Guest post written by Arthur Browne.
Spice up the knockout stages with a few wagers
It’s been a World Cup of surprises, not least with South American heavyweights Brazil and Argentina crashing out in the quarter-final stage.
So where’s the money to be made before the festival of football in South Africa comes to an end?
Germany’s Miroslav Klose surely looks overpriced at a general 7/2 to win the Golden Boot. He only needs one more goal to equal Ronaldo’s all-time World Cup goalscoring record (not exactly a bad incentive) and the Germans have been banging the goals in for fun in the tournament to date. David Villa is one ahead of Klose, but should the Germans keep a clean sheet and go on to win in their semi-final, Klose’s got every chance of catching up. He might not get the goal in the semi-final but he’ll be desperate to make history before the final whistle on 11 July.
While you’re at it, get behind Germany to go all the way at a general 21/10. They have looked the most like a team in this tournament and will be itching to avenge their defeat at the hands of Spain in Euro 2008. They can get over the two remaining hurdles.
What about the semi-finals in some more depth?
Nerves often play a part so I like the look of a draw at half time but Holland winning full time against a Suarez-less Uruguay who will be restricted to Forlan as their main goal threat, a bet that’s available at a general 10/3.
While you’re at it you might be tempted by the long-ish price of Arjen Robben to score the first goal at a generally priced 11/2.
Also tempting is the margin of victory for Holland being two goals – you can get that at 7/2.
Given he had a relatively quiet quarter-final you might also wish to consider the goalscoring potential of Mezut Ozil. He gets into some great positions and will offer you better value than the two recognised strikers at a generally priced 14/1 to score the first goal. I can’t see the goalfest of Germany’s two previous fixtures being repeated so consider Germany winning by two goals at 15/2.
And if you like the look of what you’ve just read, why not take it through to its natural conclusion?
You can also get Holland and Germany to be the two finalists at 13/8. Not exactly going out on a limb perhaps but Uruguay are only at this stage because of the instinctive reactions of a player on the goal-line and Spain are effectively a striker down because of Fernando Torres completely losing his club form. Remind you of England? Besides, how can you back a team which hasn’t made a final since 1950 and a team which has never made it there?! Anything’s possible in football but the quality of the two northern European teams looks good enough to get them to the biggest match in world football.
What with England having exited this World Cup so tamely, they obviously can’t feature in any World Cup betting advice this time around.
However, if you are feeling patriotic pop a few quid on England to be the host of World Cup 2018 at a generally available 5/4. Not long odds but given they were overlooked in 2006 it is surely time for football to come home.