SCOTLAND - ARGENTINA
Scotland have hit the "motherload" with this long arranged match, it was always a glamourous, high profile friendly, but with it being Diego Maradona's debut in charge of his beloved Argentina, media interest has gone through the roof.
The greatest footballer I have ever seen , who virtually won a World Cup single handed, has been given the job he has craved for so long. As the maxim goes, "be careful what you wish for ".
It is difficult to get away from the feeling that this will end in tears, but at least short term, I expect El Pibe de Oro to have a positive and motivational influence on the team. Especially, the players in whom he sees a little of himself, like Messi (who is missing today) and Tevez, Maradona flew to Manchester recently just to meet Tevez, put an arm round his shoulder and tell him how important he was to his plans, who would not respond to that ? Carlos Tevez is a world class player, that we still have not seen the best of, he can be expected to thrive under the new regime.
Scotland have been devastated by injury and squad withdrawls, their cause has not been helped by assistant boss Terry Butcher making a bit of an ass of himself in the media and refusing to forget the "hand of god" incident from 22 years ago !
To be honest, I do not think that the Scotland line up makes too much difference, I feel that the visitors, who are superior in every position , will be out to impress their new boss and expect them to run out comfortable winners.
6 points Argentina -3/4 ball 2.02 asian line..... NOW 1.84
FRANCE - URUGUAY
Both sides are strong offensively and given the home nation's defensive fraililty at present and with a makeshift backline, I feel that we will see goals.
Hosts are "over" in their last 5 starts, with four of them producing four or more goals. In front of a sold out Stade de France crowd, we can expect them to adopt another attack orientated line up and mind set.
Uruguay have named a 20 man squad, with all but Argentine based Sebastian Abreu earning their living in Europe. They are "over" in 7 of their last 9, including in each of their last four friendly matches, all of which produced at least four goals.
I am going to stick with the straight "over" bet, but there are a couple of bigger priced selections I could make a case for. The "over" 4.5 goals is quoted at circa 9.40 for small stakes on the exchanges, which seems huge and the aforementioned Abreu is 5.50 to score at anytime with Hills and Paddy Power. He came off the bench to score a late equalising goal in his last outing and I do not think they would have flow him to Europe, if he was not going to get significant playing time, his international scoring record makes eyecatching reading, with 27 goals in 46 starts.
6.5 points "over" 2.5 goals 2.33 asian line.... NOW 2.26