Fifa World Cup and US Open. I will be tweeting at 16:00 for the US Open. World Cup Asia matches look tough.
FIFA WORLD CUP 2018
11:35 am - Japan v Australia - 1.88 Japan
- Japan, Saudi Arabia and Australia dominate this Group B.
- Australia and Japan have the advantage in playing a game less than 2nd placed Saudi Arabia so this match takes on added significance.
- A solitary defeat for Japan was v UAE.
- They drew with Australia 1-1 earlier in the campaign with a penalty equaliser from Australia. That suggested a tight match and this could be the same.
- 2-1, 2-1, 4-0 at home for Japan since their loss to UAE. Australia are really a step up from that opposition.
- Australia are unbeaten this campaign. 4 score draws is a concern.3 consecutive away score draws. They needed 2 penalties against a poor Thailand.
- Maybe Australia do not travel well.
- 1-1 looks a tradable scoreline, covers either team scoring and covers the Australia score draw habit.
13:00 - China v Uzbekistan - 2.44 China
- China are bottom of Group A 3rd place is 2 wins away but then the assumption is that 3rd place will of course consent to China and lose their 2 games while CHina win theirs.
- 3rd place happens to be Uzbekistan.
- Only 1 win for China came at home 1-0 v Korea.
- China failed to score in 5 of their last 7 matches.
- 0-0-0-1 scored by China in their last 4 at home. Poor stuff.
- No draw yet for Uzbekistan sees 3 defeats in 4 matches.
- They beat China 2-0 when China visited.3 consecutive away defeats for Uzbeks.
- Angles in? Hard to say. Uzbeks poor on travels. China has trouble even scoring at home. A match to leave alone.Note Uzbekistan could go 2nd with a win so do expect them to give 100%.
13:00 - South Korea v Iran - 1.77 South Korea
- 2nd v 1st in Group A. Iran I think are mathematically top of the group and through, with a 7 point gap and apparently 2 matches only remaining.
- Incentive therefore with the Koreans who need a win to stave off Uzbekistan.
- Korea's defeats have all come away. They are on an 8 match winning run at home in World Cup qualifiers.
- Iran can stick the tea ladies as wing backs and the Ayatollah up front. They are through and we are likely to see a lessening in intensity from them.
- I am with the Koreans today to get a positive result and will lay any Iran lead. Iran note are yet to concede a goal in these qualifiers. You might want to back 0-0 pre match and hope to trade out at 0-0 at halftime given their strong defence and not busting a gut to score.
13:00 - Thailand v Iraq - 2.34 Iraq
- Thailand only played 2 days ago in a Final v Malaysia and I am sure that was their first team.
- The World Cup is over for these 2 teams. This is a dead rubber. Nothing to play for and I would tentatively oppose Thailand here given I think it was their first team playing v Malaysia in Malaysia 2 days ago.
13:00 - Syria v Qatar - 2.34 Syria
- Both sides can mathematically qualify in 2nd spot but it will require some mind bending permutations.
- On the basis that it is still achievable, then this match is a must-win.
- 0-0-1-0-0-1-0-2 goals scored by Syria this campaign. they scored 2 goals v China. One goal was a penalty and the other a 90th minute goal. I still see problems in front of goal.
- 0-0, 0-0, 1-0, 2-2 last 4 at home. I see the 2-2 as an anomoly.
- Only 2 wins for Qatar.0-0-2-0-0 scored by them in their last 5 matches away.
- I would look to back 0-0 here as a trading option, pre match at its highest odds and then hope this is as goal shy as the form indicates. I tend to trade out of 0-0's at halftime if lucky enough to see a 0-0 at halftime.
14:00 - Uganda v Egypt - 2.32 Egypt
- 0-0 and 1-0 win Uganda to date.1-2 and 2-0 wins for Egypt.
- Little to get our teeth into. Clean sheets home side. Goals away side.
18:00 - Guinea v Libya - 1.71 Guinea
- Group A has only 4 teams.Guinea and Libya both have 2 out of 2 defeats.
- Libya are yet to score.
