Matt Le Tissier World Cup Preview (Groups A-D)
Take England/Uruguay In Group D Forcast
Anticipation is building up now with Brazil 2014 less than two weeks away. I’m as excited as anyone and, although friendlies don’t mean an awful lot, it was interesting to see both Uruguay and Italy disappoint in recent days against Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland, respectively.
We weren’t fantastic against Peru, but aside from a few bits of sloppy defending there was enough promise to suggest England can go into that first game against Italy and get off to a flyer.
I’ll be giving Freebets.com all my thoughts and tips throughout the World Cup and if you are having a bet on the action, this is the place to come as all the best offers and top prices are here.
Anyway, let’s start with the groups.
This is all about Brazil and you won’t get better than Coral’s 1/4 on the tournament favourites winning their group. Croatia and Mexico aren’t bad sides but they’re both realistically playing for second.
Cameroon – 39/1 on Betfair to win the group and 5/1 with Paddy Power to go through – won their provisional qualifying group but dropped points against DR Congo and Libya, which suggests they’ll need to step up massively.
Croatia were no match for Belgium in their group and a repeat of their phenomenal effort in 1998 when they finished third in France looks unlikely.
I’ll take Mexico, who should have no trouble with the conditions, at 11/8 with SkyBet to grab second spot. The Brazil/Mexico straight forecast is 15/8 with bet365.
Considering they are looking for an unprecedented fourth major international trophy, Spain look a big price at 13/2 with Ladbrokes for the competition.
They only scored 14 goals in qualifying, though, and with Diego Costa struggling to be fit in time, they might struggle for goals again.
Group B is more of a ‘group of death’ than the England group, with the Netherlands and Chile both dangerous opponents, but Spain still have so much quality in their squad that I’d be surprised if they didn’t top their pool at 8/11 with Boylesports.
The Netherlands were narrowly denied four years ago by Spain in the final and are unfancied at 33/1 with William Hill to go one better.
Chile are exciting going forward but leaky at the back and that might just cost them second, so I’m happy to stick with the Netherlands going through at 8/11 with Coral. The straight forecast Spain/Netherlands is 5/2 with Totepool. Australia look outclassed.
SELECTIONS: SPAIN/THE NETHERLANDS
Colombia are many people’s dark horses and would be a lot shorter than 33/1 with bwin if Radamel Falcao wasn’t in danger of missing about.
They still have some very capable players who ply their trade at the highest level in Europe and the South Americans should easily win their group containing Ivory Coast, Japan and Greece.
The 5/6 with Paddy Power on the Colombians to be the highest scoring team in the group looks a very decent bet as well.
Greece don’t offer much up front but they are organised and hard to break down. Still, it would be disappointing if the likes of Yaya Toure and Didier Drogba couldn’t beat them to second spot – they’re 11/10 to qualify with Stan James.
Japan generally perform credibly at World Cups but will find my two fancies hard to beat.
SELECTIONS: COLOMBIA/IVORY COAST
No-one is really giving England much chance at the World Cup – they’re 28/1 with Betfair Sportsbook – but their main two rivals in Group D, Uruguay and Italy, are the same price and both have had bad luck with injuries.
Luis Suarez, such a tormentor of Premier League defences this term, is in a race to be fit and Italy have lost both Guiseppe Rossi and Riccardo Montolivo to injury.
I don’t particularly rate the Italians anyway and if we can beat them in the opener that will set us up nicely. There’s no way the Three Lions should be as big as 11/5 with Boylesports to win the group.
Uruguay won the World Cup the last time it was hosted in Brazil and conditions will be absolutely fine for them. They can pip Italy to second spot and the England/Uruguay straight forecast is a tempting 6/1 with Betfred.
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