Matt Gatward: Losing streak (17/06/10)
Thursday 17 June 2010
Argentina to beat South Korea 1-0 at 9-2. Leo Messi to win golden boot at 8-1. France to win the trophy at 25-1
Goals continue to come in a dribble rather than a gush in South Africa, so the wise money would suggest more of the same in today's matches. Argentina, who shone in patches in their victory over Nigeria, should collect another three points when they take on South Korea but the Koreans looked well-organised when they beat Greece in their first match so won't be pushovers. Diego Maradona's side can be taken at 9-2 to repeat the result of their first match and win 1-0. Or for the slightly braver they are 5-1 to win 2-0.
Of course, a certain Lionel Messi is in action so normal rules don't necessarily apply and he could go goal happy as he threatened to do against Nigeria. The little Argentine is still available to be the tournament's golden boot winner at 8-1, which given that after the first round of matches none of the favourites (apart from arguably Miroslav Klose) are off the mark is good value.
France take on Mexico tonight in a match that would point to following the low-scoring pattern so far established in South Africa as Raymond Domenech's misfiring side failed to score in their opener against Uruguay and Mexico's only goal so far has come from a centre-half. But word has it that player-power has taken over again in camp France and Domenech has been persuaded to play four attackers tonight. So maybe the goal drought is about to come to an end.
With Thierry Henry, Franck Ribéry, Florent Malouda and Nicolas Anelka in the starting line-up surely the French, much derided up until now, are going to bang in some goals. Three-nil at 22-1 anyone?
Although France were mediocre in their first match they haven't looked much worse than anyone else so if they get on a roll with a goal-crazy victory tonight, who knows how far they could go? Out of the big-hitters they are a nice price at 25-1 to lift the trophy. And while we're in this deranged Francophile mood how about Malouda, who was in great form for Chelsea at the tailend of the season, taking the golden boot? He's out there at 125-1.
Today's other match sees Greece play Nigeria. The former were so pathetic in their opening match against South Korea you'd be mad not to lump on the Africans.
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