WORLD CUP BETTING: Live on BBC1: Sun 12.30, ITV1: Sun 15.00 & BBC1: Sun 19.30: Day 10 of the World Cup; Slovakia v Paraguay, Italy v New Zealand and Brazil v Ivory Coast in Groups F & G.
Brazil’s showdown with the Ivory Coast has to be considered one of the most mouth watering match-ups of the competition so far and although it’s the five-times world champions that have to be strongly fancied, hence Victor Chandler’s 4/6 for them to register a second victory of the tournament, Dunga’s men struggled to break down a stubborn North Korea side in their opener and also conceded at the other end, so the result is far from a foregone conclusion.
Sven Goran Eriksson’s side are 5/1 outsiders with Ladbrokes but they will have to be far more clinical in attack than they were in the goalless draw with Portugal, if they are to trouble the tournament favourites. The Elephants nevertheless acquitted themselves reasonably well in that clash and with Didier Drogba set to play a more significant role in Johannesburg, some punters might fancy them at 13/5 (Jaxx.com) to nick another point.
They can certainly get on the scoresheet and with that in mind; William Hill’s 5/4 for both teams to score catches the eye, however, the ‘Samba Kings’ have the nous to prise open Eriksson’s back line and in an entertaining clash with the potential to produce three or more goals (11/10, 888Sport); bet365 could pay for marking 15/2 against another 2-1 Brazil success.
Robinho is the man that can make the difference for Dunga’s troops. The diminutive attacker, who enjoyed a mixed relationship with Manchester City and the Premiership, looked like Brazil’s most creative player against North Korea on Tuesday and he’s 13/8 (Paddy Power) to convert his form into a goal in this one.
In Group D, Paraguay looked neat and tidy in securing a draw with Italy, although they did retreat into their shell a little as they tried to retain their 1-0 lead against the holders. Caution however, shouldn’t creep into their mindset against Slovakia, Gerardo Martino’s men knowing that a victory will almost certainly see them qualify for the second phase.
Their opponents were stung by a late New Zealand leveller in Rustenburg and are unlikely to bounce back in Bloemfontein where the South American outfit are worthy favourites at even money (Stan James). Paraguay meanwhile, defended well against Italy for the most part and up against a Slovakia attack that struggled to break down New Zealand; a victory ‘to nil’ at 2/1 (Partybets) could be on the cards.
Finally, in Nelspruit, Italy are a banker at 1/4 with Betdaq to get the better of New Zealand. The defending champions can dominate from the outset and they appear overpriced at 11/8 (Betfred) to win both halves while Totesport rate them at 15/8 to be 1-0 in front at the break.