It’s likely to be all about goals as Giovanni Trapattoni’s side prepare to face minnows the Faroe Islands at the Aviva Stadium. The Irish need to rattle up a big score against the Faroese with goal difference likely to play a part in a tight group behind the Germans.
Given that Montenegro are top of Group H, England probably don’t represent fantastic value to win in Podgorica on Tuesday at 4/5, especially as the likes of Jack Wilshere, Theo Walcott and Gary Cahill have already been ruled out. On the other hand, there’s a train of thought which suggests the Montenegrins are possibly a little flattered by their position in the section and they haven’t come up against a team with England’s all-round quality so far.
Ireland probably surpassed expectations in taking a point of Sweden in Stockholm last Friday but they have to build on the momentum gained by beating Austria back at the Aviva Stadium if they are to keep up their push for World Cup Qualification.
Jack Wilshere’s loss is a blow to England but his absence is likely to be felt more keenly in Montenegro next week rather than against minnows San Marino.
Roy Hodgson also has defensive issues to resolve with Gary Cahill joining Michael Dawson, Rio Ferdinand and Phil Jagielka on the sidelines and the manager is considering using Michael Carrick at centre-back.
The Republic’s World Cup destiny may well be decided over the next five days with vital games in Sweden and at home to Austria. They’ve stuck with Giovanni Trapattoni and Marco Tardelli, despite a poor showing at Euro 2012, but performances need to improve if they are to compete against the world’s best in Brazil.
According to David Beckham, hindsight is a wonderful thing! If only we’d all taken notice of the form book coming into the World Cup then finalists the Netherlands and Spain would have stood out like the thumbs of a hitchhiker at the end of his gap year! Both teams waltzed through their qualifying groups without dropping a point. The Dutch are on a long unbeaten run which includes six victories in South Africa, while Spain’s only defeats in the last two years came in last summer’s Confederations Cup (against the USA) and in their opener against the Swiss in Durban, which caught everyone by surprise.
To date, I’m afraid I ain’t done as well as Paul the Octupus, nonetheless, let’s concentrate on some World Cup Final betting tips.
Holland 11/4 v Spain 11/10 – (Draw 11/5)
Since 1983, Holland and Spain have met on four occasions. It’s the Dutch who have the upper hand, winning three. Holland make their 3rd appearance in a World Cup Final whereas Spain encounter the greatest sporting occasion on our planet for the first time. Here’s some betting tips.
Having gone out of a tournament like the World Cup at the semi-final stage, it must be difficult for players to raise themselves for another game a matter of days later.
Uruguay have had 24 hours longer than Germany to get over the disappointment of not taking the final step into what would have been the biggest match of their careers but it may not save the South Americans from another evening of relative disappointment in the third place play-off. What will be playing on the minds of both sets of players is that they probably didn’t do themselves justice in the semi-finals.
This World Cup has been something of a bonfire of reputations. Looking at the pre-tournament top goalscorer betting, it’s staggering how many of the favourites have had a tournament to forget. Lionel Messi, Wayne Rooney, Fernando Torres, Cristiano Ronaldo, Diego Milito, Didier Drogba, Kaka; the list goes on.
However, the man who headed the betting market before the tournament began also heads it as we head into match 64 of the tournament.
David Villa was an 8/1 chance to sop score in South Africa before a ball was kicked. The Valencia striker (as he was then) had won the Golden Shoe at the 2008 European Championships with four goals, and with his country the ante-post favourites to lift the World Cup, he was the obvious choice to top score.
Sunday 11 July – WC Day 31
So, after 63 matches and a month of intriguing football, the nineteenth World Cup Final is upon us. Spain play the Netherlands in the showpiece event at Johannesburg’s Soccer City stadium on Sunday evening.
It was 6/5 before the tournament began that we would have a first-time World Cup winner and, sometime on Sunday evening, one of these two European powerhouses will become the eighth nation to have their name inscribed on the famous trophy.