WORLD CUP BETTING: Live on ITV1: Wed 12.30, BBC1: Wed 15.00 & Wed 19.30: Day 6 of the World Cup; Honduras v Chile, Spain v Switzerland and South Africa v Uruguay in Groups H & A.
Pre-tournament favourites Spain and Switzerland are the final two teams to get their campaign under way as they lock horns in Durban and predictably it’s Vicente del Bosque’s side that are fancied to make a winning start, 888Sport pricing them at 2/7 to see off the stubborn Swiss.
Ottmar Hitzfeld’s troops, 12/1 with Victor Chandler to cause a huge upset by defeating the European champions, have been rocked by an injury to star man Alexander Frei and are up against it, however they showed their resilience in qualifying by going unbeaten after a remarkable early defeat to Luxembourg and they can make Spain work for the points.
Switzerland will set up to be difficult to beat and they’re capable of frustrating their opponents in the early stages A drawn first half isn’t out of the question then at 7/4 with Betfred while bolder punters can back the opening 45 minutes at 11/5 (Jaxx.com) to produce no goals or tackle William Hill’s 11/4 for the deadlock to be broken in the second period.
Certainly the opener should occur later than the 23rd minute, a scenario available at 10/11 courtesy of Paddy Power and with a patient approach set to reap rewards for del Bosque’s charges, the best bet could prove to be a Spain success following an even first period, priced by Ladbrokes at 7/2; the same odds offered by Stan James for David Villa to notch first.
Earlier in the day, Honduras tackle Chile and it’s the South American outfit at 4/7 with Partybets than can get the better of their Central American counterparts; Totesport’s 11/2 outsiders. Marcelo Bielsa’s men impressively finished in second place in qualifying, a point behind Brazil and they should be able to handle the counter-attacking style of Los Catrachos to score a victory and simultaneously keep a clean sheet; a combination priced at 5/4 by bet365. Value hunters can also back Chile at 11/2 (Betdaq) to bag the only goal.
It’s a case of ‘as you were’ in Group A after both opening matches finished all square but of the four teams, it’s Uruguay, who drew with France, who will be happiest to have a point in the bag. The South Americans, at 7/5 with Paddy Power, can build on that result as well by beating South Africa in the evening kick-off in Pretoria. The hosts were caught napping at the back against Mexico and Uruguay’s attacking pair Luis Suarez and Diego Forlan can exploit any defensive weakness; the latter 9/5 (Paddy Power) to strike at any time.