The ‘Wait Until Next Year’ World Cup Preview and Betting Hell Special (Part Two)
Well, the previewing and punting extravaganza continues! Today I’m taking a look at how I think World Cup Groups E to H might pan out. As before, the odds might not be entirely accurate and the predictions almost certainly won’t be! Still, as we get closer and closer to the greatest sporting tournament on Earth (so great, even FIFA can’t ruin it), I think it is well worth a look at the fun that awaits us.
Without further ado, let’s get on with this…
Holland are, understandably, the big favourites for this group. But who of Denmark, Cameroon and Japan will join them in the second round? Cameroon always seem a little over-rated, and aren’t the African powerhouses they once were. Japan may have an outside chance, but aren’t wholly convincing. So, that leaves Denmark, who have a good, experienced side and should be good enough to go through. They should be around evens to qualify, which isn’t bad odds in my book. I’ll probably also have a flutter on Denmark getting a draw in their game with Holland. Five of their last six meetings have been draws, apparently, so 11-5 looks like an attractive bet.
This should be a straightforward group for Italy. I’ve seen a few pundits tip them to struggle a little and come second in the group, but I can’t see that myself. Paraguay are probably a little stronger than Slovakia, but I wouldn’t want to risk a bet on that either. New Zealand, I imagine, will just be happy to be there, but might sneak a draw, you never know. But I won’t be spending my money on this group, unless I see any truly outlandish odds on New Zealand getting a draw with Paraguay or Slovakia.
This should be quite a group, with Brazil, Portugal and Ivory Coast fighting it out, along with the unknown quantity of North Korea. Brazil should, in theory, walk the group, but that’s not really worth a bet. Instead, I might go for Portugal to beat Brazil in the last group game at 7-2. Brazil may well have already qualified by then, while Portugal might need the win to join them, which could make for an interesting game.
This group is all about Spain, who should qualify easily, but obviously don’t offer much value odds-wise. They seem the best candidates in the World Cup for winning all three group games, as far as I’m concerned. But how about second place? I’m tempted to go with Chile at 4-6. Not the best odds, but they play attractive, attacking football, and should be a lot of fun for my money. Chile also look likely to score lots and, indeed, concede lots, so I might have a little flutter in each of their games in the ‘over 2.5 goals’ market. And not just because the idea of 0.5 of a goal amuses me.
Well, that’s the group stages out of the way. Tomorrow I’ll go through some of my more general predictions, including possible top scorers and my idea of potential winners.
In the meantime, how do you see Groups E to H going?