FOOTBALL BETTING: This is what the World Cup is all about – 8 teams left fighting it out in the quarter finals, all going for a slice of history. We preview everyone’s chances.
56 matches down and 8 matches to go, the World Cup 2010 in South Africa has flown by in a blur of vuvuzelas and now only 8 teams remain. South America are well represented and have a chance of monopolising the semi-finals by sending all 4 teams through from the quarters. Paddy Power actually offer 5/6 about the winner of the tournament coming from South America and Blue Square 4/1 on a Brazil v Argentina final.
Obviously Europe’s representatives, Spain, Netherlands and Germany, will have something to say about that and the tournament seems to be finely balanced at this exciting stage…
Brazil – 5/2 @ Totesport:
Dunga’s men have looked organised if not thrilling, quietly going about their business and now must face the Dutch in the quarters, where they are 19/20 with Totesport to win. Luis Fabiano has provided the goal threat while Kaka and Robinho have buzzed around just behind. Their success arguably lies in the hands of Gilberto Silva, the veteran shielding the already organised and capable defence and it’s their new found rigidity at the back that can carry Brazil on to the final, an excellent 5/6 chance with Stan James.
Spain – 3/1 @ Ladbrokes:
The perennial under-achievers awoke in 2008 with a European Championship win and came to this tournament as fav. Aside from a shock loss to Switzerland, Spain have been dominant in possession and have won 3 games on the bounce, and are 1/2 with Coral to beat Paraguay. There are certain criticisms that can be levelled at Spain though; they have looked shakey defending crosses, they seem to have only one strategy (out pass the opposition and wait) and they are perhaps relying to heavily on David Villa for goals. They are 11/10 with Totesport to reach the final and whilst they could achieve that, if Brazil face them, they will not win.
Argentina – 5/1 @ Betdaq:
Diego’s men have looked exactly as predicted – an attacking menace intent on having a go. A team that can start Tevez, Messi, Higuain and Di Maria and still call on Milito and Aguero is obviously full of goals and threat; 10 goals in 4 games is testament to that. They will have to tread carefully against Germany though as their defence is not strong and it hasn’t been properly tested yet. With possible fixtures against Spain and Brazil to follow, 3 games may be too many for the defense to ride it’s luck. They are 9/4 to reach the final with Stan James.
Germany – 15/2 @ Bodog:
Germany have shown their technical prowess against Australia and notably England but Serbia left them wanting for ideas. Their youthful exuberance will be a great match for Argentina and the slower moving Spain and are a good shout to reach the final at 10/3 with Betdaq. They have goalscorers who can move up from midfield but nerves at the back may cost them in the final. A Brazil v Germany final can be backed at 15/2 with Paddy Power and looks a good bet.
Netherlands – 15/2 @ Victor Chandler:
The Dutch are notorious for starting like world beaters, having an internal fight then getting dumped out unceremoniously in the quarters. Well, this time it’s the opposite. They have started slowly, Van Persie has not really turned up, their games have been lethargic, the infighting has begun and now Brazil are going to dump them out before they even get a chance to become world beaters.
Uruguay – 18/1 @ Boylesports:
Uruguay have looked organised and, as ever, tough in the challenge at the back. They can very feasibly progress at Ghana’s expense (8/15 to qualify, Bet365) with the help of the talented Diego Forlan and Luis Suarez but a semi with Brazil looks a step to far. Still, 11/2 with Betfair to reach the final isn’t bad, especially if they can stifle Brazil to penalties which is possible given the work ethic of the Uruguayan defence.
Ghana – 40/1 @ Paddy Power:
Ghana have the hopes of a continent on their shoulders and have been enjoying their run in the cup. It would take a huge slice of luck and a bit more maturity on the field to see them make the final (10/1 Sportingbet) and to be honest they will be lucky to get past Uruguay. The USA almost pipped them and that performance must be improved upon to stand a chance.
Paraguay – 50/1 @ Sportingbet:
Paraguay are the rank outsiders. They must face Spain, Argentina or Germany and then the finalist from the other half. Whilst they have looked tidy at times and hard to break down at the back, they simply do not create enough in the final third and will spend large amounts of time on the back foot whilst teams probe and probe. If (when) they go a goal down, that will be it for the Paraguayans.
David Villa and Gonzo Higuain lead the way on 4 goals (also with the ousted Robert Vittek of Slovakia), stalked by Fabiano, Suarez, Muller and Gyan; all on 3.
Argentina seem to have ‘too many’ sources of goals; Higuain scored a hattrick but Tevez got a brace in another. Messi is a constant threat as well so it seems to be folly to suggest Higuain can reliably score a couple more. Villa and Fabiano share the trait that they are the number 1 marksman for their countries and a lot of play is channeled through them, meaning chances come there way. Given Brazil are more likely to make the final, Fabiano would be a top shout for top goalscorer at 11/2 with Extrabet.
Thomas Muller has been playing excellently for Germany and Paddy Power’s 25/1 is tempting on him, especially considering he has 3 goals and each way terms are available at 1/4 odds for the first 3.
D Villa – 15/8 (Betfred)
G Higuain – 10/3 (Betdaq)
L Fabiano – 9/2 (Coral)
L Suarez – 14/1 (Stan James)
T Muller – 25/1 (Paddy Power)
C Tevez – 25/1 (Skybet)
D Forlan – 25/1 (Sportingbet)
M Klose – 25/1 (888sport)