Header Ads

World Cup Antepost Betting Tips - Part 2

Part two of this World Cup preview looks at Groups C, D and E. England, Germany and Holland are the top seeds in these groups, but there are a number of other teams that will be hoping to spring a surprise here.

Group C

There is not much to say about this group that hasn’t already been said in the press – England will be strong favourites to qualify top of their group, and potentially go a long way in the tournament. After a strong showing at last year’s Confederation’s Cup, the USA will be looking to build on their victory over Spain and pushing Brazil in the final to reach the knock-out stages of the World Cup. Slovenia will be looking to go one better than their previous World Cup appearance, where they bowed out in the group stage, whilst Algeria came through a tricky playoff against African Nation’s Cup champions, Egypt to book their place in South Africa.

There are no obvious value bets in this group – England will almost certainly qualify, but the odds are ridiculously low, whilst it is difficult to find value in any of the other sides to qualify. Algeria could be worth an outside bet, but personally, I’d stay clear of the betting in this group.

Group D

Group D contains 3-time World Cup champions, Germany, four-time African champions, Ghana, European side Serbia, and Australia.

Germany name a strong squad, with all their players playing in the domestic German league. The loss of captain, Michael Ballack, will be a huge loss for them, and Thorsten Frings no longer commands a place in the international side. They have several strong creative midfielders in Bastian Schweinsteiger and Mesut Ozil, and whilst their strikers have been out of form domestically, they will be hoping to improve on the international stage. Miroslav Klose in particular has a good record at the World Cup, having won the 2006 Golden Boot and finished runner-up in 2002.

Ghana have named a very different squad from that which finished runners-up at the African Nation’s Cup. They welcome back a number of more established players, and have a strong squad for this tournament. Despite a lack of match practice, Michael Essien will be a key member of the side, alongside captain Stephen Appiah, and Inter Milan’s Sulley Muntari. Young AC Milan striker Dominic Adiyiah will be looking to make the step-up after being named MVP at the U20 World Cup last year.

Serbia qualified top of their group ahead of France to reach South Africa, conceding only 8 goals in 10 games, and scoring 22. They have a strong defence consisting of Nemanja Vidic and Branislav Ivanovic, alongside promising youngsters, Nevan Subotic and Aleksandar Lukovic. Ahead of that, they have the hugely experienced Dejan Stankovic for support, and the exciting attacking trio of Milan Jovanovic, Milos Krasic, and Zoran Tosic. Giant Nikola Zigic provides the threat up front. Serbia were widely mocked for conceding 10 goals in their 3 games in 2006, but they have more experience, and a classy line-up this time and could surprise a few people.

Australia were unfortunate to be knocked out by the eventual winners, Italy, in 2006. A controversial penalty was the difference that day, and they will be hoping to put in a similarly good performance this time. They have 11 English-based players in their preliminary squad, as well as Harry Kewell, who is well-known to English supporters. Fulham keeper, Mark Schwarzer, has had a good season domestically, reaching the Europa League final, and Tim Cahill continues to grab vital goals for Everton. They will battle hard as Australian teams always do, and hope they have enough quality to get out of the group.

Germany will fancy their chances of qualifying for the knock-out stages, as they invariably seem to do in the big tournaments. Personally, I believe that Serbia will be tough opposition, and should tip themselves to do well in this tournament. A strong defence is always a crucial attribute for teams hoping to go well, and Serbia have one of the best in the tournament in my opinion.

Bet: Serbia to qualify @ 2.1
Bet: Serbia to win group @ 4.5

Group E

Group E contains Holland, top-ranked African side, Cameroon, former European champions, Denmark, and Japan.

Holland qualified with consummate ease, winning 8 out of 8, scoring 17 and conceding just 2. Whilst their defence may prevent them going all the way, they have plenty of threats in an attacking sense, with Wesley Sneijder, Arjen Robben, Rafael van der Vaart and Robin van Persie all having good seasons for their respective clubs. They have the experienced Mark van Bommel and Nigel de Jong to anchor the midfield. They should be hoping to qualify from this group with relative ease.

Cameroon are led by former 3-time African player of the year, Samuel Eto’o, who can always be relied on to provide a threat up front. He will be joined by English contingent, Alex Song, Sebastian Bassong and Benoit Assou-Ekotto. The appointment of Paul Le Guen turned around a stuttering qualifying campaign, but they were disappointing in the 2010 African Nation’s Cup, losing to Gabon, before going out in the quarter-finals to eventual winners Egypt.

Denmark impressed to qualify ahead of Portugal for this tournament, including a 3-2 win in Portugal. Led by highly-experienced striker, Jon Dahl Tomasson, they have named an experienced squad for the World Cup, with six players having over 50 caps. They have an injury concern over first-choice keeper, Thomas Sorensen, but have named him, along with other English-based players, Daniel Agger, Lars Jacobsen and Nicklas Bendtner, in the squad. They failed to qualify in 2006, but on each of the three occasions that they have reached the finals, they have made it out of the group.

Japan are the underdogs in this group. They were expected to qualify easily, but they struggled with too many draws. They have a strong midfield with the likes of Shunsuke Nakamura, Junichi Inamoto, Makoto Hasebe and Keisuke Honda, but they have a major weakness up front. They have not been in great form this year either, winning only 3 of their 7 games, including a comfortable 3-0 defeat against Serbia last time out. Their victories have come against Yemen, Bahrain and Hong Kong, and while you can only beat the teams you play, these results are hardly likely to worry the bigger sides in this group.

Holland should qualify with ease from this group, and the second qualification spot will be contested between Cameroon and Denmark. I suspect Denmark may be the side to get through, but either way, I simply cannot see Japan making any impact on this group with the squad of players that they have at their disposal.

Bet: Holland to win group @ 1.67
Bet: Japan to finish bottom @ 2.1

No comments:

Powered by Blogger.