So, the first round matches are all done and dusted, England have taken their rightful place on the plane home (having finished bottom of their group) and Luis Suarez has got involved in yet another major biting scandal.
It was another mixed bag of bets last week, with Greece shocking the Cote d’Ivoire to qualify behind Colombia in their group, while Costa Rica and England played out an uneventful bore draw in Group D. In our biggest bet of the World Cup so far, Honduras came good for us against Switzerland by reverting to type and picking up the first yellow card. That went some way to wiping out our losses on the other games.
Brave Bosnia are on their way home, so our outright bet on Edin Dzeko for Golden Boot has bitten the dust, but Argentina are still going strong. With Lionel Messi in awesome form, nothing has changed our opinion that they are good chances to win the World Cup come July.
Meanwhile, we picked up more cash after Holland won their group in style.
And we haven’t given up hope of Chile doing well either. That 50/1 price we snapped up at the beginning of the tournament is also looking quite nice too. As expected, European teams have struggled at this World Cup with well over half of the Euro teams going home at the group stage. The comfort with which the South American teams are coping on ‘home soil’ should see a few of them triumph in their second round matches.
Our Week 4 World Cup Bets
2nd Round Matches
Colombia v Uruguay
Saturday 28 June
Colombia Win in 90 mins
5pts @ 21/20 (Coral)
James Rodriguez 1st Scorer
1pt @ 13/2 (PaddyPower)
Jackson Martinez 1st Scorer
1pt @ 11/2 (PaddyPower)
Colombia were dark horses before the World Cup started, and they certainly did everything to back up that tag during the group stage. Colombia won all three of their group games, scoring 9 goals and conceding just 2 in the process. James Rodriguez and Jackson Martinez have shared over half those goals, and we are confident one or both will get on the scoresheet against a Uruguay side who had to rely on the genius of Luis Suarez to get through Group D.
The infamous ‘bitegate’ incident where Suarez thought sinking his teeth into Italian defender Giorgio Chiellini was a good thing to do at the World Cup has left Uruguay’s best player out of the World Cup and on his way home. They will miss him.
France v Nigeria
Monday 30 June
Olivier Giroud 1st Scorer
2pts @ 4/1 (Betway)
Over 2.5 Goals
4pts @ 10/11 (BetVictor)
France have looked slick at this World Cup under coach Didier Deschamps, and they sailed through Group A with wins against Honduras and Switzerland (who they demolished 5-2). Karim Benzema has finally lived up to his reputation with a brace of goals, but Arsenal’s Olivier Giroud represents slightly better value on the scorer bets.
Nigeria surprised many by qualifying behind Argentina in Group F and they certainly have goals in them if the two they scored against Argentina are anything to go by.
Germany v Algeria
Monday 30 June
Thomas Muller 1st scorer
2pts @ 13/5 (PaddyPower)
“Never write off the Germans,” goes the age-old saying, and only a wise sports bettor would back Algeria in this one. Under young coach Joachim Low, Germany have proved that European teams can do well on South American soil, and they have quality throughout the side.
Thomas Muller has scored nine World Cup goals in as many matches – an incredible record – and he goes into the 2nd round match against Algeria looking for his 5th goal of this year’s tournament.
Algeria have done incredibly well to get to the 2nd round for the first time in their history, and could well cause Germany problems, but we’ll leave the match bets in favour of a safer wager on Muller.
Belgium v USA
Tuesday 1 July
2pts @ 13/5 (Boylesports)
Belgium are another team living up to their dark horse tag. They won all three group games (bagging us a nice little treble in our original bets) and now take on the surprise package of Group G, the USA. Actually, it’s not really a surprise the USA are doing so well. With World Cup winner Jurgen Klinsmann at the helm, the USA have shown themselves to be an efficient, well-organised and physical team.
In the group stage, USA! USA! USA! beat Ghana and drew with Portugal (only being denied a win by a last-gasp goal from Cristiano Ronaldo) before going down by a single goal to a German side who are looking very good indeed. Belgium rested a few of their stars for their final group game against South Korea (but still won) and will welcome back Vincent Kompany, Edin Hazard and Thomas Vermaelen to the fold. Expect a tough-fought contest which could well go to extra time.
World Cup Outright Bets
Progress So Far…
Netherlands to Win Group B (Won)
Lowest Scoring Group: Group D (Win)
Highest Scoring Group: Group F (Lost)
Golden Boot: Edin Dzeko Each-Way (Lost)
Golden Boot: Gonzalo Higuain Each-Way (Pending)
Chile to Win World Cup (Pending)
England to Reach Quarter-Finals (Lost)
Argentina to Win World Cup (Pending)
England Top Scorer: Raheem Sterling (Lost)