Tuesday, June 29, 2010


A day of shocks at Wimbledon, but not for us as the "over" was landed in the Williams -Li Na match. We have had a very profitable few months on the blog, 28 of the last 45 selections have won, a strike rate of over 62% and with several winners being quoted at 2.40 +, the average winning price is just over 2.18.

These are really terrific returns (ROI circa 136%) for a free service, especially with my hands tied to a degree and unable to post many of my strongest selections.

We are just two minutes away from our first penalty shoot out at the World Cup, so plenty of drama to come there, but I hope that the late game provides a little more excitement. If Portugal are just going to try and shut up shop again, our best hope for some entertainment is an early Spanish goal...... enjoy the game !

Good Luck.


Very strong day yesterday, both bets posted on the blog won with a degree of comfort, as did my third selection (maximum bet), which was a tennis wager.

After today we will be down to just eight teams in South Africa and will get our first couple of football free days and to be honest, like a footballer in early May, I am quite looking forward to it !

I feel like Wimbledon which normally takes centre stage for me this fortnight has been neglected and doubtless many winners missed , but this should not be ..........

Serena Williams - Li Na

I am a big fan of these two, they are polar opposites in terms of lifestyle and body shape, but on court, both are gladiators, who ask for or give, no quarter. Saw an interview with Serena yesterday in which she heaped praise on her opponent and made it clear she knew that a long afternoon was on the cards today.

These two have met five times previously, all went to at least 23 games, with an average of 26.4, including two tie breaks in the Australian Open semi final back in January. Li Na is in great shape and won the pre Wimbledon grass court event in Birmingham, defeating Maria Sharapova, who showed her well being by taking Williams close yesterday, in the final. The chinese girl normally targets the bigger events and this is her second last eight appearnce at the All England club, she has played with great rhythm and depth this weak, served really well and unlike other players does not shrink when playing a big name player and always goes for her shots, perhaps too much at times. Serena looks fit and near the top of her game, this will be great to watch, but no walkover for the american superstar, yet that is how this has been priced up, it could easily go to a decider and over 19.5 games looks very solid.

"over" 19.5 games 1.73 + .... up to 1.83 in places.

Good Luck

Monday, June 28, 2010


Brazil-Chile over 2.5 goals 2.07

Luis Fabiano to score anytime 2.20

Brazil will relish the extra space they will get tonight, after facing an untra defensive Portugese side last time out. Chile are very attack minded and adventurous and with problems in defence, both Ponce and Medel are suspended, along with Estrada, it is hard to see them trying to set out to frustrate Brazil, they just do not have the personnel for that. The two qualifying games between the sides were extremely open, with a brace from Fabiano and one from Robinho deciding the first , those two players were amongst a string of starters rested for the return leg, but Brazil still scored four in a six goal thriller, which was a bad tempered affair.It is not difficult to see this following suit and the 3.25 about a red card makes some appeal.

Early goals were a feature of both those meetings and something similar can be expected tonight. Robinho, Kaka and Elano should all return for the Samba Boys tonight and will be providing the ammunition for Fabiano's bullets, I like the over and also take him to register his third and maybe fourth goal of the tournament, as he is a player who often scores two at a time, so another brace is a possibility ( a massive 7.5 in a place). Chile have already played, possibly outplayed at times, Spain just three days ago and to meet another of the top three teams in the world so soon afterwards, with a weakened team is going to be too much too soon for this young talented and entertaining team, but they will give it their best and another thrilling late game is on the cards, with Brazil back in their second home of Johannesburg the eventual and clear winners.

Good Luck.


England are on their way home after being comprehensively outplayed by Germany. Defensively they were a total shambles and the attitude of some of the players was shocking, personally, I would not even consider calling up a couple to the squad ever again and we are talking senior players here. All is clearly not right within the camp, Fabio has made errors and the decision to take off Defoe and replace him with the far from prolific Heskey when 4-1 down with 20 minutes to play, defies belief. Peter Crouch has scored a lot of goals for his country and has been left warming the bench for virtually all of this tournament.

They were denied a clear goal at 1-2, which could easily have turned the course of the game, but I am not sure that long term that would have been good for the english game, which needs a major overhaul. Fabio made it clear he is not going to resign and on £6m p.a and with a new two year contract in his pocket, the reasons are clear, to get rid of him and his large backroom staff is going to cost a fortune.

