The World Cup Quarter Finals : A Punters Guide
Netherlands V Brazil
The first of the Semi Finals throws up an intriguing clash between two of the most in form sides in World Football. Both have remained unbeaten and unbowed throughout the tournament. Brazil have certainly impressed the most of the pair and will be favourites for the win here. The Dutch have been solid rather than spectacular and they will need to find another gear if they are to beat Brazil. One factor in the favour of the Dutch will be the Port Elizabeth pitch, which has been by far the worst surface in the tournament thus far. Brazil should still be good enough to overcome this to record the win.
Top Bet: Take Brazil to win the game at Even money on Betfair.
Also Consider: Brazil to score in both halves at 12/5 on Betfair.
Uruguay V Ghana
Of all the four games, this is certainly the most difficult to forecast. Both sides are surprise quarter finalists and both have their own strengths and weaknesses. Bookmakers have made Uruguay favourites for the game, arguably because of their strong strike force but Ghana have proven in their games with Germany and the United States in particular, that they are no pushovers. This looks like being a very close game between two sides who are not the best defensively and are stronger in attack. Who wins could be decided by extra time or penalties. As such I’d be tempted to look for value in markets which reflect that and the fact that this game looks to have goals in it due to the attacking strength and defensive frailties of both sides.
Top Bet: 4 Goals or More in the Game at 9/2 on Betfair
Also Consider: Half Time/Full time : Uruguay/Draw 18/1 on Betfair
Argentina V Germany
Two of the giants of the world game will clash on 3rd July in what looks like being one of the games of the tournament. Argentina will be fired up, having lost to Germany in the quarter final stages of the tournament in 2006 while Germany will be buoyed after their 4-1 demolition of England in the previous round. Both sides look excellent going forward but perhaps lacking a little stability at the back and far from being a negative, dour game, this looks like having goals in it. I think Argentina have the edge in terms of quality and with Lionel Messi, they have the player who can turn the game their way with one moment of genius. Argentina look the best bet to me and this is a game which looks likely to me to have plenty of goals and plenty for the referee to do, given the fractious history of the two nations.
Top Bet: Half Time Score : Argentina 2 Germany 1 29/1 on Betfair
Also Consider: Will there be a sending off during the game? Yes at 5/2 on Betfair.
Paraguay V Spain
There’s little value to be had in this tie backing Spain for victory. Most bookmakers have the European champions as odds on favourites for the tie and it is not difficult to see why, given Paraguay’s laborious win on penalties over Japan. While Spain should win this game, and win easily, there is better value available in markets not to do with predicting the result. David Villa looks in frightening form at the moment and it is hard to see how the Paraguayan defence is going to be able to cope with the Spanish strikers, pace, mobility and unerring accuracy in front of goal. It could be a good day for Spain and a good day in particular for David Villa.
Top Bet: 3 Goals or more during the game 7/5 on Betfair
Also Consider: Any player to score a hattrick 15-1 on Betfair