Another day of football but this time it’s looking like we have some David v Goliath battles with favourites Germany and Argentina taking on Ghana and Iran respectively. With both sides winning their first games, we could be in for two clinical performances as they look to book their way through to the last 16. We’ve also got Bosnia-Herzegovina taking on Nigeria in a crucial battle with both sides in need of a win to have any chance of making the last 16. Either way I suspect we may be in for a few goals!
**Betting odds from Betfair as at 21st June 2014
Argentina ($1.15) versus Iran ($28), Draw ($9.8)
Argentina take on Iran in their second game having managed to secure a 3 point win over Bosnia-Herzegovina in their first match. It was a tough game but they got through 2-1 and they’ll be hoping to really put the foot down in this one as they start to build towards the last 16. They only had 4 shots on target to their opponents 8 in the first game so they’ll be keen to keep a tighter defence and create more clear chances in this one. Messi scoring a goal would have boosted his confidence for this one as well as give him a bit of relief to get a goal in the first game so I’m sure that’ll serve him well for this one. Iran were involved in that dull nil all draw against Nigeria where there were few chances throughout the game. They’ll no doubt take some confidence out of the result but they face a far superior opponent here coming up against Messi, Aguero, and Di Maria. Add to this Higuain if he’s fit to play and Iran certainly have a task on their hands. I’d expect Iran will be focused on defending at all costs here and looking to break on the counter. It’s a predictable but understandable tactic but I can’t help but feel once Argentina break through, the floodgates should open.
Predicted score: Argentina 3-0
Best Bet: Over 2.5 goals at $1.6 (90%)
Next Best: Argentina Half Time/Full Time Double at $1.55
Germany ($1.32) versus Ghana ($11.5), Draw ($6.2)
As I look at Germany and having seen how they dismantled Portugal in their first game, for me they are the favourites right now. Some may say the red card for Pepe inflated the score line but it was already 2-0 at that stage so it was inevitable that being 2-0 after 32 minutes that they’d score again even if Pepe was on the field as Portugal were absolutely rattled. If there is one concern for Germany though, it’s the injury doubt of Mats Hummels. One of the top defenders in World Football, he had an excellent game scoring a cracking header to take to score to 2-0. It could mean he may not be risked for this one. One player who will take risks though is Thomas Mueller. The 2010 Golden Boot winner took a big step towards taking out the crown in 2014 with 3 goals and he could well add to that here. Ghana meanwhile had a tough loss against the USA where they went down in the first 30 odd seconds which would put any side on the back foot when you concede that early. It didn’t put them completely out of the game though as they equalised late in the game only for the USA to pinch it on 86 minutes. Looking at this one against Germany though, it’s hard to see them pulling off a win, albeit not impossible of course. This Germany side just looks too well rounded and even with Hummels out we should see another pretty convincing performance again here from the Germans.
Predicted score: Germany 3-0
Best Bet: Germany Half Time/Full Time Double at $1.92
Next Best: Over 2.5 goals at $1.6
Goal Scorer option: Mueller to score anytime at $1.94. Fancy him at $4.3 to score first as well.
Nigeria ($4.6) versus Bosnia-Herzegovina ($1.94), Draw ($3.65)
Nigeria will be looking to move on from a disappointing result against Iran when they take on Bosnia-Herzegovina in game 2. I’d suspect this will be a pretty tight contest with both sides in desperate need of a win if they want to realise their ambitions of making the last 16. Nigeria though haven’t been in the greatest of form of late with 4 draws and a loss from their last 5 so they’ll be desperate to turn their form around. It’s perhaps against a much tougher opponent in Bosnia but football is full of surprises and whilst they didn’t get past Iran, they did manage to show some quality at stages without breaking through. I think the one thing counting against Nigeria here will be their ability to defend a pretty good Bosnia attack led by Dzeko and well supported creatively by Pjanic in midfield. They have shown though that can be a pretty tough unit to break down and with just the 3 goals conceded over their last 5 games which includes 3 clean sheets, they certainly have the ability to do so. Perhaps the concerns is more so their ability to score with 4 goals over their last 5 games but not scoring in 3 of those. It seems like all things are pointing more to an under 2.5 goal result in favour of Bosnia, and whilst I like Bosnia to get the result, I can see Nigeria breaking the shackles a little here to at least score with the game likely to be a little more open in an effort to secure the 3 points.
Predicted score: Bosnia 2-1
Best Bet: Bosnia-Herzegovina to win at $1.94 (80%)
Next Best: Over 2.5 goals at $2.1
Goal scorer option: Dzeko to score at $2
All of the above are the opinions of the author and are not recommendations or advice. The author may not be taking every bet listed above. Bet at your own risk.
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