I find this all a little depressing, so am going to leave it at that.

I have three selections today, including one maximum bet and will put some brief notes about a couple on the blog later this morning.

Good Luck.

Saturday, June 26, 2010


Many of you know that I like this US team and below are my notes written long before the competition started , they have a terrific attitude, are a real unit, with fantastic fitness levels and terrific pace up front. They have received no help from match officials and had two "good goals" disallowed in their last two starts and lesser groups would have wilted, but they kept right on coming and got the desired result in each match. We are already on them at 4.33 to progress to the last eight, so no need to get involved today, but if you have not previously bet, I have to suggest that you take some of these juicy looking odds today. Ghana are a young team with a lot of potential, but could really do with Essien in the side and even more so at the moment with a striker who knew where the goal was ! The african side have yet to score a goal from open play and look like they need 25 chances to score once, maybe they will get them today, as the last two US games have been incredibly open affairs, but I still fancy the americans who are born confiden,t finding a way to win regardless of what Ghana do. The US side are out for revenge after losing 2-1 to Ghana four years ago, that defeat still rankles as it came courtesy of another hotly disputed decision again the US on a day when little went right, they lost their playmaker to injury and with Appiah and Essien bossing the midfield there was no way back.This time the US have the greater experience and cutting edge and I expect them, unless the officials take a hand, to progress.

USA -0.25 2.29 IBC

To Reach the Quarter - Finals

Another team with experience of the conditions is the USA, they will arrive with very positive mental memories, after beating Spain 2-0 and leading Brazil by the same scoreline in the Confederations Cup. No real superstars in this squad, although Landon Donovan would say otherwise (!), but they do make up for this with a confidence that all americans are seemingly born with, a terrific team spirit and fitness levels beyond most other countries, something which serves them very well in tournament football. The US are well coached, organised and disciplined and play to those strengths. The draw has been kind to them, they can hardly complain about being in the same group as Algeria and Slovenia, in addition to which, they could be meeting England at the right time, with Capello's side traditionally slow starters and having to reshuffle after losing Ferdinand. Whatever happens in that game and at the moment it looks very drawish to me, I expect the big two to progress with a degree of ease and would fancy both against any of the Group D sides, which doubtless we will cover at some later stage.

USA to reach the last eight 4.33

Good Luck.


Now the real competition starts ! It has been very hard not to be impressed by the performances of the South American sides so far, they have lost between them just one of 15 starts, winning ten and the only game they have trailed in at any time was the Chile -Spain match up yesterday, when the european side took the lead, infact scored twice, very much against the run of play. Almost all the the players from that region have looked fresher than their european counterparts and the same is also true of the North American'swith the Mexican and US players having played a fairly limited number of games this season,actually, no US outfield player has made more than 30 starts this season and it shows.

Aside from Argentina, no team from SA has impressed as much as Uruguay, they look defensive as tight as a drum and upfront Suarez and Forlan will trouble even the best defences, as a group they look to be playing within themselves and it is hard to get away from the notion that they are still able to step up a level if required. Today they face South Korea, who have already done us a massive favour here, but we saw their defensive frailities against both Argentina and Nigeria, when they conceded six times and the number could/should have been greater. We know that they will never give up and that Uruguay will be made to work harder than they have done so far, but even in the Mexico game where they did not have to win, they still created a lot of clear chances and were immense at the back. The Mexicans were very impressed and almost every one of the losing team commented post match about how solid the Uruguay backline was and they stopped their opponents creating anything at all out wide. SK play a similar style to Mexico and if anything are a little weaker overall, so it is difficult to see anything bar a comfortable win number 11 for Conmebol teams here as there is no way the asian side can keep Uruguay at bay for 90 minutes.

Uruguay -0.5 1.98 IBC.

Back later.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

GROUP E .....

Denmark -0.5 2.20
Netherlands-Cameroon over 2.5 goals 2.11

Japan need just a point to progress, whereas Denmark need all three, so this match is very finely balanced and the situation cut and dry. The asian side are hard working and well organised, but offer little cutting edge, they seem sure to give the danes plenty of the ball and set out to frustrate them. I think this gives Denmark the chance to continue to grow in confidence and Dennis Rommedahl showed against Cameroon that he is still capable of terrorizing defences on a going day, Japan are a little slow at the back and also have an enormous disadvantage at set pieces which the europeans will be looking to exploit. This is unlikely to be a classic, especially with so much at stake, but I have to give my vote to Denmark.

