WORLD CUP BETTING: Live on BBC1: Fri 12.30 & Fri 15.00, ITV1: Fri 19.30: Day 8 of the World Cup; Germany v Serbia, Slovenia v USA and England v Algeria in Groups C & D.
The headline writers were predictably cruel in the wake of Robert Green’s howler for England against USA; ‘The Hand of Clod’ adorning at least two front pages on Sunday morning, and it remains to be seen whether the West Ham ‘keeper will keep his place in the starting line-up for the clash with Algeria.
William Hill make England boss Fabio Capello odds-on at 4/6 to stick by his under-fire stopper but that decision notwithstanding, his team are emphatic favourites at 1/4 with Betdaq to get the better of the Desert Foxes; Betfred’s 10/1 outsiders.
Rabah Saadane’s troops had goalkeeping problems of their own in their opening fixture against Slovenia, Faouzi Chaouchi’s late blunder condemning them to a 1-0 defeat in Polokwane and with the England attack likely to place the Algerian defence under more pressure than the Slovenians, a maximum haul for the ‘Three Lions’ looks inevitable.
However, Capello’s men failed to shine on Saturday so this contest may prove to be less straightforward than the bookies think, especially as their opponents are no pushovers and have the pace to trouble a disrupted backline. Subsequently, England may have to ‘settle’ for a win by a one-goal margin (3/1, Ladbrokes) and at 6/1 with 888Sport, another 1-0 reverse for Saadane’s side could be on the cards.
Partybets’ quote of 10/11 for Capello’s men to win ‘to nil’ is lent appeal by the likelihood that a fairly toothless Algeria will draw a blank while at the other end Peter Crouch will be rubbing his hands at the prospect of facing an Algerian defence that struggles so often at set pieces and the towering Spurs marksman can be backed at either 6/4 (bet365) to strike at some stage or 11/2 with Stan James to break the deadlock. England though, are unlikely to be as quickly out of the blocks as they were against the Unites States and indeed, Victor Chandler’s 7/2 for Capello’s side to emerge triumphant following a drawn first half could reward the brave.
Also in Group C, USA tempt at 11/10 with Totesport to edge out Slovenia and like England, Bob Bradley’s team are generously priced, this time at 11/4 (888Sport) to nick it by one. Finally, Germany were the first of the big guns to really look the part as they demolished Australia 4-0, a result that saw their odds to lift the trophy cut from 14/1 to 9/1 by Jaxx.com and they’re a safe bet at 8/13 with Paddy Power to see off Serbia. MIroslav Klose, who has eleven World Cup goals to his name, could have bagged a hatful against the Socceroos and at 5/4 (bet365) he has to be fancied to strike in this one.