James Moore: Losing Streak (19/06/2010)


Today's bets: Slovakia to beat Paraguay at 3-1. Spain to beat Honduras 4-0 at 9-1 (Blue Square)


Hot on the heels of the (partial) return of goals, we've had the revival of another World Cup tradition – genuinely shocking results. Switzerland beating Spain was a real humdinger but Serbia's defeat of Germany yesterday wasn't far off.

Maybe their 4-0 destruction of Australia was as much about the Socceroos being bad as it was about the Germans being good.

France's abject failure against Mexico was, perhaps, not that much of a surprise when you think about it, but who would have thought Slovenia would still be in with a realistic shot at qualification at this stage of the tournament? Such a shame that they couldn't pull it off against the US (although England probably won't mind too much).

So are there any potential eye-openers among the weekend's matches where a judicious punt on an unlikely winner could reap dividends? Well, not exactly but given Paraguay's rotten record against European opposition it might be worth taking some of the 3-1 available on Slovakia, led by Robert Vittek (left), to beat the South Americans. They hardly covered themselves in glory against New Zealand. In fact the draw which gave the Kiwis their first World Cup point was something of a shock in itself.

Still, Paraguay didn't look impressive against a substandard Italian side, so at 3-1 and with a point to prove perhaps Slovakia can do what their Eastern European compatriots Slovenia failed to achieve against the US and seal the deal.

Spain will show their true colours against Honduras, a team which could be the victim of the roasting the former side received after a performance that had more holes in it than their opponents' most famous cheese. There's a sharp difference of opinion between some of the bookies in the correct score market but how about 9-1 against a 4-0 Spanish victory, which is available with Blue Square. Victor Chandler only goes 11-2. I'm willing to chance my arm on that.

Finally here's one we think is a sure thing. William Hill always have a nice line in football novelties, thanks to their head of PR (and prolific author) Graham Sharpe. He's noticed all the attention being created by those vuvuzelas and is offering 7-4 on them being banned from Premier league grounds by the first day of next season.

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