2022 Qatar World Cup: our Monday picks
published : 5 Dec 2022 at 07:30
newspaper section: Sports
The Bangkok Post's predictions on matches.
Japan v Croatia
Japan coach Hajime Moriyasu has set his sights on a best-ever finish for the country and he needs a win against Croatia in the last 16 to achieve the feat. Japan are like Jekyll and Hyde -- they beat Germany and Spain and lost to Costa Rica in the group stage. It remains to be seen which Japan will turn up on Monday. Croatia, the 2018 World Cup runners-up, have a couple of fine players such as Luka Modric and Ivan Perisic. However, they could only beat Canada and had two scoreless draws with Morocco and Belgium in the opening round, and may find it difficult to see off the Japanese. The outcome of Monday's match could be determined in extra time and the Samurai Blue should prevail as their players look fitter.
Prediction: Japan 2-1 (after extra time)
Brazil v South Korea
Title favourites Brazil are sweating on the fitness of Neymar who has returned to training after an injury in their opening match. However, coach Tite is spoiled for choice and may be tempted to start the PSG superstar on the bench. The likes of Vinicius Jr, Richarlison, Casemiro, Raphinha, Rodrygo and Antony should still be much too strong for South Korea, led by Song Heung-Min. The Koreans' fighting spirit is second to none but that may not be enough to beat the Selecao.
Prediction: Brazil 3-0