World Cup Daily Briefing: France the new favourites to lift trophy

France manager Didier Deschamps.
Didier Deschamps celebrates the fact that he will not be sacked tomorrow.
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Dan Fitch looks back on the opening day of the knockout stages of the World Cup, which saw France become to new favourites to win the tournament.

"The Argentines have had a chaotic World Cup, but they may have done everyone a favour by rousing France from their slumber."

France are the [5.3] favourites to win the World Cup.

Today's games - Last-16, Sunday 1 July

Spain [1.62] v Russia [6.8]; The Draw [4.0]
Kick off 15:00, Live on BBC One

One of the favourites to win the competition are widely expect to make the quarter-finals when Spain meet the hosts Russia.

"A better option if you're siding with Spain is to back them to win by exactly one goal. They're not set up to play make-or-break - football like Belgium for instance, and showed against Iran they're happy to do the bare minimum as long as they win."

Read Jamie Pacheco's Spain v Russia match preview and betting tips here.

Croatia [1.83] v Denmark [6.0]; The Draw [3.45]
Kick off, 19:00: Live on ITV

Two European sides unbeaten at this World Cup meet when Croatia take on Denmark.

"The 0-0 half-time correct score appeals at 13/10. Eight of Denmark's past 10 tussles have been goalless at the break, as have 11 of Croatia's last 14."

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

What happened yesterday?

The first two quarter-finalists revealed themselves yesterday, as fans were treated to not just one, but two dramatic games, that had huge implications on the World Cup betting markets.

First up were France against Argentina. The Argentines have had a chaotic World Cup, but they may have done everyone a favour by rousing France from their slumber. Didier Deschamps side finally revealed their attacking capabilities as they came from behind to beat Argentina 4-3, in a game in which Kylian Mbappe became the first teenager to score twice in a World Cup match since some fella called 'Pele' in 1958.

Another brace was scored later in the day as Edison Cavani inspired Uruguay to record a 2-1 victory over Portugal. What could have been a very dour match, was livened up by Cavani opening the scoring after seven minutes and the PSG forward found the net again in the second-half to score a goal which would prove to be Uruguay's winner.

These results set up the first quarter-final clash of this World Cup. France are rated as the favourites to make the semis at [1.51], while Uruguay are out at [2.78].

Who will win the World Cup?

We have new favourites! France were dawdling along as fifth favourites, but have come crashing in to [5.3] ahead of Brazil at [5.5], as punters lumped on, after their thrilling victory over Argentina.

With France expected to go far in the tournament, their quarter-finals opponents Uruguay are only rated as seventh favourites at [17.0], despite their impressive win against Portugal. Croatia are ahead of them at [12.5], with England at [9.2], Belgium at [8.2] and Spain the third favourites at [6.0].

England watch

One of the few players to emerge with some credit from the 1-0 defeat to Belgium was Danny Rose, even if he did make a mistake to allow Adnan Januzaj to score the decisive goal. Rose gave an energetic display on the left to stake his claim to stay in the team to face Colombia.

Yet reports from the England camp claim that Gareth Southgate is likely to restore Ashley Young to the side, which would see the manager naming the same lineup as faced Tunisia in the opening game of the campaign. England are [1.59] to make the quarter-finals.

Who will be top scorer?

One of the frontrunners to be the World Cup's top scorer exited the competition yesterday, as Cristiano Ronaldo's Portugal departed, but new challengers to the favourite Harry Kane have emerged.

Kane has come in to [2.66], with Romelu Lukaku his closest rival at [4.5]. The Tottenham striker has five goals in the competition, but doubles from Mbappe and Cavani have seen both players take their totals to three goals and emerge as contenders. Mbappe is the fourth favourite at [14.0], while Cavani is now the sixth favourite at [29.0].

What other sport is on today?

Valterri Bottas will start in pole position at the Austrian Grand Prix today and Ralph Ellis thinks that he can claim his first victory of the season.

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