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The Romelu Lukaku back in the Top scorer market is looking healthy as was the lay of Ronaldo at 3.25 after the first match. A pity Romelu did not fill his boots more in a 5 goal haul. The Asians continue to be the weak link. Germany did what Germany do. Wriggle out of a whole down to 10 men at 1-1, after conceding the first goal. England have struggled, on form, to consistently score that 2nd goal and needed Kane to save blushes against Tunisia. 2 goals again may be required today v the Panamanians. Sub 1.25 shots this World Cup have tended to win, although with the likes of Brazil, leaving it late late late! The Japs eye a win v Senegal but the Senegalese get the nod from me. We might see the real Colombia today, not the 87 minutes - with-10-men Colombia.

13:00 - England v Panama - 1.24 England

England

  • Ranking - 12th.
  • Last World Cup - 2014 last world cup saw 2-1 losses v Uruguay and Italy and 0-0 v Costa Rica. Dire stuff. Poor in World Cups. Only 1 win, v Slovenia, since 2010.
  • Overall form - unbeaten in 10 win 7 wins. 0-0's v Germany and Brazil a hint they can mix it with the top 5? Only scored 2 goals twice in their last 8 matches so limited if they cannot score 2 goals in a match.
  • Recent friendly form - 3 wins in last 4 v Netherlands, Nigeria and Costa Rica. Scored 2 goals in their last 2 matches.
  • World cup qualifiers overall - only 2 losses since 2001. A pretty weak group to get through.
  • 2-1 win v Tunisia came thanks to that man Kane and a last gasp winner. The Tunisian goal was a penalty. A hint at those '2 goal' troubles for England v Tunisia but eventually......

Panama

  • Ranking - 55th.
  • Last World Cup - debutants, like Iceland. Surprise, like Iceland? Hmm, not so sure.
  • Overall form - last 7 matches, 1-1-0-0-1-0-0 goals scored.
  • Recent friendly form - as above. Only 1 win in 7 was v Trinidad and Tobago (91st).
  • World cup qualifiers overall - only 2 wins in 9 matches v Trinidad and Costa Rica yet still qualified!
  • 3-0 loss to Belgium but the match was 0-0 at halftime. Expect another defensive stand-off for Panama today and do not be surprised with a 0-0 at halftime.

Conclusions

  • My concern with England is an over-reliance on Harry Kane. Sterling is not a natural finisher. Kane is. If Kane gets crocked, we will not be going far if reliant on Raheem.
  • I pointed in research to England's problems scoring 2 goals frequently enough. That nearly caught them out v Tunisia.
  • Panama look 'out-ranked' here. Their only goal is likely to come from a penalty. I do not expect 3 goals from England, 2-0 best case if they can share the burden up front. If 0-0 at halftime 2-0, and a 2-1, might be the angle.

16:00 - Japan v Senegal - 2.34 Senegal

Japan

  • Ranking - 61st.
  • Last World Cup - did not win a game in 2014 - lost 1 - 4 v Colombia; 2-1 loss to Cote D'Ivoire and 0-0 v Greece. Looked out of their depth.
  • Overall form - only 1 win last 6 was a 4-2 v Paraguay.
  • Recent friendly form - only 1 win in 8 friendlies was a 4-2 v Paraguay; 5 losses last 7.
  • World cup qualifiers overall - only 2 losses v UAE and Saudi Arabia. Poor quality opposition throughout.
  • A 1-2 win over Colombia was care of a red card 3rd minute for the Colombians and a penalty goal which followed. I do not think, with a level playing field, that Japan would have got anything out of this match.

Senegal

  • Ranking - 27th.
  • Last World Cup - last here 2002 - famously beat France!
  • Overall form - only 2 losses in 30 matches v Guinea and Croatia.
  • Recent friendly form - 0-0's with Uganda, Bosnia and Luxembourg, loss v Croatia and win v Korea Republic.
  • World cup qualifiers overall -have only lost 2 World Cup qualifiers since July 2004!
  • 27th ranked Senegal beat 8th ranked Poland 1-2. It started with an own goal. The fact Lewandowski did not score and Poland's sole goal was 86th minute suggests defensive solidity from the Senegalese? That boy Sane did not score either which could be ominous for the Japanese.

Conclusions

  • These are the 2 weakest football federations, Asia arguably weaker than Africa. I think Japan were lucky to win in their opener and may struggle today against a Senegalese team which kept the superb Lewandowski quiet. Not many defences can do that. I would tentatively side with the Senegalese not to lose and let that be my angle today.

19:00 - Poland v Colombia - 2.3 Colombia

Poland

  • Ranking - 8th.
  • Last World Cup - 2006 last World Cup. 2 Tournament absences.
  • Overall form - only 3 losses in 23 matches v Mexico 0-1, Nigeria 0-1 and Denmark in a World Cup qualifier.
  • Recent friendly form - only 2 wins in 9 v Korea 4-2 3-2 and Lithuania 4-0. 2-2 draw with Chile. Was this a concerted effort to get a run of matches with 2+ goals?
  • World cup qualifiers overall - 8 wins and a 4-0 loss to Denmark. A very weak group though - Motengegro - Armenia - Kazakhstan.
  • 1-2 loss to Senegal seemed fair.

Colombia

  • Ranking - 16th.
  • Last World Cup - a good 2014 - 3-0 v Greece; 2-1 v Cote D'Ivoire; 1-4 v Japan; 2-0 Uruguay; 2-1 loss to Brazil.
  • Overall form - only 2 losses in 13 matches v Paraguay and Korea - 0-4 win, 2-3 win v France and 2 0-0's last 4 matches.
  • Recent friendly form - as above.
  • World cup qualifiers overall - only 2 wins in 9 came v Bolivia and Ecuador (59th and 60th) - 3 draws and a loss last 4 matches.
  • 1-2 loss to Japan was a tad unfair. Red card 3rd minute.

