Thursday's World Cup Bet Builder tips: Red Devils set for early exit
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James Mason
Roberto Martinez's Belgium are in real danger of being eliminated
Roberto Martinez's Belgium are in real danger of being eliminated

- The final games in World Cup Groups E and F take place on Thursday
- Belgium's time in Qatar could be short as they prepare to face Croatia
- Spain to turn on the style against the Samurai Blue

Groups E and F at the World Cup will come to their conclusion on Thursday and there could be a big-name casualty from the tournament in Qatar, with Belgium in danger of being sent home early.

Croatia to clinch top spot

Bet 1: Back Croatia to win

Croatia started their World Cup campaign in slow fashion, drawing 0-0 against Morocco, but they roared back into life with a 4-1 thumping of Canada - a result that consigned the Maple Leafs to an exit after just two matches.

Vatreni are top of the pile in Group F and another victory would secure top spot, as long as Morocco do not beat Canada in their final group contest and make up the goal difference on the 2018 World Cup runners-up.

A win for Belgium would send them through into the knockout stages but it is hard to back them with any confidence right now, as they were lucky to beat Canada 1-0 and deservedly lost 2-0 to the Atlas Lions last time out.

Disharmony in the ranks is not making for that feel-good factor and the Red Devils will find it tough to get the better of Croatia, who are on an eight-game unbeaten run and look to be in full flow after that big win last time out.

Bet 2: Back Andrej Kramaric to score anytime

Hoffenheim star Andrej Kramaric burst into life in the win over Canada, bagging two goals to get his country back on track and also throwing himself into the Golden Boot picture.

The 31-year-old has taken his international tally to 22 goals - only five players have scored more for Vatreni - and there is every chance he can improve on that record against a Belgium side that have kept just one clean sheet from their last five matches.

Bet 3: Back Over 9 corners in the match

If Belgium are at a stage in the match where they are desperate for a goal, then there is every chance they will go more direct with their play and start throwing balls into the box, something that could see more corners coming their way.

Across the Red Devils' first two matches there have been no less than 18 corners, with 13 coming the way of Martinez's troops, while the last meeting between Belgium and Croatia in June last year had 15 corners in total.

La Roja's class to show

Spain look like they could be the real deal under Luis Enrique
Spain look like they could be the real deal under Luis Enrique

Bet 1: Back Spain to win to nil

Spain put down an early marker with their 7-0 thumping of Costa Rica before they were held to a 1-1 draw by Germany. In truth, La Roja should have had that game wrapped up before conceding late on.

Luis Enrique's side have a nice blend of youth and experience, with the talented duo of Pedri and Gavi earning rave reviews in midfield, and they should have more than enough to get the better of Japan and secure top spot in Group E.

The Samurai Blue pulled off a huge shock to beat Germany 2-1, but they were unable to follow that up in their next match against Costa Rica as they suffered a disappointing 1-0 defeat.

Japan's lack of cutting edge in that loss was a real concern and they may find it tough to find a way through Spain, who will see a lot of possession and have generally looked solid at the back in this tournament.

Bet 2: Back Wataru Endo to receive a card

With Spain expected to dominate possession, Japan will have to do a lot of running, put in numerous tackles and hope that La Roja's finishing is not what it was in their opening assignment in Qatar.

Tired legs could become an issue the longer the match goes on and this brings the possibility of a card for Wataru Endo into full focus, given the fact he has already picked up a caution at the World Cup.

The Stuttgart man is a key part of Japan's team and is likely to feature, despite worries over a knee injury, an issue that only adds to the chances he could pick up a card.

Bet 3: Back Marco Asensio to score anytime

Spain have been playing with fluidity in the final third and one player that has impressed is Marco Asensio, who scored in the Costa Rica rout and has been an integral part of attack.

The 26-year-old has been linking up nicely with his team-mates and with Japan most likely needing to press for a goal at some stage of the contest, there could be gaps for La Roja to expose.

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