Guest post written by Arthur Browne.
What a start to the World Cup week it’s been. The French are in total disarray, Italy and England have both started sluggishly while Brazil and Argentina both look to be coming nicely to the boil. Where can you find value as the week ahead unfolds?
I’ve put together a range of possibilities so there’s something for everyone. Take a look at these recommendations…
Group A has been full of surprises thanks to France being their own best opponent. I think the odds on Mexico winning the group are generous at 5/2 as they’ve shaken off early tournament nerves and saw off France stylishly. Back them to win the group.
What about England? Well keep the faith folks as England drew their two opening matches in Italia ’90 and went on to the semi-finals. Joe Cole has been knocking on the door for inclusion in the team and he may just be the man to kick-start a faltering campaign. Capello is likely to make changes and a good performance on Wednesday means he should get a run in the team. He is a generous 18/1 to be England’s top goal scorer, so pop a few quid on him now.
I’m going to go out on a limb and predict that ageing Italy will fall at the first hurdle. They looked short of ideas as they attempted to find a winner against New Zealand. Take the 10/3 on the Italians not to get out of their group.
Meanwhile in group E, an incisive attacking performance from Denmark against Cameroon showed enough to convince me that they can edge out Japan at 11/10 to be the other team to qualify for the knockout stages alongside Holland.
In group H I think Spain’s opening round defeat will be enough to sting them back into action. But with Chile’s excellent start why not try a punt on the placement of those to go through? I fancy Chile at number one and Spain at number two with the odds of 7/1.
What about Monday’s games? We’ve seen that North Korea know how to keep things tight so my view is that Portugal’s margin of victory will be narrow. They didn’t show enough against Ivory Coast to terrify. Take Portugal to win 1-0 at 4/1.
As for the Chile vs. Switzerland game, they both won their first rounds but Chile look to have a bit more quality. Take Chile to win a tight affair 2-1 at a price of 17/2.
Spain vs. Honduras, I back one of the pre-tournament favourites to bounce back. I can’t see them cutting loose though so go for one goal for Spain at 17/5.
What about the overall winner? Well favourites Brazil, as usual, offer poor value. Although Holland is tempting at 6/1, their record in the World Cup counts against them – they never seem to manage to get over the final hurdle. I’m also put off Germany because of their implosion against Serbia. My recommendation therefore is to get a bet on now on Argentina at 4/1.
All odds correct at time of writing.