Conclusions

  • Colombia should not fear a top 10 side given what Senegal managed against Poland.
  • This is tough to call. Doubtless, with 11 men on the pitch, we will see a far better performance from the Colombians. The Colombians were full of goals in 2014's World Cup scoring 2 goals on 4 occasions. They scored 2 v France recently in a friendly and that may be enough.
  • Take on, naturally, any 0-0 at halftime with a 2-1 and 1-2 2nd half as both teams must win. We have seen a sudden upsurge in goals in these deciding group matches.

SWEDISH SUPERETTAN

14:00 - Norrby IF v Landskrona - 2.7 Norrby

  • These 2 last met in Division 1.
  • An immediately off-putting match odds market.

Norrby (11th)

  • Only 2 wins in 10 came within the last 3 matches.
  • No draw in 6 at home.
  • Only 2 home wins in 6 matches.

Conclusions

  • And I halt it there. Both sides have 4 losses and 2 wins (home for home side and away for away side) making this match difficult to read. The 2.7 match odds agrees with me!

14:00 - Varbergs BoIS v GAIS - 2.42 GAIS

  • 7-1 Varbergs and 3-0 GAIS last 2 head to heads. Well that adds clarity to this match.......NOT!

Varbergs (14th)

  • No win in 7 matches.
  • 3 losses and a 3-3 last 4 matches at home.
  • Only 1 clean sheet.
  • In 7 of the last 10 matches, conceded 2+ goals.
  • Only 1 0-0 at halftime at home.
  • Not beaten a top 9 team.

GAIS (8th)

  • 2 wins and 3 draws last 5 matches.
  • Scored and conceded last 5 matches.
  • Only 1 clean sheet.
  • Conceded in their last 8 and last 6 away.
  • All defeats have come v the top 4.
  • Scored and conceded in all bar 1 match outside of the top 4.
  • 6 of 8 goals scored away came 2nd half.

Conclusions

  • Strictly on the season form, we side with GAIS not to lose. Both teams may very well score but GAIS should not lose if they continue to lose exclusively to top 4 sides.
  • On that basis, we should feel more confident about laying Varbergs if Varbergs score first.

16:30 - Osters v AFC Utd - 2.6 Osters

  • Another market that cannot split the sides.
  • Last head to head 2010.

Osters (9th)

  • 3 losses followed by 2 wins.
  • Failed to score in only 2 matches.
  • Conceded 2+ goals in 4 of their last 5 matches.
  • Failed to score only twice.
  • Only 2 0-0's at halftime at home.
  • Not played top 4 at home but only 1 win in 7 matches v the top 8 this season. Conceded 2+ goals in 7 of those matches.

AFC (3rd)

  • Only 2 defeats. Did lose last match.
  • Only losses have come away v the top 2.
  • 4/4 clean sheets away outside of the top 2.
  • v 4th -13th inclusive, home and away, all clean sheets.

Conclusions

  • Another mystery why AFC are not even favourites here. Keeping clean sheets; only losing to top 2; only 2 defeats; favourites conceding 2+ goals in 4 of last 5; only 1 win v top 8 in 7 matches.
  • I must be with AFC on form here today and expect them not to lose. I must relay that the market cannot split these 2 teams. The form can - the market cannot! Are you with the season long form and AFC?

16:30 - Helsingborgs v Varnamo - 1.47 Helsingborgs

  • 1-1 and 1-2 Varnamo last 2 head to heads.

Helsingborgs (4th)

  • Only 2 defeats.
  • Failed to score only once.
  • Scored and conceded last 4 matches.
  • 4 consecutive home wins.
  • Scored in their last 10 matches.
  • Only 2 0-0's at halftime at home.
  • Only losses v the top 3.
  • Not played the bottom 6 at home.
  • 9 of 12 goals scored at home came 2nd half.

Varnamo (16th)

  • Only 1 win.
  • 6 consecutive defeats.
  • No win in 9.
  • All defeats v the top 7 conceding either 3 or 4 goals.
  • Scored only 2 goals away and none in the first half away.

Conclusions

  • This looks as straightforward as the odds suggest. I said that about Helsingborgs last week and they went behind twice and ended up drawing 3-3 with a last gasp equaliser!
  • I expect a home win, and they could score 3/4 goals today, Helsingborgs.
  • They do tend to score 2nd half so note any 0-0 at halftime and take it on. Back over 3.5 goals if you want a speculative 2nd half play if the match is 0-0 at halftime or even after 20 minutes.

16:30 - IK Frej v Gefle - 2.06 Frej

  • 2-2 and 3-0 Gefle in the last 2 head to heads.

Frej (13th)

  • Only 1 loss in 6 matches.
  • 3-2-2 goals scored last 3 matches.
  • Only 1 clean sheet.
  • Only 1 0-0 at halftime at home.
  • Conceded 2/3 goals at home v 9th and lower.
  • 8 of 10 goals scored at home came 1st half.

Gefle (15th)

  • Only 2 wins.
  • Only 2 clean sheets.
  • Conceded in their last 8 matches.
  • Wins v 11th away and 16th at home.

Conclusions

  • I would lay the 0-0 in the halftime score market based on an assumption that Frej score 2 goals at least and if scoring, they tend to score first half.
  • Both sides are dire at keeping clean sheets.
  • 2-2 as a trading vehicle may have legs here today. You may even want to go 3-2 or 2-3.