As the first week of the Fifa World Cup 2014 comes to a close, we preview the remaining matches.
It’s been a World Cup of upset, drama and utterly riveting football which continues this weekend with some crunch group stage games. Here we take a look at the upcoming action and find the best betting odds available for these crucial encounters.
Saturday’s early game (5PM BST) will see Argentina return to action, heavily favoured against Iran. Although the Iranians managed to hold Nigeria to a 0-0 draw in their first game, Argentina are massive odds-on favourites to win – the best price available is 1/7 at Bet Victor. If you fancy the draw, you can get 9/1 at bet365, while the best price for an Iran win is 28/1 at betfair.
In what promises to be a far more competitive match, Nigeria take on Bosnia-Herzegovina at 11PM. A draw for Bosnia would likely be enough to see them qualify 2nd in Group F, assuming they beat Iran on Wednesday. Nigeria, on the other hand, face Argentina in their final game and need a win to have a realistic chance of progression. Bosnia are offered at 10/11 by several bookmakers, including bet365 and betfair, but bet365 lead the field for Nigeria at 7/2. A draw is priced at 11/4 by Totesport.
Saturday will also feature Group G action as Germany take on Ghana at 8PM. Germany, who were rampant in their 4-0 victory over Portugal, have been the most impressive of the big teams so far and can be backed at an odds on 1/3 at Bet Victor. Ghana, whose loss to the USA left qualification hanging by a thread, are 10/1 at bet365, who also offer the best price on a draw at 5/1.
Sunday sees one more Group G game as Portugal (5/6 at totesport) take on USA (4/1 at Bet Victor). Clint Dempsey, the only American to score at three World Cups, will play on with a broken nose sustained against Ghana; while Portugal will be without defender Pepe who was sent off in their opener against Germany. Although Portugal struggled to get forward against the Germans, Sunday’s game promises to be far more open; and could effectively be a qualification decider. A draw (14/5 at Skybet) leaves everything in the balance and would likely leave qualification down to goal difference.
The weekend’s action is rounded off by two Group H games as Belgium face Russia and South Korea play Algeria. Belgium, who came from behind to beat Algeria, are even money at bet365, whilst Russia attract odds of 16/5 at Bet Victor. A draw (5/2 at bet365) might well see both teams through but would leave Russia in a somewhat uncomfortable position.
Although Australia is the lowest ranked team in this World Cup, Algeria may well be the least favoured. Despite an unexpected goal against Belgium they are still underdogs (5/2 at bet365) to overcome South Korea (7/5 at Bet Victor). A draw (23/10 at bet365) would likely eliminate both teams, but a winner, if there is one, could potentially challenge Russia for 2nd place.