World Cup Previews: Round of 16 Ends With Paraguay/Japan and Spain/Portugal

29 June 2010

Vicente Del Bosque leads his team's training session at the Green Point Stadium. (Credit Image: © epa/
The World Cup's round of sixteen concludes Tuesday, ending nineteen straight days of football. However, before we get our three day break, we have the final two quarterfinal spots to sort out.

On Monday, Jeff got both his picks correct, while Johnathan went 1 win and 1 no result. Jeff's record is now 27 wins, 19 losses, and 8 no results.Johnathan's record is 23 wins, 25 losses, and 6 no results.

Note: If we're using the handicap line, we will include what the spread is. If it spread is 0, a draw will mean no result. If we use the Over/Under line, just add the total number of goals scored in a match. Please note that this will all be based on the scoreline at Full Time (90 minutes). For betting purposes, only the result after 90 minutes are counted. Our odds are courtesy of Centsports.

10:00 am on ESPN: Paraguay v Japan
Johnathan Starling: Paraguay came through either the easiest group or the second easiest group, depending on who you ask. Japan didn't have much fun being in a group with Holland, but beat the rest of their Group E opposition. The thing that impresses me the most about Paraguay is the fact that their defending is stout, and they have the same ability as Uruguay have to counter attack. Holland proved to me that Japan's defense could be breached. I have to be honest when I say this is a total gamble from me, as this game just screams extra time. However, my prediction is Paraguay to win outright at +105.
Jeff Hash: The honest truth is, this game is really a toss-up in my mind.  Paraguay is probably the better eleven, but to me, they have been too stuck in neutral (best exhibited by the scoreless draw with New Zealand).  Japan, meanwhile, did get beaten up by teh Dutch, but they also scored a pair of good wins in Denmark and Japan.  The X Factor is Keisuke Honda, who's been a big part of the Japan attack, and I think he can do more in this game.  I'm taking an upset, but insurance to go with it: my pick is Japan on the 0 at +165.

2:30 pm on ESPN: Spain v Portugal
Johnathan Starling: The good news for Portugal is they sure did score alot of goals in the group stage. The bad news is that they came against North Korea. While they didn't allow a goal either, I do wonder about their attacking ability. Spain hasn't looked great, but have rebounded perfectly after the shaky start they had against Switzerland. Again, this is another game that to me looks destined for extra time. If there is a winner in ninety, I think it will be Spain. My prediction is Spain on the 0 line at -250.
Jeff Hash: Looking at the two sides, the first thought is how, even with the shock loss to Switzerland, Spain had a better time in the group stage.  At least Spain was able to dig out the goals against two different opponents, including two good first-half efforts against Chile.  Portugal just wasn't there when the opponents had the ability to play with them.  But Spain didn't crush it either, and I have to wonder how much they'll truly find against what is a well organized defense.  My pick is simple: under 2.5 goals at -155.


About This Blog

Johnathan Starling, the self proclaimed 'most brutally honest man on the net, dishes out his own unique brand of opinions, and analysis on the Premier League, Bundesliga, and all things US Soccer.

Get In Touch

If you have any questions regarding content on the blog, wanting to write on the blog, or to potentially advertise on the blog, email

Donate to The Third Half

  © Blogger template Leaving by 2008

Back to TOP