James Moore: Losing Streak (02/07/10)
Friday 02 July 2010
Today's bets: Brazil to win 2-1 at 17-2 (Skybet). Arjen Robben to score at any time at 7-2 (Skybet)
At last, the World Cup is back. I mean, two days without any matches, what are you supposed to do with yourself? All we've had for entertainment is a dead rubber at the end of a meaningless one-day cricket series (although beating the Aussies is always nice), together with the latest (disturbing) rumours coming out of the England camp. Oh, and apparently there's a tennis tournament going on somewhere in south London, where there's some Scottish bloke who's doing quite well.
But we can forget about that now because the World Cup is officially back. And with a bang. Well, sort of. Brazil v Holland would, ordinarily, be one of the highlights of the tournament, of any tournament. This time, though, both of them have been rather more efficient than effusive in their style of play. It may prove to be more of a tense and tightly played encounter than the billing suggests. I fear, too, that the main talking points could revolve not so much around the play but the antics of the players.
The Spanish are marginally ahead in the "most desperate piece of World Cup" cynicism award for the way defender Joan Capdevila got Portugal's Ricardo Costa sent off (although, Portugal don't exactly have clean hands when it comes to these incidents). But the Brazilians have proved anything but immune from the temptation to come crashing down like wobbly fence posts at any opportunity. So those in the happy position of being able to start the weekend early tomorrow afternoon might not be in for quite the treat the names on the fixture list suggest.
Still, at least there should be plenty of incident and I'd be willing to take a chance on a tight 2-1, shaded by Brazil, at a best priced 17-2 with Skybet. For the Dutch goal, Arjen Robben, coming in from the left to score at any time at 7-2 represents reasonable value. He's scored 14 goals in 48 matches, so the price (again with Skybet) is a fair one. As for the evening game, most neutrals would probably like to see an African team make the semi-finals in an African World Cup, but it's hard to see Ghana pulling it off against Uruguay. With most of Africa behind them, the 3-1 available on Ghana to pull off a shock over 90 minutes is tempting, but it would be a bet with the heart rather than the head.
The party's potential nominations read like a high school race for student body president
Latest in Sport
Brooklyn Beckham poses in Arsenal training kit following rumours of signing for the Gunners
Manchester United transfer news and rumours: David De Gea could leave for FREE; £38m for Marquinhos; £37m bid for Mats Hummels;
Transfer news LIVE: Manchester United to make £37m Mats Hummels bid; Inter plan Yaya Toure move; Shola Ameobi joins Crystal Palace
Australian Open 2015: Novak Djokovic vs Stan Wawrinka match preview
Danny Ings to Liverpool: The Reds attempt to steal a march on rivals in race to sign Burnley striker
- 2 The awkward moment Sarah Palin raised $25,000 for Hillary Clinton's election campaign
- 3 Ball pool for adults opens in London
- 4 Amal Clooney gives excellent response to fashion question at European Court of Human Rights
- 5 Baldness could soon be treated using stem cells, scientists hope
9 reasons Greece's experiment with the radical left is doomed to failure
'We would evict Queen from Buckingham Palace and allocate her council house,' say Greens
Have we reached 'peak food'? Shortages loom as global production rates slow
Greece elections: Syriza and EU on collision course after election win for left-wing party
British grandmother Lindsay Sandiford faces execution by firing squad in Indonesia
Liberal Democrat minister defends comments suggesting immigration causes pub closures