Posts Tagged ‘Spain’

Weekly Photoshop – Mark van Bommel

20/07/2010

Dutch midfield destroyer Nigel de Jong Mark van Bommel is this week’s theme.

He left a trail of bad fouls, late tackling and all round nastiness whilst helping Holland reach the World Cup final. What was most impressive was that he basically got away with most of it, only getting booked in the semi-final (for kicking the ball away of all things) and the final (where everyone got booked).

That said, he’s a very effective player though one who is hard to like if he doesn’t play for you (and that’s understating it somewhat!) . Anyway, as promised we have the one being held back from last week as well as a second one I came up with.

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mark van bommel holland usual suspects

The greatest trick the devil ever pulled was convincing the ref that it wasn't a booking.

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van bommel ninja foul

Using advanced stealth tactics, van Bommel Ninja Training can teach anyone how to leave a trail of destruction with no consequences.

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More here.

T.

Archive.

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World Cup Roundup

14/07/2010

So suggesting a bet on Holland in the final meant the bet of the day running total ended 0.77 units down, which isn’t awful considering two-thirds of the group stage were missed. In better punditry many of the pre-tournament tips came off. Of the more impressive ideas, I suggested Germany to reach the semi-finals @ 12/5, Argentina to get nine points in their group @ 12/5, Uruguay and Mexico to go through in group A @ 13/1 and Uruguay as an each way bet @ 66/1.

I wrote that England could well suffer a second round knock-out, while tipping Holland @ 9/1 almost came off. The goalscorer tips were a touch unlucky too with each way suggestions Klose (33/1) and Suarez (100/1) just missing out on the top four.  Enough gloating (there were plenty of dud tips too after all) and time for a few highlights and lowlights.

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Best Game: England vs Germany had controversy, some great football, good goals and it dispelled the hype surrounding so many of England’s stars.

Worst Game: Most of the ones in the first week.

Best Goal: Tshabalala’s in the opening match was great for the moment and Van Bronckhorst in the semi-final was great for the pureness of the strike but I think Villa’s first against Honduras tops both.

Worst Miss: Yakubu vs South Korea. Dear oh dear.

Most Dramatic 5 Minutes: Spain vs Paraguay gave it a good try, with three penalties in the space of a few minutes, but you can’t beat the end of extra-time in the Uruguay vs Ghana match. Goalmouth scramble, handball on the line and red card, missed penalty with a semi-final place up for grabs, undignified celebrations by the man sent off and then a penalty shoot-out shortly after. Wow.

Best Pundit: Clarence Seedorf. There weren’t many to choose from but he was insightful and refreshing. Some good features too.

Hero: Paul the psychic octopus.

Villain: Take your pick from Suarez, the Jabulani ball or the French team going on strike. Oh and James Corden too.

Best XI Of The Tournament: Casillas; Lahm, Puyol, Lugano, Coentrao; Schweinsteiger, Xavi, Sneijder; Mueller, Forlan, Villa.

Worst XI Of The Tournament: Green; Otamendi, Terry, Cannavaro, Evra; Melo, Kaka, Ribery; Anelka, Rooney, Torres.

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T.

World Cup Bet Of The Day – The Final

11/07/2010

Running Total: +0.23 units

The news that Klose was out injured for yesterday’s 3rd/4th playoff meant another bet had to be found. The simple option of over 2.5 goals was taken meaning this column is back in profit just in time for the end of the finals.

I do feel a bit sorry for Klose not getting at least the chance to equal Ronaldo’s record. Say what you want about him being not as good but at the end of the day he’s produced in three World Cups.

Anyway, on to today’s game which should hopefully be a classic between Holland and Spain.

Spain are heavy favourites to win this and you can get 14/5 on a Holland victory in 90 minutes which seems very high. While the Dutch haven’t been as impressive I get the feeling it’s partly because people still associate them with the more attacking styles of days gone by and think that because they’re not scoring three or four a game they’re not playing well.

This Dutch team is unbeaten in 24 and is more than capable of causing a so called upset. However, despite this you can’t deny Spain should be favourites and the 11/10 on them to win in 90 minutes is not terrible value given how in control they’ve been in all their matches.

