WORLD CUP BETTING: Live on BBC1: Sun 12.30, ITV: Sun 15.00 & ITV: Sun 19.30: Day 3 of the World Cup; Algeria v Slovenia, Serbia v Ghana and Germany v Australia in Groups C & D.
The ever-reliable Germans have a habit of performing well in the face of adversity and so the loss of Michael Ballack and first choice goalkeeper Rene Adler to injury shouldn’t prevent them making a decent start to what should be a relatively successful campaign, by grinding out a narrow victory against a gritty Australian outfit.
Joachim Low’s men are 8/15 with 888Sport.com to see off the Socceroos, William Hill’s 6/1 outsiders but with that quote doing little to excite, punters might consider backing Germany’s defence to hold firm in a tight affair; Paddy Power’s 7/5 for the three-times World Cup winners to prevail without conceding, the outstanding bet in Durban.
For the more ambitious, Jaxx.com chalk 11/2 against the Germans bagging the only goal and the man that make the difference for the Euro 2008 finalists is Miroslav Klose. The Bayern Munich marksman hasn’t had the best season for his club but he possesses an enviable international record and has produced in his previous two World Cups, notching ten times. He’s a tasty 6/5 (bet365) to notch at any time against Pim Verbeek’s troops.
Two of England’s Group C opponents, Algeria and Slovenia face-off in Polokwane in a clash that is absolutely vital to the qualification hopes of both. The loser of this one can pretty much kiss goodbye to any hopes of progressing and despite their status as Betdaq’s 13/10 favourites, it’s the Europeans that could fall here.
Rabah Saadane’s Algeria have been underestimated a touch ahead of this tournament; they won’t lack belief having ousted bitter rivals Egypt to make it to South Africa and the determination of the Desert Foxes suggests they are overpriced at 13/5 (Betfred) to come out on top.
Meanwhile, viewers expecting a goal glut in Serbia’s clash with Ghana will be disappointed. The former are a 6/5 chance at Paddy Power and possess a stout rearguard, bolstered by the presence of Premiership pair Nemanja Vidic and Branislav Ivanovic but they might be found wanting in attack. Similarly Ghana (11/4, Victor Chandler) defended well but struggled for goal in the African Cup of Nations and subsequently, a 0-0 scoreline at 7/1 (888Sport) could be a moneyspinner. Alternatively, totesport price the pair at 9/4 to share the spoils and Jaxx.com post 4/7 against a match total of fewer than 2.5 goals.