Matt Le Tissier World Cup Preview (Groups E-H)
Take Argentina/Nigeria/Bosnia In Group F Straight Tricast
I previewed the first four World Cup groups yesterday and you can see my thoughts and tips on them here.
Groups E-H will host some of the most exciting games with the likes of Argentina likely to rattle up a lot of goals in a weak pool. And it will be fascinating to see Cristiano Ronaldo’s Portugal go up against Germany.
Ronaldo of course was a massive thorn in the side of Bayern Munich for Real Madrid this season and the likes of Bastian Schweinsteiger, Toni Kroos and Thomas Muller will be looking for revenge against the Ballon D’Or winner, who is 16/1 with BetVictor to win the Golden Boot.
I’m also looking forward to seeing how Belgium will get on. With a young squad stuffed full of Premier League talent, they are dangerous outsiders at 22/1 on Betfair’s Sportsbook.
France’s recent World Cup record is very inconsistent as a win and a runner-up finish sandwiched between two first round exits suggests.
They sneaked in via the play-offs and have landed a very easy group. The 25/1 with Coral on them winning Brazil 2014 could look very big after a few games as Les Bleus have a potentially simple route into the latter stages and Laurent Blanc has some classy players at his disposal.
Ecuador won seven and drew one of their eight home qualifying games and are certainly capable on their day. Switzerland topped the weakest European qualifying section and lack a real star name.
One market I thought was interesting was having a punt on two 0-0 draws in the group matches at 17/2 with Paddy Power. Honduras and Switzerland could struggle for goals and France v Ecuador could also be tight.
The World Cup Golden Boot has been won with five goals at the past two tournaments and it would no surprise to see either of that prolific duo reaching that number against Nigeria, Bosnia and Iran alone.
Argentina v Iran to be the highest scoring game in the group at 5/2 with Ladbrokes looks quite generous too.
Nigeria have had a lot of classy players go through their ranks in the last 20-odd years and, while this Super Eagles team isn’t particularly strong, their experience might see them edge newcomers Bosnia for second spot. The Argentina/Nigeria/Bosnia straight tricast is 31/10 with Stan James.
This should be an enthralling group with four very capable sides. One thing for sure is I couldn’t back Germany at 4/7 Youwin to top the section. That looks very short, especially when you consider they have brought just one recognised striker, the veteran Miroslav Klose, who incidentally is just two World Cup goals away from breaking the Brazilian Ronaldo’s record of 15.
The Germans have such a fine tournament pedigree that it would be a major shock is they didn’t go through and, while they probably will top the group, there’s more value in backing Portugal to get over five points at 7/5 with bet365. Even if they can’t beat Germany in their opener they should see off Ghana and USA.
Russia pipped Portugal to top spot in qualifying and generally acquit themselves well in major tournaments, but they’ll do well to see off Belgium.
Much has been said of this Belgium squad and it’s only experience of international tournaments that’s missing from their armoury. They could be a real force at the Euros in two years’ time, but winning the tournament may come a little too soon for them.
Romelu Lukaku has a cracking goals-to-game ratio for such a young striker and has been banging in goals in recent friendlies for fun. At 9/4 with Totesport, he looks a decent punt to be the country’s top scorer.
Russia at 8/5 with Paddy Power to finish second looks fair – South Korea and Algeria have a lot to find.
Backing the Algerians at 5/6 with Coral to score under 2.5 goals also looks a price to throw in a few multiples.
Think you can predict the winners and runners-up of every group at the World Cup? Then there’s £100,000 up for grabs from Sporting Bet in their World Cup giveaway and it’s totally free to play. Sign up here and also get a free £50 bet.