Holland have booked their place in the last 16 and will be keen to keep their 100% record and also step up the level of performance. I think that they might deliberately have kept things low key so far, in the past we have seen them start tournaments on fire and look like world beaters after a couple of games, before running out of steam. This time they have been far lower profile, just doing enough to beat Japan and Denmark with the minimum amount of effort. They will rotate a little today, these players will be desperate to catch the eye of the coaching staff and I am certain that Arjen Robben will make his long awaited return to the team and play for at least a half or so. Therefore, a hungry dutch team, with their star player looking to get plenty of the ball and some game time. Cameroon have talent, we saw that at times against Denmark when they created an enormous number of chances, they can go two ways today, try to say goodbye with an upbeat attacking performance, going toe to toe with the dutch, or put in a sulky lacklustre showing and let their heads drop if falling behind, either way it is difficult not to see goals and the odds for three or more look very tempting.

Good Luck.

59-59 ...........

Not the score from the Lakers-Celtics game, but the current situation in the fifth set of Mahut-Isner, the longest match in tennis history ! Trust me to pick this one as my only bet at Wimbledon so far ! At least we get plenty of games for our money !

Mahut has won 82 games so far, that would normally be enough to see him into the quarter finals, instead not only is he still in the first round, the frenchman is effectively exactly where he started, three days ago !

Elsewhere, England put in a much improved performance yesterday, but still made the nation sit through a nail biting ten minutes at the end and now face Germany (of course) on Sunday . I had only my second double stakes match bet of the tournament with a double (very rare bet for me) on England-USA at a shade over 3.0. The US left it very late to find a winner, but it was certainly deserved and it made for a VERY exciting afternoon.

I am passing the early games today, but will be back later with some basic notes about Group E, by which time I hope that Mahut will be in round 2 !!!!

Good Luck.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

WEDNESDAY ............

Bit frustrating yesterday, Greece never made any real attempt to try and qualify and it is good for the game that they are now on their way back home. South Korea were perhaps a little fortunate to take a point from Nigeria in the end, but were in the driving seat before that and a draw meant that we collected on our bet @ 3.50 for them to qualify from the group, so, not all bad news.

Nicolas Mahut was 2-1 up in sets and with a mini break in the fourth set tie break, before John Isner fought back and play was suspended with the pair tied at two sets all. Mahut traded as low as 1.10 in running yesterday and win or lose we got great value with the frenchman and that is all we can ask from any bet. Hopefully he can come out all guns blazing this afternoon.

I am not writing much today, for what it is worth I am very keen on both England and the USA to win . Surely Algeria will have to come out of their defensive shell at some stage and then I feel the ultra fit and speedy US forwards will take advantage. However, today is going to be my party day of the competition, as I cannot be certain that there will be any other opportunities if England were to mess things up yet again, so I am off to watch the game on a big screen with a few beers.

Enjoy the games, good luck !

Tuesday, June 22, 2010


Group B

Argentina - Greece over 2.5 goals 2.12

South Korea -0.25 2.06

Incredibly all still to play for in this group, Argentina with six points have not yet confirmed progression to the knockout stage, whereas Nigeria without a point can still make it, it's a funny old game !

The South American side might indulge in a little squad rotation today, but any changes are unlikely to weaken them and some might argue, they could be even stronger. However, they do have some problems at the back, where they looked vunerable against South Korea, despite eventually recording a big win. With a little more composure in front of goal the asian side could easily have pulled it back to 2-2 from 2-0 down just before Argentina nothched their third and then it could have been a very different story. Greece will be out with a loss and the only other result likely to see them progress apart from a win, is a high scoring draw, therefore, they will only be able to sit back, which is their natural instinct, for so long. Hard to see them keeeping their on fire opponents out for too long and this looks a match likely to produce goals.

