In this post we give our prediction for the match Belgium vs. Japan in the Round of 16 of the World Cup 2018. While Belgium has qualified as winner of group G with 9 points, Japan (4 points) was runner-up of group H behind Colombia (6 points) by taking profit of the Fair Play criterion. Since our prediction model is based on the Elo strengths of the participating teams, we have updated our data by incorporating the results of the group phase in order to forecast the matches in the Knockout phase. We are interested which team has better chances to qualify for the quarter-finals.
We present the probabilities for each team to qualify for the quarter-final. This takes into account a victory after 90 or 120 minutes according to our model. Furthermore, we give the probability for a penalty shoot-out. Our model favours Belgium clearly, Japan only has minor chances. We don’t expect a decision by penalty shoot-out in this match. (We recall from our previous posts: We believe that penality shoot-outs are very difficult if not impossible to model and hence we do not give any further forecasts in this case.)
Analogously to our previous posts during the group phase of the tournament, we present the probabilities for the match after 90 minutes: we favour a 2-0 or 1-0 victory of Belgium, followed by several other scores of similar probabilities.
Although the probability for a draw after 90 minutes is rather low, we also present the expected results after 120 minutes in the case that the match goes into extra time (ET):
Hence, the estimated probability that Belgium wins 2-1 after extra time is 2.44%. This includes the cases of a 0-0 or a 1-1 draw after 90 minutes. According to the above table we rather expect a penalty shoot-out if the match goes into extra time.