Japan produced the first surprise in the groups stage by defeating Spain in the opening game and the Asians confirmed their status of favorites in game two. Winning the group in a convincing manner and disposing of Egypt without breaking a sweat makes them a force to be reckoned with in the semifinals.

Can Mexico block Japan’s way?

The first instinct would be to give a positive answer, but anyone who watched Japan play in London for the last couple of days will strongly disagree. The defensive is tight as a rock and when the strikers receive proper support from the midfielders, the Asians are more than a match for any team. Against Mexico they will deploy the same precision and rigor that helped them overcome Egypt and the emphasis will be placed on not conceding an early goal.

Mexico dominated the first half against Senegal, but the last 30 minutes were terrible and the African nation was close of sending them home early. The North Americans needed two goals scored in overtime to secure a place in the semifinals and they need to solve their defensive woes before the kick-off. The bookmakers are reluctant to give Japan the first chance on Tuesday, which means that the odds stand as high as 2.62 and represent huge value.

Korea won’t roll over for Brazil

Brazil is the favorite to win any football competition it enters and the Olympics make no exception, especially with the South Americans hoping to defend the title after four years in front of their fans. They need to be more careful defensively, because the quarterfinal against Honduras was anything but the easy success anyone predicted. A nine-man Honduras was able to keep the favorites in check and the fact that Brazil eventually got away with a narrow margin victory is not reassuring.

Mario Martinez and Neymar are the players to watch for on August 7th against Korea as they are the most likely to score the winning goals. Speaking of which, those who predict a scoring festival shouldn’t hold their breath against a defensive minded team such as the Asian one. The victory over Great Britain was hard-fought and Korea will use the same strategy to offset its underdog status. They needed penalties to prevail, but a similar outcome against Brazil would be celebrated accordingly by the Koreans.

If the 1.50 odds offered by Bet365 for a straight win don’t appeal to you, the alternative is to choose the Under 2,5 goals total. It is slightly more risky but the odds are twice as high and given Korea’s defensive attitude, the bet on few goals can prove to be a winner.