In the other game, Nigeria have to go for the win, but have shown us little so far to suggest that they are capable of beating this talented and hard working Korean team, even when the african side put themselves in a winning position against Greece, they pushed the self destruct button and threw the three points away. They are the physically stronger of the two sides of course, but that is just about the only advantage I see for them, certainly their mental approach to the game leaves them sadly lacking. The Koreans were not suited by playing Argentina in Joburg, the SA team had been camped there for weeks and steeping up from Port Elizabeth meant the asians were at a big disadvantage, not that you would have guessed it from their play as the ultra fit Koreans will run all day long regardless of conditions. They will be far happier in Durban and I have to take them to win today.


Nicolas Mahut to beat John Isner 2.30 exchanges.

Hard to understand the odds here, despite having a massive serve and occasionally playing serve and volley, the 2.06m american Isner is uncomfortable on the surface, with a 1-5 record on grass in the last five years, never having won a match at Wimbledon. Mahut is getting a little long in the tooth, but is a specialist on the surface and over the same period he has recorded 37 wins on grass, including a final at Queens in 2007 when he had set points against Andy Roodick. The Frenchman has had a tough time with injuries recently, but has more than proved his well being with a series of fine results now that his nostrils are filled with the smell of newly cut lawn ! He has already played nine times on the surface winning through qualifiers at Queens and Wimbledon, seeing off some very big servers and battled through a couple of titanic matches to get here and remains hungry to get another shot at the big time. He has already beaten Isner in straight sets on grass, in their only previous meeting and the giant Isner will have his eyes on the US hardcourt season and will be happy to get on the plane home. Mahut is also a former Junior title winner at the All England Club, if you need any more convincing about his suitability for the surface here, this match has been priced purely on respective rankings and the US player's massive serve, but you need a little more feel for the surface than he has and Mahut has it in abundance.

Good Luck.

Sunday, June 20, 2010


Well, Slovakia were about as poor as England and I was fortunate to save one stake, for which I am very thankful. Having promised to post selections for the other two games, I will do so, but the odds on my Italy bet have fallen considerably since writing these incredibly basic notes this morning. Like Slovakia I feel too lethargic to add to them !

Italy -1.5 goals 2.07 SBO

These two teams met in a friendly almost exactly a year ago, the match was played in horrendous conditions, which Italy were very uncomfortable with, they fielded a number of fringe players and fell behind three times, before eventually winning 4-3. They had about as much go against them in that match as is possible in a meaningless fixture, yet still won, there is a tremendous gulf in class between the two teams and with a full strength line up bar Buffon and Pirlo, or as near as Italy get to it under Lippi, the World Champions should really win this with a degree of comfort, that would leave them with options, which the Italians always like, in their final group start. NZ over performed in their opener and will give 100% today, but they have had their day in the limelight, they have maybe three players that could play at the top level, only one that currently does, the rest are mainly playing in the Australian A League and a couple do not have a club at all at present, most would struggle in the third tier of english football.They had to do a lot of running in their opener and also today to keep pace with an opponent ranked 73 places higher by FIFA, they are certain to tire after the break, they meet quality opponents maybe once per year and twice in five days is going to catch up with them, Italy by at least two.

Brazil-Ivory Coast
Both teams to score 2.10 general quote.

Ivory Coast have made it clear that they will play for a point and take their chances against North Korea in their final group start. However, Brazil are now very comfortable in Johannesburg, where this squad have now started four games and their were glimpses in their opener that Robinho is close to his very best and that this team is ready to step up a level at any time. If they score, the Ivorians will have to open up and of course in Didier Drogba, who will start today, they have a world class striker who will relish this battle and the chance to prove himself on this big stage. I thought they performed well in their opener, restricting Portugal to mainly long range efforts and with a greater cutting edge up front, could cause Brazil problems today, this is another match were I expect both to score and that will be my selection.

Good Luck.


Oh My, England were very poor, that is all I wish to say about Friday !

You did not miss much yesterday, my main interest was in the late game, where I bet Cameroon off level ball at good odds and "over" 2 goals at a fraction over evens. So a tiny, tiny profit, but the african side had enough chances (23 attempts, most of which were blocked by a body lying on the ground !) to have claimed at least a point and should be kicking themselves (they would probably miss.... boom boom !) that they are the first team eliminated from the competition.

I will discuss all three games today, but will just have very brief notes and am suggesting just small stakes, as I have far stronger ideas for the next couple of days.

