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Japan and Portugal ready to frustrate their loftier last 16 rivals

| 29.06.2010

Today could be a frustrating day for Paraguay and Spain, and there could be real value in backing their underdog opponents, Japan and Portugal, in today’s daily special markets.

A draw in both last 16 ties – Paraguay vs Japan and Spain vs Portugal – is very temptingly priced at a combined 10/1.

And at 16/1, it could also be worth going for wins for both Japan and Portugal, who have arguably been more impressive at the World Cup than their second round opponents.

Portugal’s form, in particular, suggests that they can upset pre-tournament favourites Spain. They are unbeaten in 19 matches, and have conceded just three goals in the process.

Carlos Queiroz’s men are 3/1 to defeat Spain, and their resolute backline could frustrate the Euro 2008 champions’ attack, which was sufficiently blunted by Switzerland in Spain’s shock 1-0 opening loss.

Four of the last seven matches between Spain and Portugal have been draws, and a stalemate in tonight’s round of 16 meeting is 11/5.

A draw between Paraguay and Japan, meanwhile, is also priced at 11/5, which seems a viable outcome when we consider their head-to-head record.

The last three meetings between the sides have produced one win each and a draw, and with Paraguay having drawn two of their Group F ties, there is a distinct possibility that another stalemate awaits them in the second round.

Paraguay have drawn three of their last five fixtures, while Japan are more than capable of holding their South American opponents having beaten Cameroon and Denmark in Group E.

Even if both matches are drawn, you can still back Paraguay and Spain to both qualify at 6/5. And for a double shock, Japan and Portugal are 6/1 to both progress to the quarter-finals.

Do you think the favourites will prosper? A win for both Paraguay and Spain is priced at 10/3. See the full Daily Doubles market.



Robbie Morris

Robbie studied sports journalism at the University of Gloucestershire, an establishment chosen for its proximity to Cheltenham racecourse, where he was a season ticket holder. Upon graduation, Robbie was a contributor to GolfPunk, a national magazine aimed at ridding golf of its traditionalist image, before joining the news.ladbrokes team.