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The final two round of 16 matches at World Cup 2022 take place on Tuesday, as Spain take on Morocco and Portugal lock horns with Switzerland.
There are still two places up for grabs in the quarter-finals, which will take place on Friday and Saturday.
Here are some suggested prop bets for the action in Qatar on December 6.
The odds for December 6 are from Caesars sportsbook. Sign up today for up to $1250 in free bets.
Spain used a false nine at times in the group stage, with Marco Asensio dropping off from the center-forward position. On other occasions, they deployed Alvaro Morata, a traditional striker, up front. That is the way they are likely to go here after the Atletico Madrid man scored three goals in the group phase, a tally that no other player in the tournament was able to better.
Rather than pushing high up the pitch, Morocco will likely sit deep and focus on defending their penalty area. Spain are not usually a crossing team but that may become a bigger part of their strategy than usual against the Atlas Lions.
Morata is not always the most reliable finisher but he has been clinical in Qatar so far. Back him to notch his fourth goal this winter.
Morocco were one of the biggest overachievers in the group stage, finishing top of Group F ahead of Croatia and Belgium. They did so by being defensively organized, tactically intelligent, and technically proficient. Spain should not expect an easy game here.
Morocco scored twice against each of Belgium and Canada, so they definitely carry an attacking threat. But Spain dominate possession in virtually every game they play and that should allow them to force the play far away from their goal.
We fancy Morocco’s chances of frustrating Spain for long periods on Tuesday. But the more they concentrate on keeping la Roja out at one end, the lesser the chances of them scoring at the other.
Portugal lost to South Korea on matchday three, but that result did not really matter. Fernando Santos’ side had already secured their spot in the round of 16, and they also finished top of Group H despite that last-gasp defeat by the Taeguk Warriors.
Santos is known to be a pragmatic tactician, but he let his Portugal players off the leash at times in the group stage. That will probably not be the case in the knockouts, where one mistake could be terminal.
Switzerland are also predominantly a safety-first side, so do not expect much in the way of goalmouth action in the first half in particular. A goalless opening of 45 minutes is the way to go here.
The caginess could continue into the second half. Both managers, you suspect, would not be too unhappy for the score to be level after an hour. Santos would back his team’s superior individuals to make the difference late on, while Murat Yakin would be pleased to still be in the game at that stage of the contest.
This wager also offers a little margin for error, since it could come through even if the first one does not (i.e. 1-1 after 60 minutes, not necessarily 0-0). Switzerland do carry a threat in forward areas, as they demonstrated in a 3-2 victory over Serbia, and Breel Emobolo’s speed on the counter-attack could be especially important.
This could be one of the closest matches in the entire round of 16, so put some money on a tie with 30 minutes of normal time remaining.
Dates: November 20 - December 18
How to Watch: Fox Sports, Telemundo, fuboTV
Greg Lea is a freelance soccer journalist from London. He is the former editor of The Set Pieces, and has contributed to the Guardian, FourFourTwo, and ESPN. A Crystal Palace fan, he is a long-time subscriber to the belief that it's the taking part that counts. Email: [email protected]More info on Greg Lea
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