World Cup Daily Briefing: German exit brings new World Cup favourites
Dan Fitch examines how Germany's defeat has affected the World Cup odds and points you towards all the best tips and bets ahead of today's games.
"With the threat of a last-16 clash against Germany now removed, Brazil are back as the favourites to win the World Cup."
Today's games - Thursday 28 June
Senegal [4.8] v Colombia [1.89]; The Draw [3.75]
Live on BBC One
Both Senegal and Colombia have the chance to both qualify for the last-16 and win the group, when they clash in what should be an entertaining match.
"On the evidence of the last two matches, when Senegal drew with Japan and Colombia comfortably beat the Poles, Colombia look the play here at just a shade of odds-on."
Japan [2.7] v Poland [3.0]; The Draw [3.3]
Live on BBC Two
A draw will see Japan through to the last-16 against eliminated Poland, while a win could see them win Group H.
"Japan are more than capable of putting the sorry Poles to the sword and I fancy they can end their group campaign in style and take all three points."
England [2.72] v Belgium [3.15]; The Draw [3.1]
Live on ITV
England and Belgium meet to decide who will top Group G, though second place could offer an easier route through to the latter stages.
"A point apiece keeps both sides unbeaten and ready for bigger tasks ahead and surely Southgate and Martinez will see it as a success if they get through the game with key men rested and no confidence lost."
Panama [4.7] v Tunisia [1.9]; The Draw [3.75]
Live on ITV4
Panama have never won a World Cup match before, while Tunisia have the chance of claiming their first victory at the tournament since 1974.
"Tunisia scored in the first 45 minutes against both England and Belgium and they're not going to wait until after the break to reveal their hand. They'll want to start fast and go from there."
What happened yesterday?
A couple of weeks ago I was asked to give my top ante-post bet for this World Cup. I confidently put what little there is of my reputation behind Germany reaching the semi-finals, arguing that even when they played badly, they still seemed to always make the last four.
What I didn't anticipate was Germany playing this badly. That Thomas Muller's performances would be the most dramatic example of someone losing their abilities since Superman II. That the Arsenal Mesut Ozil would turn up, rather than the Germany Mesut Ozil. That the their defence would have more holes in it than the plot of Eastenders.
South Korea capitalised on this chaos to win 2-0 and send Germany crashing out of the tournament. Meanwhile, Sweden bounced back from their last gasp defeat to Germany to surprisingly beat Mexico 3-0 to top Group F. The Swedes will now play Switzerland in the last-16, who drew 2-2 with Costa Rica to finish second in Group E.
Sweden are the narrow [2.04] outsiders to reach the quarter-finals, with Switzerland at [1.84]. The winners of Group E are Brazil after a 2-0 win over Serbia and they will face Mexico in the knockout stages. Brazil are the [1.25] favourites to go through, with Mexico at [4.5].
Who will win the World Cup?
With the threat of a last-16 clash against Germany now removed, Brazil are back as the favourites to win the World Cup at [5.0], ahead of Spain at [5.9].
The possibility of either Belgium or England finishing second in Group G and facing a potentially easier route through to the latter stages, has seen both side's prices reduce. Belgium are now the third favourites at [8.0], with England the fourth favourites at [9.4].
Much of the debate around the England team is centred on whether they should deliberately try to finish second in their group, which is a strategy that ignores the fact that Iceland would have ranked high on the list of preferred knockout stage opponents at Euro 2016.
Anyway, with Belgium threatening to make so many changes that it would be no surprise to see Hercule Poirot paired with Jacquel Brel up front, it may prove impossible to throw this game. Read Michael Cox's tactical breakdown of the match here.
Who will be top scorer?
The news that Romelu Lukaku is unlikely to play against England has seen him move out to third favourite at [7.2], behind Cristiano Ronaldo at [6.8]. Harry Kane is still the favourite to win the Golden Boot, with his price narrowing to [2.62].