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News & Comment

James Moore: Losing Streak (09/07/10)

Today's bets: Miroslav Klose to score first in the third-place play-off at 9-2 (Bet365). Mesut Ozil to score first in the same game 11-1 (widely available)

I blame that blasted mollusc. The Teutonic so-called "psychic octopus" and YouTube star has displayed a remarkable facility for predicting Germany's results (by picking mussels out of a tank with the winner's flag), so its selection of Spain to sail through the semi-final must have cast a pall on the pre-game team talk. Or something.

The referee didn't do Germany any favours, though, denying Mesut Ozil a penalty – or at least a free-kick from a tasty position – after he was cut down on the edge of the box. Some English fans may consider that poetic justice.

Ah well. They were 14-1 at the start of the tournament, after all, and 14-1 shots don't often come through. There's always the European Championship, when this newish-looking Germany side will be a formidable opponent for anyone, even if Miroslav Klose isn't getting any younger. It's too early to take the 11-2 now, because your stake money will be locked up for two years unless you have a credit account. All the same, that price could look like value before too long.

Can Klose slot another one in tomorrow's third-place play-off? This is not a match that is easy to predict. Uruguay never really expected to get to this stage. They may feel that the third-place play-off is effectively their final. Germany, by contrast, had hopes of winning the whole thing. After a narrow semi-final defeat they might simply not bother to turn up.

It has to be said, though, that Turkey didn't seem that bothered eight years ago when they disposed of a South Korea side who were clearly desperate to win, and collapsed in floods of tears when they didn't. Predicting the result, then, is not a market I'd be that keen on getting involved with. There are just too many variables.

However, I would be interested in another tickle at the first goalscorer market, because I think Klose will be keen to end his World Cup career with a flourish and the 9-2 about him with Bet365 is worth a little interest. Lukas Podolski was anonymous on Wednesday, so I'm abandoning him but I think at a commonly available 11-1 Ozil could also do the job. But for that foul he would have come very close to doing it against Spain.