Published on June 3rd, 2014 | by Sportingly Better Tipster0
World Cup Betting – Group B
World Cup holders Spain are fourth favourites to retain their title in South America, with Louis van Gaal’s Netherlands and a very capable Chile side providing stiff competition in the group.
World Cup Betting – Group B
Spain – 1.72
Netherlands – 3.50
Chile – 5.00
Australia – 34.00
Defeat to Brazil in the Confederations Cup final may have begun to take the gloss away from Vicente del Bosque’s trophy-laden side, but la Roja still remain Europe’s best chance of conquering South America.
Spain won eight of their 10 World Cup qualifying matches en route to Brazil, but a lack of an out-and-out striker and goals remain their biggest concern, with la Roja having only once managed to score two or more goals during qualification.
Diego Costa‘s decision to play for Spain has however boosted their attacking options, but the player has injury issues ahead of the competition after a long campaign for La Liga winners Atletico Madrid.
Del Bosque’s style of possession based football will suit the playing conditions in Brazil, with a tight defence and low-scoring victories likely to continue, with the experienced Spanish side perhaps undervalued in the outright betting market for the World Cup.
Losing World Cup finalists four years ago, Netherlands are valued alongside Colombia as the joint-11th favourites to win the 2014 World Cup despite their recent history in the competition.
A near perfect record during qualification saw nine wins, one draw and a total of 34 goals scored, but the Oranje were largely untested with all five of their group opponents falling outside of the top 30 FIFA rankings.
Top scorer from the European qualifying section; Robin van Persie will be the main danger after firing in 11 goals so far, but another one of van Gaal’s so-called ‘untouchables’ will be absent through the tournament in the shape of Roma’s Kevin Strootman.
Netherlands have made it to the World Cup final in three of the last seven editions of the competition and although the Oranje may struggle to reach that stage this time around, Louis van Gaal’s side should not be counted out just yet.
An end-of-qualification run of five wins and a draw from their last six games in the South American qualification group saw Chile reach the 2014 World Cup, with Jorge Sampaoli’s side impressing on the international stage ever since.
A high-pressing line and fast-paced attacks will probably give Chile the billing as neutral favourites in the competition, with Sampaoli’s three-man defensive line leaving the door open to plenty of backers in the over 2.5 goals market.
Juventus midfielder Arturo Vidal will create plenty of drive in midfield, with the likes of Alexis Sanchez and Eduardo Vargas providing pace and dynamism out wide.
Question marks over the squad’s disciplinary record is perhaps the side’s biggest concern, with suspensions and red cards likely to hinder Chile’s progression in the tournament.
The lowest ranked team in the World Cup, Australia began their qualification by losing their first three games, but a five-game unbeaten run saw the Asia representatives secure their passage to Brazil.
Coach Ange Postecoglou has been given the remit to experiment with younger members of the squad, with the Socceroos planning more towards the next World Cup in four years time.
Australia have only kept one clean sheet from of their 10 matches at the World Cup finals and after being hit for six goals by both Brazil and France towards the end of last year, expect the side from down under to struggle defensively this time around.
Recommended Football Tips
Spain to win Group B @1.72
Australia to concede the most goals during the group stages @5.50
Author Credit: Jonathan Day
Image Credit: http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Andr%C3%A9s_Iniesta_Euro_2012_vs_France_02.jpg