- No angles into what is likely to be an illiquid market.
19:45 - Belgium v Gibraltar - 1.01 Belgium
- Greece and Bosnia still threaten Belgium in first place in Group H. I expect a 3-6 goal haul bare minimum for the Belgians.
- The only play is a correct score play. 3-0, 6-0, 8-0. Try and trade with a bookmaker who allows cash out in-play. With something like 5-0 you can trade out of the 6-0. At 7-0 you could trade out of the 8-0.
19:45 - Cyprus v Bosnia - 1.53 Bosnia
- 4th and 3rd in Group H.Cyprus are 4 points of a top 3 berth. A look at the teams Cyprus has got points from and it betrays their poor level - Gibraltar and Estonia.
- A tendency to lose to nil at home to better sides.
- Bosnia's only loss was v Belgium. I would expect a Bosnia win but currently away, a 4-0 loss to Belgium and a 1-1 draw with Greece.
19:45 - Bulgaria v Sweden - 1.84 Sweden
- Group A.Sweden lead with France and Netherlands hot on their tail. Bulgaria are close enough to be a threat but matches are running out for them. Still there are 4 matches remaining so all up in the air in this group.
- Bulgaria are yet to draw. Is that going to continue today? They lost 3-0 in Sweden.
- 3 consecutive wins at home, and a surprise they beat Netherlands at home, Not a surprise with Luxembourg and Belarus.
- 4 wins in 5 for Sweden.Only loss a 2-1 v France.
- That loss came away from home.
- Another match in which I cannot discount Bulgaria given their home record. An in-play stats play from me.
Denisa Allertova v Naomi Osaka - 1.35 Osaka
- 107th v 46th.
- No warm up events for Allertova.Osaka retired v Pliskova in the Canadian Masters in the 3rd set.
- Allertova plays largely 60K events and should not be winning 2-0.
Alexandr Dolgopolov v Tomas Berdych - 1.25 Tomas
- 82nd v 13th.
- 4-1 head to heads in Berdych's favour. Dolgopolov con the last head to head in Cincinnati in 2015.
- 5 setter for Dolgopolov in his first round. He will not be winning 3-0 today.
- Berdych is unlikely to be troubled. Dolgo is talented but highly unreliable.
Jelena Ostapenko v Sorana Cirstea - 1.6 Jelena
- 50th v 66th.
- 3 setter in Jelena's first round.
- No strong angles here.
Stefano Travaglia v Viktor Troicki - 1.88 Troicki
- 225th v 39th.
- Travaglia beat fellow Italian Fognini in 4 sets in his opener.
- 3 losses in pre US Open warm up tournaments in the first round for Triocki.
- 4 sets and 5 sets for these 2 in their openers. So lay the player 2-0/0-2 up.
Adrian Mannarino v Bjorn Fratangelo - 1.22 Adrian
- Fratangelo took advantage of a careless Big Ivo Karlovic in winning 2 of the tie breaker sets he engineered. Ivo is usually adept at winning tie breakers but always allows a glimmer of hope.
- Ivo was a top 30 payer so if this is taken as true form, Bjorn will be feeling confident in his home tournament. His service game was excellent in his opener.
- 51st v 150th rankings.
- Mannarino has won the most recent head to heads rather easily.
- He beat Fratangelo on hard in a warm up event so will have that fresh in his mind. Quarter Final, Quarter Final, Round of 16 for Mannarino in warm up events.
- 5 tie breakers in his last 3 matches for Bjorn. Which as I say indicates a reasonable service game.
- The recent form is a worry for Bjorn so comprehensively beaten. The odds look good on that basis but note Ivo was around the same odds yesterday.
- A tie breaker first set win for Bjorn could signal his as layable.
Yanina Wickmayer v Kaia Kanepi - 1.83 Yanina
- 72nd v 513th. Is Kanepis ranking affected by injury outings?
- Head to heads from 2011.
- No hard court warm up events from either player.
- A winner of the Washington event last year, Wickmayer has done nothing of any regard on hard.
