SATURDAY JUNE 23rd
Only football today, spread across two emails, in this, just a quick look at the Euro 2012 match and some info about the late morning J-League fixtures. The second email is far more interesting, it will contain a more detailed look at tonight's MLS games and at least two selections (still considering a third ) and some strong information.
Sunday looks especially promising, I will be taking a look at the Wimbledon outright markets, the final round of the PGA Tour event, England-Italy and the overnight fixtures from North/ South America, where if the odds hold up, I am extremely keen on one match up in particular.
EURO 2012 : SPAIN - FRANCE
Spain have been a bit of a disappointment for me at these Championships, they have been slow and a little unimaginative so far and really struggled to break down Italy and Croatia, you do not have to worry too much about width from the Spanish, so a disciplined, two banks of four, with play very compacted has so far proved enough to frustrate them and they do look vunerable on the break. Of course you do not see too much of the ball against them, but you know this going into the game, the introduction of Navas, along with Croatia's need to look for a goal changed the last group game, the Sevilla wide man gave them far more options, but Vicente del Bosque ( yes, that's him in the photo) is not one for changes and I suspect we will again see two holding players which they do not need, lots of pointless passes, a very slow tempo and a whole host of talented players warming the bench. Fernando Llorente must be wondering what he has to do to get a least a little game time, neither he nor Juan Mata have had one minute on the pitch, they must be jealous of Negredo who has exactly that... one minute and Cazorla and Martinez are two others with very limited playing time.
I am not sure that France can put in the kind of disciplined performance we saw from either Italy or Croatia, they don't really have the mentality for that, at least not for 90 minutes, but they seem sure to make consessions by bringing in another defensive midfielder and they certainly pose more of an attacking threat than either of those two tams. It appears that Spain are worried about Franck Ribery especially and Alvaro Arbeloa looks a really good match up for the Frenchman, who should have plenty of joy cutting inside, providing he sees enough of the ball. We have seen little from Karim Benzema so far, but he also matches up pretty well against Gerard Pique and Sergio Ramos ( whom he knows very well) I expect those three will be seeing plenty of each other this evening. Much has been made of the bust up in the French dressing room after the dismal showing against Sweden, but little about the ongoing conflict between several in the Spanish camp, Pique and Ramos have been "going at it" for sure and there is always some conflict between the Real and Barce camps, a situtation which dictates much of del Bosque's team selections. I think France will score ( France goals -0.75 2.03 in asia) and am quite keen on this match going into extra time, although just one in six draws at the knockout stage of the last three major championships puts me off backing the straight draw. I also get the feeling this might be Benzema's night, but let's keep things simple.... France +0.5 ball 2.14 asian line is my pick for very minimal stakes.
Nagoya Grampus- Jubilo Iwata :
Hosts have a very good record in this fixture 5-3-0 in last eight h2h meetings and could be meeting Iwata at just the right time.
The visitors are without two big talents in midfield and much of their creative threat, Korean Baek Sung Dong is injured, in the last six matches he has started, he has two goals and six assists, his team had scored 19 goals in total and were unbeaten in four, before losing 3-1 at home to Kobe last time out, after he was stretchered off. Hiroki Yamada his fellow midfielder is suspended and he has six goals and four assists in 14 starts. Two huge losses. Jubilo have alreday conceded 14 road goals in seven starts and with their "we will score more goals than you" policy, look up against it today. Hosts have to win this if they are to get into contention at the right end of the table. Opening morning line saw Nagoya at 2.03 they have drifted to circa 2.20, which is a bit of a concern. No bet for me, but I do think that Jubilo will struggle to continue their free scoring ways.
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