In terms of the scorers I have a hunch van Persie might finally get another goal to go with his good performances and he’s 5/2 to score anytime which seems generous. Change it to first goalscorer and you can get as high 8/1. Lastly, him to score and Holland to win is 6/1.

David Villa is 6/5 to score anytime while Dutch form man (and top scorer rival) Wesley Sneijder is 10/3 – again very generous.

There’s been some talk that Spain may have to come from behind to win this and that wouldn’t surprise me, though the one time they went behind in this tournament they lost. You can get as high as 28/1 on a Holland HT/Spain FT result but perhaps the more likely scenario is Draw HT/Spain FT which is 7/2 in most places but as high as 4/1 in Ladbrokes and Paddy Power.

Finally Howard Webb is in charge which means there’ll be a few yellow cards. Mark van Bommel is 8/1 to be first booked while fellow hatchet man Nigel de Jong is 9/1. Take your pick and fill your boots. It might be prudent to bet on some of the full-backs getting booked too. I could see Robben getting either Capdevilla and/or Ramos booked while the Dutch full backs will also be at risk when facing the likes of Pedro and Iniesta.

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Bets of the day:

Robin van Persie to score anytime @ 5/2

Holland to win in 90 minutes @ 14/5

Basically you can go with the aforementioned combined bet at 6/1 but I’d rather split it and increase my chances. I’m going with heart over head with these selections but I just have a hunch that Holland are going to do it. Alternatively just bet on Spain to win in 90 and double your money.

T.

World Cup Bet Of The Day – Day 27

07/07/2010

Running Total: -2.2 units

Bit unlucky last night as Uruguay’s late second goal ruined the handicap bet on Holland to win -1 goal. At least the stake was returned though.

I’m finding it really hard to call tonight’s second semi between Spain and Germany but I think ultimately the Spanish will have a bit too much for Jogi Low’s side. Spain have played lots of quite defensive teams so far while against England and Argentina Germany could do as they pleased. That’s not to say Germany can’t beat Spain but I just think they’ll find it more difficult against a more tactically organised side. I could spend ages previewing this but I’d rather just enjoy the game!

Bet of the day:

Spain to beat Germany @ 13/8

T.

World Cup Bet Of The Day – Day 23

03/07/2010

Running Total: -4.8 units

New tactic if you want to win money. I suggest a bet, you bet on the opposite. You’ll soon find you’ll be quids in. Unfortunately there weren’t odds on Luis Suarez to cheat anytime and while playing well (in many respects…) he didn’t get a goal to win our bet.

I was gutted not to have put money on Holland. All week I’ve been thinking that their 7/2 price to beat Brazil was too high but never went through with it.

Spain should beat Paraguay if you fancy some free money but 1/2 is very skinny. Maybe go with David Villa scoring at evens instead.

The big game is the afternoon clash between Argentina and Germany. Argentina are favourites but this is very tough to call in my opinion. It’s tempting to place a small side bet on Germany if they’re as high as 5/2 but I think the value lies in looking at the goals market.

This should be quite an open, attacking game with both teams playing expansive, creative football. Ozil and Messi have been two of the best players so far this tournament and while the latter has yet to score, his all round play has been excellent. Germany have nine goals so far while Argentina have ten which gives hope to an entertaining game. I’m usually one to go for over 2.5 goals but let’s be ambitious and try over 3.5 goals.

Bet of the day:

Germany vs Argentina to have over 3.5 goals @ 13/5.

T.

World Cup Bet Of The Day – Day 19

29/06/2010

Running Total: -2.8 units

The last tip before I left didn’t win as Spain shockingly lost 1-0 against Switzerland but plenty has happened since then. Lots of my each-way top scorer bets are potentially looking good (Klose, Suarez, Fabiano) while Germany have reached the quarter finals thus putting some money in the bank.

Back to the matter at hand and it’s two tricky games to call today – Paraguay v Japan and Spain v Portugal. I didn’t see much of the first two teams while on holiday so I think I’ll leave that game well alone (though over 2.5 goals @6/4 would be the choice if forced).

