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Against all odds – how to beat the bookies

August 21st, 2005 by · 2 Comments · Betting, Football

For every Chelsea and Real Madrid buying success there is a Wimbledon or a Greece just around the corner. Having said all that, the bookies stay rich by getting it right most of the time, so with that in mind we looked at the predictions of 22 high street and online bookies. Our expert analysis will show you why they’ve got it so wrong this time [sigh, Ed].

Brazil, at around 4/1, are the current favourites with all major high street and online bookies and are followed, not very closely, by Argentina, at around 6/1. That gap looks a little wide when you consider that Argentina won 3-1 against Brazil in June. Obviously both have strong teams and the experience of winning it before but we just wonder if the implications of venue and climate have been taken fully into account. It’s 1958 since a non-European team have won the tournament when held in Europe, in fact the form book suggests that with 14 “home” victories from 17 finals, the winners will come from the host continent.

Close behind Argentina are Germany, from 6/1 at VCBet out to 8/1 at Coral, presumably the bookies feel that home advantage will compensate for what many fans feel is the poorest German squad for years. It has to be said, though, that recent results have been much improved and although the team in the 2002 World Cup were no better than the current players Germany still, somehow, managed to make the final.

In a virtual joint third favourite spot is England, at 7/1 across the board. In our opinion this will be the best balanced, most dynamic England team to grace the finals since 1970. None of the factors [excuses?] of recent tournaments such as climate, time differences and excessive travel will be a disadvantage this time around. The qualification process has been the least challenging ever, which may be both a blessing and a curse. England are notoriously slow starters to international competitions and the lack of real competition in qualifying may allow a little complacency to set in. The other major doubt is the lack of mental toughness that makes the difference at the quarter-final and semi-final stages. Since 1966 England have been found wanting every time they have been within 2-3 games of the final, losing in the second round or quarter finals 8 times in the 11 finals that they have qualified for.

On the plus side this current team are no longer haunted by the demons of always losing to Germany and Argentina. The team will feature key players who have overcome both Germany and Argentina in critical matches over the last 4 years. That leaves Brazil as the last mental barrier after an abject second-half performance in 2002 at the quarter final stage to haunt the survivors of that tournament.

At 7/1 we think England are good value for runners up, but looking at the competition you?d have to be a hard bitten cynic [eg. A long-standing England fan] not to get a little excited when looking over the squad. Best not to think about the Goalkeeping situation so onwards?

The defence has quality, experience and depth with Sol Campbell, Rio Ferdinand, Gary Neville, John Terry and Ashley Cole, the last two could claim to have been the best in their positions in Europe last season. The midfield of David Beckham, Frank Lampard, Shaun Wright-Phillips, Joe Cole and Steven Gerrard also features 2 or 3 players at the very peak of their careers. As for the forwards, Owen has, at just 25, an astonishing 70 caps, possibly more than any other forward at the finals. Rooney is that something very special, not seen since Gascoigne, an England player possessing the ability to scare the pants off any defence in world football. Add to all the above a bucket load of decent, reliable, cover in the likes of Wes Brown, Jamie Carragher, Hargreaves, Ledley King, and Jermaine Defoe and things are looking good.

Reservations include the aforementioned failure at the last fence and also, especially, we remain unconvinced by Erikssons tactical sense, particularity during games when Plan A isn?t working. His decisions during critical periods in games during Japan/Korea 2002 were ill judged and often too little too late.

Despite all the above we at WCO Towers conclude that England will WIN the 2006 World Cup by beating Brazil on penalties after murdering the Germans in the Semi Finals, in the football sense. You heard it here first, and we are putting ?100 at 7/1, and our shirt, on it. All we lack is a goalkeeper.

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2 Comments so far ↓

  • alex aikman

    england have no chance argentina is the bast bet going after watching them without messi last night they look superb

  • admin

    Well England should win their group – even on last nights showing. They wouldn’t meet Aggrotina until the final – although that does assume they beat France and Brazil ; (

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