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Weekend Betting Tips

Chile v Northern Ireland

Chile are tipped to do well at the World Cup and this is their last warm-up before they head out to South Africa. They are splitting their squad between this fixture, and a game against Israel on the same day, but they should still have enough for a depleted Northern Ireland. They had a comfortable 3-0 victory over Zambia on Wednesday, and this should be more of the same.

Northern Ireland have travelled without 17 regular internationals, and their defeat against Turkey on Wednesday featured no fewer than 5 players from the domestic Northern Irish league. It will be a good learning experience for the players, but I cannot see them getting anything here against a strong Chilean outfit.

Bet: Chile to win to nil @ 2.2

Final Result: Chile 1 - 0 Northern Ireland

Serbia v New Zealand, Mexico v Gambia & England v Japan

Serbia are one of the sides that I expected to do strongly in South Africa, and they will come into this game with New Zealand hoping to prove a point. They have won 7 of their past 9 games, with victories over Sweden, Romania and South Korea. New Zealand are one of the weaker sides at the World Cup, although they put up a strong fight in a 2-1 defeat to Australia last weekend.

Mexico have played friendly matches against England and Holland in the past week, and have impressed in both, despite two defeats. Gambia is several levels below those opposition, and Mexico will be looking for a good win to boost confidence before they head out to South Africa.

England beat Mexico 3-1 without playing well, and this will be their final game before heading to South Africa. Capello should start with a near full-strength side for this, and Japan are a team in crisis at the moment, with the coach having offered to resign on the eve of the tournament.

Bet: Serbia, Mexico and England to win @ 2.46

Final Results: Serbia 0 - 1 New Zealand, Mexico 5 - 1 Gambia, England 2 - 1 Japan

Azerbaijan v FYR Macedonia

Only 6 of Azerbaijan’s last 24 matches have contained more than 2 goals, and two of those were 4-0 and 6-0 defeats to European heavyweights Germany and Spain respectively. Whilst they struggle to score goals, they do not concede too many either.

Macedonia are missing 3 of their main attacking players – Inter’s Goran Pandev, Stojkov and Naumoski. However, they have a relatively strong defence, and should not concede too many.

Bet: Under 2.5 goals @ 1.74

Final Result: Azerbaijan 1 - 3 FYR Macedonia

Ivan Ljubicic v Thomaz Bellucci

Ivan Ljubicic came into this tournament with an injury concern, having pulled out of tournaments in Rome and Estoril in recent weeks. However, he has won two matches here so far, but an epic five set match against Mardy Fish that he won 10-8 in the final set will have taken a lot out of him. He was clearly struggling toward the end, but poor tactics from Fish allowed him to grab the win.

Thomaz Bellucci came into the tournament in relatively poor form, and struggled to a five set victory over Spanish qualifier, Pablo Andujar, in the second round. He is finding it difficult to come to terms with the slow conditions, but will hope to take advantage of Ljubicic’s physical problems in their match.

Bet: Thomaz Bellucci to win @ 1.8

Final Score: Thomaz Bellucci wins 7-6, 6-2, 6-4

Shahar Peer v Marion Bartoli

Shahar Peer has been in good form on the clay this year, having only lost to Venus Williams and Justine Henin. She wobbled in the first set of her second round game against the American, Bethany Mattek-Sands, but went on to complete a 3-6, 6-0, 6-1 victory comfortably.

World number 14, Marion Bartoli, is not at her best on the clay. She has not beaten a player in the top 50 in her last 7 tournaments on clay. She beat #111, Maria Elena Camerin, and French wildcard, Olivia Sanchez, to reach this stage, but is up against a far superior opponent here in the third round.

Bet: Shahar Peer to win @ 1.56

Final Score: Shahar Peer wins 7-6, 6-2

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