WORLD CUP BETTING: Live on ITV: Mon 12.30, BBC1: Mon 15.00 & BBC1: Mon 19.30: Day 4 of the World Cup; Netherlands v Denmark, Japan v Cameroon & Italy v Paraguay in Groups E & F.
Holders Italy start the defence of their title against a tough Paraguay outfit in what is likely to be an encounter short on goals. Marcelo Lippi’s men, as ever, will look to keep things tight and are almost always strong defensively and the South Americans are a counter-attacking side, who are also solid at the back. The two rearguards should dominate then and a tally of fewer than 2.5 goals, priced at 1/2 by Jaxx.com, should be the result.
The defending champions, an even money chance at 888Sport.com, nevertheless have the class to edge out Gerardo Martino’s troops (7/2, Paddy Power) and bold punters can back them at 5/1 with Victor Chandler to grab the game’s only goal.
By contrast the Group E clash between Netherlands and Denmark could produce a hatful of goals. The Dutch are fluent in attack and look set to be one of the most exciting teams to watch in the whole competition, but they look a touch creaky at the back and the Danes, who qualified impressively, can exploit that at least once.
Subsequently, a strong case can be made for totesport’s 11/10 marked against three or more goals, and that tally could be divided three-to-one in favour of the Dutch (12/1, Stan James). Alternatively, Jaxx.com quote 3/4 for both teams to find the net and in the match betting Bert Van Marwijk’s charges are worthy favourites for the points at 8/11 with Betdaq while Arsenal’s Robin van Persie, well rested after an injury-hit season, is a tempting 13/10 (bet365) to get on the scoresheet.
Industrious but blunt, Japan are the team that look set to prop up Group D and Paul Le Guen’s Cameroon, rated at 11/10 by Betfred can get the better of them in Bloemfontein. Takeshi Osada’s 13/5 outsiders (Partybets) lack firepower and accordingly, the Indomitable Lions look well placed to win ‘to nil’; a result Ladbrokes offer at 2/1 while William Hill make them 17/2 to notch twice without reply.