Guest post written by Arthur Browne
Yet more twists and turns in the World Cup folks! Although Italian hearts were saddened by their early exit I was pleased as punch as my 10/3 came off. I also still think Argentina were value at 4/1 and their odds have shortened which means that if you were inclined then a trade is possible to put you in a guaranteed profit.
How about some good old fashioned World Cup discipline? There’s nothing like some harsh sending offs to remind you the world’s biggest football tournament is in full swing. Klose and Kaka are two examples of players who were on the end of harsh red cards in the group stages. There are daily betting markets on the points value of cards and if you take a look at the referees for the games in question, the ones who flash the cards usually have a history of doing it and are easily available for all to see. You are likely to find some value there…
If you’re looking for some frivolity then you could back the underdogs (the bookies define them as Japan and Portugal tomorrow). Japan have looked an impressive team in the tournament so far and Portugal have Christiano Ronaldo so can never be too swiftly written off. If you like a plucky underdog (and most Brits do) then you can get some pretty tasty odds on both teams getting a victory tomorrow. Fortune may just favour the brave and a split market dutch bet would see you profit if one of them win!
Meanwhile, if you’re feeling depressed about England then why not turn your thoughts to the next person with the impossible job of taking us to the business end of major tournaments?
Fabio’s on some pretty thin ice at present. Roy Hodgson and Harry Redknapp are out in the front of the betting as the next permanent England boss, but the former could be gobbled up by Liverpool and removed from contention while the latter has been overlooked before. You’ll get more generous odds for the likes of Martin O’Neill (who has shown interest before) and even bigger ones for the untried commodity that is David Beckham. You never know though, especially if the FA wants to spend less on their next manager and Becks does it pro bono!
Back to the World Cup and the player of the tournament could be an interesting bet. Messi is favourite but hasn’t yet scored a goal, special player though he is. And because of the Golden Boat award it won’t necessarily be someone banging in the goals. Look out for Forlan as an outside bet or Ozil of Germany if you’re interested in someone who has ‘come of age’ in this tournament. I’m probably just in denial about Messi though.
Here’s hoping for some cracking football to lift the gloom! Oh, and by the way, we haven’t had any penalty shoot-out agony yet! I don’t know why but I’ve got a funny feeling we’ll see Argentina vs Germany go that way…