Sensing that both teams might be cagey in their opening Group C encounter, bookies have struggled to separate the Ivory Coast and Japan ahead of their Recife battle.
For the most part, it’s the Elephants that marginally get the nod, BetVictor chalking them up at 7/4 to collect maximum points and Betfred quoting the Japanese at 2/1 to emerge victorious but with little between the pair in the odds, bet365′s 11/5 about a stalemate is bound to be popular.
Nevertheless, the African outfit have several players in decent shape, not least a few men familiar to Premier League audiences in the shape of Yaya Toure, Wilfried Bony and of course Didier Drogba and in a clash of styles, the Ivorian muscle and hustle can overcome Japan’s technical ability.
Ladbrokes price Sabri Lamouchi’s men at 13/4 to nick it by one in the Arena Penambuco, where the Ivory Coast are 21/2 (888Sport) to card a 2-1 success and Winner.com quote the Elephants at 5/1 to prevail following an inconclusive first period.
Draw/Ivory Coast in HT/FT betting – 5/1 (Winner.com)