Slovakia + 0.25 2.13 IBC
Slovakia - Paraguay "over" 2 goals 1.93 SBO/IBC

Paraguay set themselves up to get a point in their opener with Italy and despite stating that they will field a far more attack minded line up today, especially now that all four strikers are available, I doubt that their approach will change too much at least early in the game and with New Zealand still to play, they know that another point will leave them in very good shape to qualify for the knockout stages. Slovakia took their foot off the gas and allowed NZ a very late equaliser, a goal which left them devastated and with Italy still to play, they really need to look for the three points today. The South American backline is very short and Slovakia can put them under a lot of pressure especially from set pieces with several players 1.87m plus, the european side admitted that they were nervous in their opener, but have said they are beyond that now and over the disappointment of throwing away the two points. I expect both teams to score and the match to get stretched after the break with Slovakia taking chances, let's say a 2-2 draw.

Back later.

Friday, June 18, 2010


The UK media have been unendingly scathing on England since the USA "debacle" and god help them if they do not beat Algeria convincingly today. I understand that the squad are far happier playing in Cape Town and that training has gone very well in recent days, England tend to improve as competition wears on and playing back at sea level, we should see them close to their best this evening. The African side will not change their game plan, a draw will keep them alive and they would probably accept that now, it will be ten men behind the ball and maybe look to steal a goal on the break. However, England have a good record against teams from this continent infact they have never lost to an African side (11-4-0) and will have massive support in the stadium, with maybe 90% of the crowd supporting them and once they take the lead, which might not be too early, so don't panic, surely even the ultra negative Algerians will have to come out of their shell and then we should see a second or maybe even a third goal. Gareth Barry returns to the holding role which is absolutely vital for England and allows the rest of the midfield to play a more natural role, but let's not get too involved in the Lampard /Gerrard argument at this stage. England to record a bithday win for coach Capeelo, who was born 64 years ago today .

England -1.5 goals 1.95

Good Luck.

FRIDAY ......

Good Morning ! A moment of utter madness cost us very dear in the Nigeria game yesterday, but all was not lost and I hope that a number of you took the big hint about Mexico written some 22 days before the game and linked to in yesterday's post, when I said ......

Finally for now, France have it very tough in their second game, when, after opening in Cape Town at sea level, they make the ultra long journey to Polokwane, which is like another world, there they will meet Mexico, who will not only be stepping down from JoBurg, but most of the squad will have grown up at altitude with Guadalajara at 1600m and Mexico City 2200m. The 3-1 about the Mexicans in places looks very tempting at this early stage .

That was exactly the type of game I was looking for in my whole post about altitude and conditions in South Africa and hopefully it hit home.

It now looks like the competition has started in earnest and we even have the "arranged " draw fixture to look forward to, but I am not fully convinced about that yeat and doubtless we will discuss it further after the weekend.

Good Luck.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

GROUP B ....

I think we were a bit unlucky yesterday and very much on the right track, Sanchez looked what he is, a top class player and could easily have bagged a couple of goals, also Chile and Spain registered 44 attempts on goal between them. So along with the late game, where Uruguay recorded a very comfortable win, I am confident with my thoughts that the tournament is finally opening up are correct.

World Cup: Group B

Here is a link to a recent post regarding World Cup venues.

We are on South Korea to progress from the group and it would be fantastic if they could collect a point today, but it is going to be tough. Argentina are settled in Joburg , with SK moving up from Port Elizabeth and sea level,most of their players are based or come from Seoul, which is at sea level too, so conditions today are going to heavily favour the South American side. I think the most likely outcome is that Maradona's team will win by a single goal, they will certainly be made to fight for every ball and inch of grass by the hard working and extremely fit Koreans, but IMO this is a game to watch, so no bet.

Greece were dire in their opener, far too negative and lacking in ideas or motivation and they create absolutely nothing from open play. I doubt that they will be quite so bad today, teams rarely are after such a poor first game and in some ways the level of expectation will have dropped, so maybe they can relax a little. Having said that, Nigeria, who really rode their luck against Argentina and could have lost by three, will have a big adavantage here in stepping down from Joburg, whilst the european side are up from sea level. Neither is going to go for broke from the start, with the loser being all but out of the tournament, but sooner or later the Greeks will have to press forward as a point will almost certainly not be enough for them and that is when the far more talented Nigerians should take advantage. Hopefully they will give Peter Odemwingie more game time, as the Lokomotiv Moscow striker looked lively when he came on in the first game. Expect most of the action here to take place in the last 30 minutes, by which time the venue and conditions should have taken their toll and heavily favour the African side.
This looks the perfect game to play in running IMO, but for the purposes of this post, I will select Nigeria from the start.