The evening game looks like a potential classic, though Spain are heavy favourites at 11/10. It’s tempting to put a small bet on Portugal given they’re as high as 10/3 to win the match, however I think their lack of a proper striker will be their downfall again. David Villa is the man in form for Spain and you could back him to score but I’ll take a risky bet and go for Spain to be winning at half-time and full-time.

Bet of the day:

Spain to beat Portugal at half-time and full-time @ 9/4.

T.

World Cup Bet Of The Day – Day 6

16/06/2010

Running Total: -1.8 units

Robinho did everything but score yesterday so the running total moves further down.

Today Spain should hopefully put on a performance against Switzerland, if not necessarily score lots of goals. Torres and Iniesta may both be kept on the bench meaning players like Pedro may get a chance to put their name on the scoresheet.

That said, we have to go with the main man up front David Villa. When you have players like Xavi, Silva and Mata all trying to set something up for you, odds are you score regularly. Let’s go for him as first goalscorer.

Bet of the day:

David Villa to score first vs Switzerland @ 3/1

T.

The Big World Cup Betting Post

11/06/2010

This afternoon 32 teams begin the fight to be crowned World Cup winners on July 11th. Well, strictly speaking only four teams play today but let’s not be pedantic. There’s a wealth of potential bets to place and some potentially big winnings to be had. I’m sure everyone has their opinion on what will happen so here’s my pick.

Eyes on the prize.

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Favourites

The top three teams in the winner market are Spain at 4/1, Brazil at 5/1 and Argentina at 8/1. There’s not a great deal of value there but of the three I have Brazil as my favourite to win. They’re solid at the back with all the Inter defenders and also play two defensive midfielders to back them up. Up front Kaka is still a great player while Luis Fabiano is an effective striker.

If all three of those teams win their groups, Spain are scheduled to face Argentina in one semi-final which makes it trickier to back them over Brazil. You could go with naming the finalists – Brazil/Spain is about 10/1 while Brazil/Argentina is as high as a tempting 18/1.

Personally I think I’ll be going for all three teams to qualify from their groups with a maximum nine points. In that regard Brazil are 9/4, Spain 6/5 and Argentina 12/5. The risky treble is about 24/1.

Favourites to double up.

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If Things Go Their Way

Here we have the likes of England, Holland, Germany and Italy. All good sides but probably not a match for the three favourites. Betting on England is always a mug’s game in my eyes. The bookies have them down at 8/1 which is mainly to protect themselves from Dave the Daily Star reader who puts heart before head.

That said Capello and a fit Rooney is a far better prospect then the Eriksson and unfit Rooney of four years ago. In reality I think the semi’s (11/8) are the absolute limit for England but there’s a potentially tricky second round match against the group B runners-up which could see them knocked out early.

I like the look of Holland and they have some brilliant attacking options. Whether their defence holds up against top opposition is another story and whichever way they look at it they’re going to meet Spain or Brazil in a quarter-final. However, what’s betting without some fun risk involved so why not a cheeky pound on them to win the whole thing at 9/1? Thinking about it I think they’ll be a good team to bet on a match by match basis come the knock-out stages.  Personally I’ll be looking at Robin van Persie to do some goalscoring damage. More on that later.

Never write off Germany. 12/5 for the semi finals. I’ll have some of that.

Keep looking Wayne, you won't win it.

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Potential Flops

In my mind there are two teams who are ripe to flop completely and not qualify from their group – France and Portugal. I have different reasons for both. France are an ageing team and somehow still have Raymond Domenech as their coach. Some of his decisions are baffling. In fact no, most of his decisions are baffling. The senior players still have too much say and there’s talk of infighting within the squad.

Their group is on paper not too hard which is why this is an interesting bet. Uruguay should qualify and part of me thinks that South Africa will get a win in the opening game and somehow find a way to qualify in second. I’m sure Sepp will sort something out… The odds aren’t great – only 2/1 so maybe it’s better value to bet on the Uruguay and Mexico/South Africa forecast instead (13/1 or 21/1). On the other hand all the great players in their squad might have one last great hurrah.

Portugal in contrast are in the so-called group of death – Brazil, Ivory Coast and North Korea being their opponents. Brazil will top this group so I think it’s a straight fight for second between two of the biggest divas in the World Cup; Drogba and Ronaldo. I think the latter loses out, thus a Brazil/Ivory Coast forecast is a nice 11/4.

