World Cup Betting: Rooney and Owen attract with Coral

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Hold those bets. It is not just the players of England and Sweden who will be looking with interest at this afternoon's events between Germany and Ecuador. Any sensible punter will wait to see the outcome of the Group A decider before plunging on the evening game. If Germany win the group, then punters will know that England and Sweden will be going flat out for victory in order to avoid them. If not...

The uncertainty means bad business for bookmakers and William Hill report they have taken less than a quarter of the cash they would have expected so far.

The firm's odds for the potential games against Germany or Ecuador show how much difference there is between the two fixtures. "We would make England 4-6 to beat Germany, but 1-4 to beat Ecuador, the firm's Graham Sharpe said. They are offering 4-7 that England do play Ecuador and 5-4 that they face Germany.

One aspect to bear in mind as the Group phase reaches its decisive stage is that there are usually more goals per game in the concluding matches as teams throw caution to the wind.

Those looking to back a first goalscorer should concentrate on Coral's odds. They have both Wayne Rooney and Michael Owen at a generous looking 13-2.