Nigeria -0.5 2.09 .

Good Luck.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010


Chile - Honduras over 2 goals 1.88

I think that today will be the day the tournament opens up and we see a few goals, we are already on Sanchez to be top scorer for Chile and surely this is a match both teams will be looking to win, with a meeting against Spain still to come. The South Americans play a very open 3-3-1-3 formation, their 18 qualification games average exactly three goals per game and this is a team far happier on the front foot. Honduras have a number of injuries to players in key positions, but they are not the sort of side to sit back for too long and if they concede, this could get very stretched. They will take heart from a 2-0 win over Chile in Florida early last season, but that was virtually a "home" game for them and far more important to the Hondurans, who were warming up for a tournament, than Chile, who played this as a one off game.Normally goals when these two Confederations meet and today should follow suit. I now understand that Suazo might be available to play, hard to understand why they would risk him after such an injury, so surely more chance he will start on the bench if at all, but whilst I would be happier if he sits this one out, if he does play, it certainly doesn't hinder this bet, so not all bad news ! BTW for those of you that like to follow the money ( I am not amongst you) Chile have been big drifters in the last 24 hours or so, giving up the one goal they have gone from 1.96 to 2.26, a massive 30 clicks bigger.

Uruguay -0.25 2.16

South Africa were very nervous in their opener and could have been three down at the break, they were much stronger in the second period and might even have won the game with a little more composure in front of goal. However, now the level of expectation has probably risen further and to meet another top class team, so soon afterwards, is going to be very demanding for the mainly inexperienced hosts . One thing is for sure, if they give Uruguay as much space as Mexico got early on, Forlan and Suarez are going to punish them. The South American side are very hard working and perhaps even more organised than Mexico and comfortably held France in their opener, despite ending the game with ten men. Their front two are bound to get more service today with a different mindset and approach from the "visitors", in a game I expect to be far more open and ultimately, for class to tell.

Wednesday World Cup games "over" 7.25 goals 2.25 Sbobet.

You already know that I like at least a couple of goals in the Chile-Honduras game, I feel the Spain- Switzerland game has the potential to be anything score wise, the Swiss were defensively a bit of a mess in recent starts, especially against Costa Rica, in a very open encounter, but are not without threat at the other end of the pitch. Spain have finally found their goal scoring touch with six against Poland and it is worth noting that in the last two World Cup groups and at Euro 2008 they scored at least eight in the group stage and opened with at least three goals, including four against both Russia (2008) and Ukraine (2006). The SA-Uruguay game seems certain to be fairly open, I expect both to look for the win and in the second series of matches we will surely see teams a little more relaxed and ready to play,which is normally the case in the group stages at knockout tournaments. Therefore, I like the look of this "over" bet across the three games, where each has four goal potential IMO .

Good Luck.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010


I think that there is terrific value in the Chile top goal scorer market. Favourite in many lists is top scorer Humberto Suazo, but he is carrying an injury and will almost certainly not play against Honduras tomorrow and might also miss the Switzerland game, returning for Spain, where goals will be at a premium. This is a real chance for someone else to steal a march on Suazo and several bookmakers have done their homework and pushed his price out, but some have left odds unchanged and there is an eyecatching offer of circa 3.75 on Alexis Sanchez. The 21 yo from Udinese is headed for the very top of the game and with 11 goals in 28 starts for his national team, is the only other player in double figures. Chile play an open style and will be looking to get some goals tomorrow and if possible, secure qualification in their second start,if that was the case, they might even take the safety first route with Suarez and save him for later, either way it is a real chance for Sanchez to steal the lead in this market.

Alexis Sanchez to be top Chile goalscorer 3.75..... I wrote these notes this morning, you will do well to find the 3.75 now, but anything circa 3.40 looks ok.

Good Luck.

Sunday, June 13, 2010

SUNDAY .....

Well, thanks to Robert Green, who's terrible error has been shown about two thousand times already on british television, yesterday was pretty much perfect. None of you will be surprised that I liked South Korea in the first game after reading my post on them to qualify, by the way, that 3.5o quote on them is now down to 1.67 in places and you can trade out for a profit now if you wish.