This will happen again. Though without Big Phil.

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Each Way Long Shots

Serbia and Uruguay seem to be getting a lot of love as teams who could go further than expected. They’re on the right side of the draw in terms of ‘only’ having Brazil instead of Spain and Argentina. At 40/1 and 66/1 respectively, they’re fantastic each-way bets. Both are technically good with differing strengths; Serbia having a top defence while Uruguay have Forlan and Suarez up front.

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Sharpshooters

Top goalscorer bets are always fun and if you consider that six goals was the winning total for six straight World Cups from 1978 to 1998 you only need a bit of luck to win on a high-priced each way bet. Germany’s Miroslav Klose won with five goals in 2006 and he again is fantastic each way value this time round at a general 33/1.

Holland have a group without any particularly defensive teams meaning Robin van Persie could fill his boots and be overall winner at 12/1. If you look at who’s facing the weakest teams (North Korea and New Zealand) then perhaps Luis Fabiano of Brazil at 10/1  or Italy’s Di Natale  at 50/1 could be worth a shout. Suarez of Uruguay can be found as high as 100/1 and if you think three goals was enough for second last time round it’s worth placing a pound or two on him.

Your top goalscorer. Maybe...

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T.

World Cup Qualifiers Betting

13/10/2009

A big night tomorrow as things get finalised in terms of World Cup qualifying. 18 teams have already joined hosts South Africa and another eight will be known by the early hours of Thursday morning. After tomorrow we’ll just have the four European and one  South/North American playoffs to get through in November before the 32 are set.

There are lots of meaningless matches now that many sides have qualified but let’s look at the interesting games that remain and see if there’s any value in betting.

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Europe

Looking through the groups only three have anything left to be decided. In Group Six, Ukraine just need to beat pointless Andorra to ensure a playoff spot so no value there. Group Two sees Switzerland needing a point to win the group ahead of Greece who will beat Luxembourg at home and otherwise join them on 20 points. The odds aren’t great but 1.8 on Switzerland to beat Israel might be worth including on your betting slip.

Group Three sees Slovakia lead Slovenia lead the Czech Republic. Slovenia will end the Czech Republic’s hopes and go top with victory over San Marino leaving Slovakia in all likelihood needing an away victory over Poland to maintain automatic qualification (their goal difference isn’t good enough for the draw). Poland have been frustratingly poor and have thrown away a good position with a draw and two straight defeats. With that in mind I fancy Slovakia to beat Poland @ 2.2.

Elsewhere I fancy Spain to complete a clean sweep of their group and beat Bosnia away @ 2.32.

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South America

Uruguay v Argentina is the main attraction here and indeed anywhere. It’s pretty simple for Diego Maradona and his men. Avoid defeat and they’re through automatically (barring a super Ecuador away win in Chile). If they lose and Ecuador don’t win, it’s a playoff against Honduras or Costa Rica. If they lose and Ecuador win, they’re out completely and Lionel Messi puts his boots up for the summer.

Looking at the form book, it seems unlikely Argentina will win, given their one away victory in qualifying and Uruguay’s one home defeat. They did win in the reverse fixture 2-1 but I don’t see a repeat. The temptation to bet on a nervy draw at 3.3 is interesting but I think it might be safer looking at over 2.5 goals @ 11/10 or even over 3.5 goals @ 11/4.

Will we see this again?

Will we see this again?

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Africa

Can’t find any odds listed on the major bookies. Shenanigans!

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North America

The USA have qualified and face Costa Rica in their final game. Despite needing a victory, I don’t think Costa Rica are capable of beating USA away so let’s go with USA win at evens.

A few bets then but nothing to really get excited over. The playoffs should be more interesting!

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T.

Weekly Photoshop – Xabi Alonso

11/06/2009

Liverpool midfielder and Real Madrid target Xabi Alonso this week. Bit of an obvious attempt to be honest but here it is anyway.

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Chavvy Alonso models the new Liverpool kit.

Chavvy Alonso models the new Liverpool kit.

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More can be found here.

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T.

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Past entries.


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