FOOTBALL: WORLD CUP BETTING

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SALAS AND Zamorano are world class strikers but Italy should still emerge triumphant (perhaps 2-1) in their opening Group B match in Bordeaux this afternoon. Del Piero is injured but the rejuvenated Roberto Baggio should provide a more than able deputy up front to partner Atletico Madrid's crack marksman Vieri, who looks a good bet to score the opening goal.

With goalscoring winger Moriero, Di Matteo, Dino Baggio, and Albertini in midfield, Italy have no shortage of options down the flanks and through the centre. And, with the guile of Roberto Baggio dovetailing with the pace and aerial threat that Vieri provides, it is not hard to imagine the Azzuri putting a couple past the South Americans.

With Maldini among others protecting admirable keeper Pagliuca at the back, Italy are always tough to break down but Salas showed at Wembley that no defence can contain him for long when he is in the mood and Pagliuca's Internazionale team-mate Zamorano is no mug either.

This evening's game between Austria and Cameroon has no such glamour and, in what could be a tight affair could be heading for a draw (and maybe 0-0 at that).

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