it's the last chance to watch some tennis today, before the traditional rest on Sunday.

Our crack team of tennis experts are on hand to bring you all the best Wimbledon betting advice and tips.

Join today

Discover the latest articles

Read past articles