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.

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