Obviously the half time draw bet was a winner, making 20 from the last 28 selections on the blog (Mexico void and South Korea pending), which is amazing tipping, especially with several priced at 2.40 + and I know appreciated by you, because of all the emails you have been sending, most have been replied to, but thanks again.

I was 4 from 4 on games yesterday and am keen not to give it all back in one day, so have stuck with just two selections today, although both are strongly fancied. I will NOT be posting either on the blog, for reasons I have explained in the past, sorry about that, but at least it saves you having to check back, you might want to check your inbox as I have sent mini previews out to some of you, this is a semi-regular thing, which is done on a rotating basis.

Please check back tomorrow and good luck with your bets today !

Saturday, June 12, 2010

SATURDAY .......

Games yesterday went pretty much as I thought, I liked the draw in the Uruguay-France match and as you know, Mexico with the level ball option. Guess that the draw there was a fair result, after the hosts dominated the second period, but "El Tri" should have been at least two up by half time.

I did not bother posting a preview of the South Korea - Greece game this lunchtime, you will know from the post below which team I favoured and off level ball and odds against this morning, they were a very good price, they are two up with 5 minutes to play as I type and hopefully they can hold on !

Took a smaller interest in the other two games, but am not going to post a proper preview on either. However, a line or two about England - USA from my notes written earlier today ........
I also touched upon the US previously too and feel they will progress along with England from this group, they are incredibly fit, like the conditions here, are a very well drilled unit and will not give England a moment's peace especially in midfield, where Barry will be sorely missed in the holding role if he does not start. England have been slow starters in recent games, but don't expect them to concede early , as they have allowed a first half goal on average every 416 minutes in their last 37 outings. USA started their qualification camapign with 7 clean sheets from 9 matches and with a cautious yet committed performance from both, I feel the half time draw offers real value at very decent odds.

Half time draw 2.48 exchanges.

Good Luck.

Friday, June 11, 2010

FRIDAY ..............

OK, finally it starts ! I have posted a couple of previews below, one for today when I have taken two bets, the other is "very strong", but on a much smaller market and no way can I put it up on here. The South Korea selection is one of four "outright" selections I sent to some friends earlier in the week and I will probably post another of these over the weekend ............

Just a quick look at Group B where I feel there is some value to be had. You are never sure what you will get with Argentina, who are as unpredictable as their coach ! However, they should have enough about them to progress from this group, so it is one from three for the other spot. Nigeria disappointed greatly in the ACN, creating very little, since when swedish coach Lars Lagerback has taken charge and in private he has been less than complementary about his new charges. I can only imagine how his has gone down with the players, they are as different as chalk and cheese and this appointment must have been made in haste, after a beer filled night in Lagos. The pressure on them from 150 million + countrymen is huge and I just cannot back them.

Greece and coach Reheggel are still living off their Euro 2004 win, no surprises from them, they will keep ten men behind the ball, create nothing from open play and try to score from a dead ball situation, we have "been there and done that" and it seems unlikely to work a second time. Which leaves South Korea, this is the eigth time they have qualified for the finals and despite reaching the semis as co-hosts in 2002, courtesy of the match officials (!), this looks their strongest team in history. They certainly will not lack anything in fitness, we have all seen the work rate of Park Ji-Sung at Manchester United, yet his fitness levels are nothing exceptional in this squad who will run all day and through the night if necessary. They might lack an out and out goal scorer, although Monaco's Park Chu-Young was a sensation for the U20 team and is getting there at full level, but are far more than just work horses. In addition to the "Park's", keep an eye out for Ki Sung- Yong, who is a player I like a lot and whom Celtic got for a bargain £2m in January, they will definitely show a profit on that deal.Plenty of experience in the camp, with six players having over 70 full caps, to put this into context, England have just three that have reached this milestone in their squad. This well drilled squad have prepared thoroughly, have already made a trip to play in Johannesburg this year and played 11 full internationals in 2010, they were 27 games unbeaten until November last year, when they lost 1-0 to Serbia ( a match they never deserved to lose) and are an under rated side who could prove the surprise package of the tournament if getting a solid start.

South Korea to qualify from Group B 3.50 .

I will try to post what I can, when I can, but am sure you all have your own ideas on games as big as these, anyway, enjoy the action and good luck !



