A blank day yesterday as Germany stuffed Portugal with their usual efficiency. Pepe collected the 13th red card of his career and with that the game as a contest ended and it was simply a matter of how many. Germany should comfortably secure passage through now as group leaders.
Iran and Nigeria I mentioned it may be dismal and I mentioned my preference was for the draw. Sure enough a very dull 0-0 played out and Nigeria were simply awful in midfield.
The Ghana v USA game was a decent watch but I had to agree with Robbie Savage, Ghana just played hopeful balls into the box, there was no cutting edge and the USA showed a great work ethic to nick a very valuable win. Ghana’s days may well be done as I cannot see them getting anything from Germany and Portugal surely will be better against lower opposition. So a damp squib day all round.
Today we reach the stage where we will have seen all teams play at least once. It is supposed that we l;earn something as we go along, but I am not so sure other than the effective Italian & German sides I think a lot of the other sides have either under performed or in some cases maybe over performed or been allowed to over perform, so the second round of matches may prove tricky. Plenty of goals have been scored and favourites seem to be mostly prevailing as would be expected.
Another of my pre tournament outsiders is in action today with Belgium opening their account against Algeria. They should see off Algeria comfortably today, certainly if they want to leave any kind of mark in the tournament and the 1/2 Coral offered up early seemed generous and did not last long ( I tried to get a bet on but shows what a joke they are as I was retracted to a stupid amount). I make them a 1/3 shot at worst so anything better than that is worth a bet if you like short prices.
Kompany, Vertonghen, Hazard, Lukaku, Courtois, De Bruyne should all feature in a star studded line up. The squad also has strength in depth to call on if needed.
A few little plays on this one.
HT Scores of 1-0 and 2-0 at 3.6 and 7
Correct Scores of 2-0, 3-0 and 3-1 and 4-1 at 8, 9.6 and 13 and 30
Brazil v Mexico is the 8PM game and may well see the first team to 6 points. Difficult too assess, Brazil looked underwhelming in the first game. Mexico battled through a poor refereeing performance and may be better than is generally thought. IF, and it is a big IF Brazil turn it on as they are able then they will win, anything other than that though and Mexico are more than capable of giving them a good game, particularly with a qualification spot for the taking.
I have to have a small trading punt on Mexico at 10.5 with a view to laying them if they take the lead. I will also have a back of the draw at 5.8 again with a view to trading for profit. I will also have a small dabble on Mexico +1 Asian Handicap at 2.3.
Hopefully Mexico take the lead and that leads to profit and a really open game also. Of course if the ref is in a Brazilian shirt again I am down the swanny!
I cannot say Russia v South Korea really excites me in the late game. It is expected that one of these two will be second behind Belgium in Group H so for them this game is potentially huge to steal a 3 point march on the opponent. Russia’s back line looks ageing and could well be exposed, Korea have been poor recently so all in looks difficult to call. With so much at stake regarding group status neither side is a price I would want to take which has left me with the draw. I will back the draw at 3.75 as I had it lower and I will have a small dabble on 0-0 at 10 and 1-1 at 8.4 for trading purposes.