James Moore: Losing Streak (30/06/10)
Wednesday 30 June 2010
Today's bets: Luis Fabiano to win the Golden Boot at 9-2 (Boylesports). Miroslav Klose 31-1 (Betfair)
I'm thinking of lobbying for this column to be renamed. After tipping Brazil to win 3-0 at 10-1 and suggesting a double on Brazil and the Netherlands to win their Group Two matches after 90 minutes, it's losing streak no longer.
There were, therefore, rather obvious reasons for the Brazilian performance to make me smile, but even the neutral observer would have to rate it as highly impressive. The bookies certainly did and have again clipped Brazil's odds to win the World Cup. The only real potential hurdle they face comes in the form of the Netherlands. If they can overcome the men in orange, the Samba Boys will face either Uraguay or Ghana in the semi-finals. With all due respect, neither should trouble the 5-2 favourites.
By contrast, their eventual opponents have an altogether more difficult task. The quarter-final clash between Germany and Argentina will be the first time either has had to face a top-quality opponent (obviously, England don't count). The winner of that tie will then go on to face either Portugal or, more likely, Spain. In other words, another tough match.
Given this, it might just be worth taking a chance on Luis Fabiano to win the Golden boot. Fabiano has three goals already, one behind Gonzalo Higuain of Argentina, the 9-4 favourite, and level with David Villa of Spain (also 9-2). Slovakia's Robert Vittek – also on four – will take no further part so can be ruled out.
It's not that hard to see Villa or Higuain finding themselves in the same situation after the quarter-finals. Fabiano, however, is likely to get three matches together with the opportunity to make hay in the second of those.
So the 9-2 available with Boylesports, at the time of writing, represents real value– if you can bear backing a player who feels the need to roll around on the floor like a small child with a cut knee with such depressing regularity.
While Germany face the same issues as Argentina and Spain, it might still be worth taking a chance on Miroslav Klose at a huge 31-1 on Betfair. If they do progress, he might be the reason.
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