Host nations traditionally do well, but I am not sure that we have seen one as bad as SA before and a recent unbeaten run against some cherry picked opponents, has done little more IMO than paper over some very big looking cracks. The squad is weak, especially up front, 16 of them play their football domestically and only Steven Pienaar, who has been terrific at Everton again this season, looks really top class. They have failed to score in 7 from 11 competitive games and struggled against anyone ranked in the FIFA top 50 (Mexico are currently 17th) . The teams they have failed to register a single goal recently include Norway, Iceland, Ireland, Japan, Jamaica and North Korea, I rank Mexico superior to all of those and aside from Ireland, you would not rate any of them exactly watertight at the back, so where does this leave SA...... short of firepower, that's for sure !

Mexico are unbeaten in 8 starts against teams from Africa and have made it through the group stage in the last five World Cups, the last time Javier Aguirre was in charge, they won their group in 2002 and it would not overly surprise me if they did so again. Aguirre has given them stabilty after Sven changed the squad far too much and some idea of the talent he has in the side is that Castillo and do Santos, have both been deemed surplus to requirements. They are a very talented group, who impressed on the recent european tour with some slick, quick passing football, perhaps they lack experience up front, but Vela and Hernandez have almost limitless potential and on the bench Blanco has enough experience for four or five teams ! The altitude today will not be a problem with all the major footballing centres in Mexico, being at or well above the height of Joburg. I was very tempted by some big quotes for Mexico to keep a cleansheet, but in the end am happy to stick with them off level ball, as I just do not see them losing this one.

Mexico level ball 1.92 +.

Good Luck.

Sunday, June 06, 2010

SUNDAY .....

Algeria limped home yesterday, courtesy of a very strange penalty award, still, they all count and we move the blog strike rate beyond the 70% level, with 19 winners from the last 27 selections. If you did not see it, you can watch the goal here, although the camera work is not up to World Cup standard !

I have a very strong selection today at odds of circa 2.44, which I consider the best value bet of the weekend, but will not be able to post it on here..... sorry, so no blog selections today, which at least saves you having to check back. Although some of you might want to check your inbox, as I have sent my pick, along with very basic notes to several of you, who have written to me recently. Thank you for all the kind words and emails by the way.

Good Luck !

Saturday, June 05, 2010

SATURDAY .......

Thought that I should check in, just in case you were thinking that I had fallen off the face of the earth ! Obviously this has been a quiet week and I have been mainly working on the World Cup, watching the French Open and enjoying some sunshine !

I have only really had a couple of selections, one was unlucky IMO and the other produced a very nice return at Roland Garros, so I remain in pretty good form. Today, I like two games, but can only share one on here and just with very basic notes, sorry about that, but I have to leave the house shortly and it is post this, or nothing at all !

I was hoping to offer a regular World Cup update in return for a small donation to charity, but that is not going to be possible. However, this is something I might look at again in the near future and a way for someone to benefit from my hard work. Think that I will do my best to post on a daily basis during the Championships, even if I cannot post a selection or two every day, I will force you to read my thoughts on what is going on in South Africa ! For now .............


Algeria - UAE

This match is taking place in Germany, with Algeria looking for a much needed morale boosting win before their World Cup campaign gets underway. Since recording a famous win over hated rivals Egypt to qualify for the finals and then reaching the ACN semi finals, the Fennecs have put in a series of lack lustre performances. I can excuse those somewhat, there was so much euphoria surrounding the win over the African champions, that there was bound to be a mental let down at some stage and better to get it out of the way before the big one starts.

However, they now need a win, just to restore confidence and I think they might have found the right opponents. Algeria will have pretty much their first eleven out today and have almost all the crowd behind them in Nurnberg. I watched the UAE defeat Moldova 3-2 in Austria last week and the defending from both teams was sunday league standard, all five goals came from errors and it is easy to understand why FIFA ranks them 101 and 89 in the world respectively. The Arab side have underachieved for 15 years and have had problems in preparation for this game, with some training sessions cancelled, they will be without a couple of key players and I think that it will be plain to see why FIFA rank the African side 71 places higher this afternoon. They are certainly not likely to be as free and easy in front of goal as Moldova were and a more focused performance from Algeria should see them ease home in this one.

Algeria -0.75 goals 2.07 Sbobet.

Good Luck.