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World Cup Day 2 Betting Preview

13/6/2014
After the formalities and festivities of Brazil’s opening game being the sole match of the tournament’s first day, the World Cup really kicks into gear on day two with three face-offs which include arguably the most anticipated game of the entire group stage.

That match in question is of course holders Spain’s encounter with 2010 silver medallists Holland in a repeat of the 2010 World Cup final from Johannesburg. The game four years ago between the two nations was a fractious encounter, with the Oranje content to stifle the more fluid opposition and attack on the encounter. The Dutch manager that night, Bert van Marwijk, has since departed the position and been replaced by the now-outgoing Louis van Gaal, soon to be of Manchester United. Expect Van Gaal to adopt more positive tactics than Van Marwijk four years ago, as a more youthful and sprightly back line means the Dutch can push up more on Spain and bring the crucial Arjen Robben into the game quicker. Robin van Persie - injury scare seemingly averted - will keep the Spaniards’ defence more than occupied.

It remains to be seen how La Furia will cope without the presence of the retired legendary centre-back Carles Puyol. The focal point of Spain’s attack is expected to be the defected Atletico Madrid forward Diego Costa. While Costa has come on leaps and bounds in La Liga and latterly the Champions League in the last couple of seasons it remains a big ask for him to carry the goalscoring hopes of the defending champions in his first major tournament. With Chile and Australia to come for both teams, Holland and Spain may well see a point each as a decent outcome from their curtain-raiser.

Tip – Holland vs. Spain: Draw – 12/5 Bet365

In the day’s late game Group B’s other two participants Chile and Australia kick-off their respective World Cup proceedings in Cuiaba, and I can only see one winner here. Chile have been progressively building a reputation for enterprising and entertaining football from their early-age teams right through to their senior sides, leaving an impressionable mark in the last World Cup and Copa America. Just like four years ago, the Chileans have a stinker of a draw but they are better equipped to get through it this time and, if their recent friendly performances against England and Germany are anything to go by, they will not be fazed by top quality opposition, which Australia are not. The Socceroos are experiencing something of a talent vacuum at this moment in time, with their squad filled with inexperienced players either at unfashionable teams across Europe or in the less lauded North American or Australian domestic leagues. Tim Cahill, now of the MLS, is still around, and he and the captain – Crystal Palace’s Mile Jedinak – will be expected to show the way to the host of raw players representing the Antipodeans this summer. A total of 19 of the provisional Australia squad have 10 caps or fewer. The portents do not look good for these young Aussies against such top talent as Barcelona’s Alexis Sanchez and Arturo Vidal of Juventus. Take Chile to win, and win well.

Tip – Chile -1 Handicap – 5/4 Winner

In Friday’s first match, Cameroon take on Mexico in what is expected to be a hot and humid midday contest in Natal. Goals may be at a premium here as both teams will be eager to avoid defeat in the knowledge that losing this match, with hosts Brazil still to face, would effectively eliminate them from the World Cup.

Tip – Cameroon vs. Mexico Under 1.5 Goals – 6/4 Bet365

Emelie Okeke
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