Spotlight

He Has The Kick, Not Bite

POSTED: 04 July 2014


NO question about it. Uruguay proved sitting ducks without their banned striker Luis Suarez.


And the big beneficiaries of his absence were Colombia.


With James Rodriguez leading the charge, Colombia drubbed Uruguay 2-0 to reach the quarterfinals of the 2014 World Cup.


The attacking midfielder scored both goals in the win, upping his tally to five in four matches and by doing so, the Monaco midfielder is proving to be this tournament's biggest revelation. He is showing us that he has arrived.


 

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The Veterans

The German Machine


POSTED: 04 July 2014




I’m still hurting after last weekend’s pick of Costa Rica to win in the 90mins, 1-0 up having played with 10men for so long to concede the equaliser in the last minute was a tad upsetting! They still got through after winning via a penalty shoot-out after Greece couldn’t score in the extra 30minutes with the extra man. I guess I should have took them to progress.


Holland also cost me money last weekend, again the last minute goal being heart-breaking –I had them to draw 1-1 against Mexico in the 90minutes. So Arjen Robben’s ‘dive’ made me a little angry. Oh well that’s the highs and lows of betting, you think you’ve won then bang from a ‘high to a low’ in seconds.


So onto this weekend and the Quarter-Finals. I’d be very tempted to throw a huge bet on Holland v Costa Rica, as I can’t help but think that Costa Rica will be leg weary after their Greece game. However 1.5 is quite short for the 90 minute bet, although my gutt feeling says this could be a bit of a landslide win. So maybe over 2.5 goals at 2.0 is worth the money?


My pick for the weekend is the France v Germany game, where I’m taking Germany in the 1X2 market at 2.5.


Many people say France have been impressive, which I guess they have, but I can’t help but think they haven’t really been given a game yet, asides from Nigeria maybe. I think Germany have a stronger side and always have the correct tournament mentality. For this reason, I’m going for Germany to hold their nerve and progress to another semi-final.


Pick – France v Germany. Germany to win at 2.5

Playing Favourites


POSTED: 04 July 2014




We’re now in the quarter-finals of the World Cup and this is where we separate the real contenders from simply those who are pretending.


Argentina are set to face Belgium at Estadio Nacional de Brasilia with the winner securing a place in the semis.


Both teams clinched the quarters spot in the same day as Argentina beat Switzerland, while Belgium handled the United States.


However, it was far from dominating performances for both squads, as they needed extra time to be able to dispatch the underdog nations.


The Argentines won 1-0 behind a 118th-minute goal from Angel di Maria. The match was very tightly contested, with the Swiss getting the best of the action in the first half before Argentina picked up the pace and attacked in the second half.


Lionel Messi was held scoreless for the first time in the competition, and the Swiss may have created a blueprint to stop him in the tournament.


Meanwhile, the Belgians won 2-1 but also scored in extra time to dispatch the Americans. Kevin de Bruyne scored in the 93rd, while Romelu Lukaku netted in the 105th to secure the win.


These were less-than-stellar performances, but it does not remove the fact that these are top teams and with the stakes getting even higher, I reckon they will perform as expected.


Odds open with the Argentines favoured to win at 2.09, while a Belgium win pays 3.53. A draw is worth 3.24.


I am leaning towards a low-scoring match, maybe another 1-0 victory. But with it only paying 1.60 for goals less than 2.75, I’m more inclined to put my money on an Argentina win.


Pick – Argentina win @ 2.09

Indignant


POSTED: 04 July 2014




Although I won last week, I still feel lost because how bad the officials called the match between Netherlands and Mexico. I am taking nothing away from Arjen Robben and the rest of the Dutchmen, but the late penalty was too thin a call to make especially in a big match like this.


This week, hopefully referees will call it right because I will once again go against the Oranje and root for the very confident Costa Rican side when the pair meets at Arena Fonte Nova in the World Cup quarter-final.


Louis Van Gaal’s men are the heavy favourites in this match, following their impressive group stage performance with a gritty come-from-behind victory over Mexico in the round of 16.


But no football fan should count out Jose Luis Pinto’s side, who humbled two giants in the group stages as they defeated both Italy and Uruguay in Group D before outlasting Greece in the shootout in the last 16.


By the numbers, it is obvious the Dutchmen have the clear-cut advantage when it comes to skill and experience, but the way the 2014 Brazil World Cup has been played out looked nothing close to ordinary.


Forgive my history if I don’t know if this is the first time that five out of eight matches in the round of 16 needed extra 30 minutes to decide a winner, with even two matches going to the spot-kicks.


This World Cup has been every punter’s favorite event, full of surprises, full of excitement and of course, full of winnings!


Dafabet gives Costa Rica supporters a 1.0 handicap in their match against Netherlands, and with a 2.03 payout, I will not think twice and will put all my bets for the lone remaining CONCACAF team in the 2014 World Cup!


Pick: Netherlands vs. Costa Rica, +1.0 for Costa Rica, Costa Rica to win @2.03

Netherlands To Clinch Semis Ticket!


POSTED: 04 July 2014




What a World Cup this has been so far, one with a lot of surprises to say the least. One of them and perhaps the biggest one so far, has been that of Costa Rica! La Sele is the second most successful team in CONCACAF after Mexico, qualifying to the last 8 however, has been their biggest success so far.


Next obstacle for Pinto and his men will be the Oranje, who knocked out Mexico with a much controversial last minute penalty awarded to Arjen Robben in the 94th minute. In my eyes, that penalty was purely Marquez’s fault, when you have seconds left to go you simply don’t tackle in the box! Dive or no dive, the contact was there.


When the two sides meet in Salvador, Bahia, Netherlands will be the favorites. Although I am mostly an underdogs person and always enjoy to see weaker sides advance to everyone’s surprise, this time I will follow my gut which tells me that this will be the end of the road for Costa Rica.


La Sele topped their group after fairly beating giants Italy and Uruguay and playing some excellent football but showed a much different face against Greece, the tournament’s second biggest surprise! During their match against the Greeks, they only had 40% possession with just one shot on target which was luckily converted to a goal.


It was also obvious that isolating their main threat, Joel Campbell, brought the whole team to a standstill. Pretty surely, Louis Van Gaal will have picked that up and will be prepared accordingly.


Betting on The Flying Dutchmen paid for my beer last week, I surely hope this week I will enjoy some more refreshing and free pints of lager, Robben’s treat!


The Netherlands straight win only pays 1.50 as they are the undisputed favorites. Being greedy myself though, I will go for the handicap of -1.0 on Netherlands which returns a much more decent 1.93.


Pick – AH of -1.0 on Netherlands to win @ 1.93

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