WORLD CUP BETTING: Live on ITV1: Sat 19.30: Day 23 (Saturday) of the World Cup brings the 4th quarter final: Spain v Paraguay. The Spaniards shouldn’t have any trouble seeing off La Albirroja.
Some shaky moments at the back notwithstanding, Spain have conceded just twice in four games and although they are yet to really fire, they have to be fancied at 1/2 with Betfred to get the better of Totesport’s 13/2 outsiders, Paraguay.
The worry for the South Americans is their failure to break down New Zealand and Japan, despite some tidy approach play, and an inability to find the net could be their undoing here. A similar pattern to Brazil’s second round encounter with Chile, in which the latter performed well but lacked the required invention in the final third can be expected then, and like Dunga’s men, Spain should punish their opponents’ impotence to win ‘to nil’ (11/10, Partybets).
Replicating Brazil’s 3-0 success is nevertheless a big ask at 10/1 (Betdaq) but Vicente del Bosque’s charges can notch twice without reply, an outcome rated at 5/1 by Jaxx.com and subsequently, they tempt at evens in Victor Chandler’s handicap betting, when kicking off a goal in arrears.
David Villa has struck four times already but as Stan James’ 3/1 for the Barcelona man to break the deadlock doesn’t set the pulse racing, a modest, more speculative flutter on a higher-priced candidate appeals. A lethal striker of the ball from distance, Xabi Alonso at 16/1 (888Sport) fits the bill given that Spain may need a shot from outside the area or even a direct free-kick to break down the plucky Paraguayans. Alonso meanwhile, is 13/2 with Paddy Power to register at any time.