World Cup – Matchday 3 of 3 – 26 June
World Cup Spotlight Bet – Big Show
Betting tips and soccer previews and predictions
Australia (win and under 4.5 goals) v Peru @ $3.50
Fisht Stadium, 12.00am
Some brains, some bravery when making this bet. At the end of the day I’m going to throw my weight behind us achieving the unthinkable and potentially getting out of the group with a win here against Peru. To most onlookers, the Socceroos display against Denmark in their last hit out was impressive. With a decent finisher they really could have taken the game away from the Danes in the second half but ended up settling for a point. Their first outing was more of a case of France being terrible than us playing well but unlucky to not come out of that game with a point also. With this momentum, I think we will actually pick up a win here and if results go our way… progress. Something I would never have thought I would be saying when this tournament kicked off.
Aussies love the underdog tag and this will only add extra motivation to the cause that has seen a well organised defence and a midfield led by Mooy and Rogic put some decent moments together – the Socceroos compilation 2018 World Cup DVD might be worth a look come Christmas time. On the other hand, it’s Peru who will have one foot out the door with their bags packed and nothing to play for. Peru haven’t scored a goal yet and the Aussies have had two pens, so I can’t see a high scoring affair but bring on that VAR for Jeds to make it 3 in 3. If the Aussies are going to win, there’s going to be less than 4.5 goals so that gives us a little extra value here.
Prediction: 1 – 0
Denmark v France (win) @ $2.20
Luzhniki Stadium, 12.00am
France haven’t been at their best but $2.20 on the nose here is a no brainer. If you tuned in to watch the Danes against Australia you would have seen a team being outplayed by those supposedly inferior and they could have easily lost the match. As it stands, a draw will get Denmark through but I’ve got to go with my heart and hope for a convincing French win to open the door for the men down under. France won’t take this game lightly and will want to hope this is the game where they can start to make things click to send them on a bit of a run coming into the knockout stages.
The French have been able to rotate due to their squad depth but I think Deschamps will go with his first choice team as they are still a risk of finishing second in the group with a loss here. Hard to go past Griezmann to score who will also be on penalty duty. This one just comes down to quality and the frogs ooze talent all over the park.
Prediction: 0 – 2
Iceland v Croatia (BTTS) @ $1.95
Rostov Arena, 4.00am
Cheeky Zlatko Dalic has already come out publicly and admitted that he will heavily rotate his squad after the Croats booked their place in the round of 16 in a kick-them-while-they’re-down move to the Argies. Iceland outplayed Nigeria in the first half of their last tie but failed to capitalise and eventually ran out of steam. The lurking question is how motivated and rotated the Croatian side will be that boast a suspended Brozovic and with Sime Vrsaljko, Ivan Rakitic, Ante Rebic, and Mario Mandzukic all on yellow cards. Throw Modric in the mix who isn’t getting any younger and coming off a long season for Madrid, and you might find a completely different squad on paper. In saying that, their likely replacements would be Mateo Kovacic, Marko Pjaca, Milan Badelj, and Andrej Kramaric, who are all more than half decent players.
With nothing to lose, I think Iceland have done enough to earn a spot in a BTTS bet. This will once again come back to Gylfi and Finnbogason to breed some life into their attack and I can’t see them laying down – these Vikings are proud people. On the back of desperation and pushing men forward, Croatia will look to break and grab one or two with the pressure off and can play with a bit more freedom. We would all love to see Iceland push on and take all three points but a strong Argentina showing and a win may still not be quite enough. Time will tell.
Prediction: 1 – 2
Nigeria v Argentina (BTTS and over 2.5) @ $2.30
Saint Petersburg Stadium, 4.00am
Argentina have gone full France 2010, never go full France 2010. Drawing parallels to the last attempted coup in Russia of 1991 to overthrow Gorbachev, it’s looking like Sampaoli is to be squeezed out of the Argentinean set up if the press is anything to go by #fuckthesun. For what’s been a dismal World Cup for the South Americans they can still progress with a win here (assuming Croatia beat Iceland) and they will need to go for it from the get-go. Nigeria came to the party and turned it on against Iceland to thrust them into contention for qualification. Although they could have easily conceded a few in the first half, demonstrating their vulnerabilities at the back.
Ahmed Musa will back himself to cause some problems for a shaky Argentine defence and I think across the board, the Super Eagles have enough firepower to get on the score sheet, all things being equal. On the other hand you can never write off Messi and co. They will be getting forward at every opportunity and this could leave them vulnerable at the back where Nigeria have the right tools to hit on the counter with Musa and Ineacho’s pace.
To add to this, Nigeria put away Argentina in a friendly 4-2 back in November last year, with our boy Iwobi scoring a brace. Both sides have proven that they can be leaky at the back while being equally as threatening at the other end with some of that good old-fashioned flair. All this leads me to believe there will be goals – BTTS and over 2.5 is offering up some tasty value. I just don’t think Argentina can leave the World cup without a win so I’m going to take them here but I can also see Nigeria digging their heels in for a high scoring draw. Whatever happens, if the South Americans don’t qualify, Sampaoli might want to avoid flying into Buenos Aires anytime soon.
Prediction: 1 – 3
$20 @ 31.53 = $630.60