- Kanepi has had to go through qualifying to get here and beat good players in Hseih and Schiavone.
- Like the odds suggest, this is too tight to call.
Elina Svitolina v Evgeniya Rodina - 1.1 Elina
- 13th v 75th in the rankings.
- Svitolina has won 2 recent head to heads.
- Elina won the Canadian Masters. Rodina beat Bouchard who is in really poor form so little to learn there.
- Elina has solid form and I expect a 2-0 win.
Barbora Strycova v Jennifer Brady - 1.33 Strycova
- 17th v 76th.
- Strycova won the only head to head this year.
- Brady's warm ups? 3 set loss v Sharapova, failed to get out of qualifiers in the Canadian Masters, failed to get out of qualifying in Cincinnati, and a 3 setter in her opener in US Open.
- 3 consecutive losses for Strycova in hard court events until her 1st set win in the US Open.
- Strycova lasted only 1 round in the US Open last year.
- Brady's form is slightly worse than Strycovas. I would lay Brady if she wins the first set or looks like she will lose the first set.
Adrian Menendez-Maceira v Juan Martin Del Potro - 1.06 Del Potro
- I am still laying Del Potro here. 2 tie breakers yesterday for Del Potro does not convince despite his winning 3-0.
- The problem is we have a 175th ranked player to take on Del Potro if his injuries return.
- 1.07 odds to lay means low liability. Del Potro is never 100% fully fit.
Andrey Rublev v Grigor Dimitrov - 1.15 Dimitrov
- 117th v 12th in the rankings.
- Dimitrov won the Cincinnati Masters. That form is excellent and I expect a Dimitrov win and will back him if he is in trouble.
Donald Young v Gael Monfils - 1.25 Monfils
- 44th v 17th so tight ish rankings.
- Remember Young is an American.
- 6 tie breakers in 4 hard court matches for Monfils now. It does not look to be his best surface.
- 5 sets (Wimbledon), 3 sets (Umag), 3 sets (Washington), 3 3 setters Canadian Masters, so despite his 3-0 US Open, Monfils has tended to lose a set.
- I would lay any 2-0/0-2 leader here as it could be a match where both players win a set.
Roger Federer v M Youzhny - 1.05 Federer
- Federer lost the first set in his last match so there was a profitable trade by laying him pre match. He is 1.06 to lay today and well worth laying just in case Youzhny has a second wind.
Risa Ozaki v Shuai Zhang - 1.25 Zhang
- 70th v 32nd.
- Ozaki has lost 8 of her last 10 matches.
- Zhang beat Sabine Lasiki in her opener. Zhang withdrew at New Haven in the quarter finals.
- Question mark regarding Zhang's fitness.
David Goffin v Guido Pella - 1.35 Goffin
- 10th v 158th.
- Goffin beat Pella in 3 sets in 2016.
- Pella has been playing in Challenger events of late.
- Goffin has tended to lose to good ranking players on hard, certainly noone approaching 158th in the rankings.
- I expect a Goffin win. Goff's odds though do tend to rise in play so look out for that and have confidence in backing him at better odds.
Taylor Fritz v Dominic Thiem - 1.24 Thiem
- 130th v 9th in the rankings.
- No head to heads.
- Fritz was entitled to beat Baghdatis in his opener.
- Fritz has reasonable hard court warm up form.Quarter Finals in Los Cabos, semi finals in an Aptos Challenger, quarter finals in the Vancouver Challenger, quarter finals at Winston-Salem.
- 5-3-4 sets last US Open for Thiem. 4-4-4-4 sets Australian Open.
- I think Thiem's odds may rise today. Fritz has reasonable hard court form albeit 2 Challengers. I will look to back Thiem, I hope, at higher odds. He tends towards 4 setters in Hard Court Grand Slam events.
Fernando Verdasco v Feliciano Lopez - 1.79 Lopez
- 2 players I like following. There is a feeling that Lopez may be back to his reliable best.
- 36th v 40th.
- Lopez won in 2 tie breakers in Quito in 2015 head to head.
- Pospisil retired in Verdasco's first round. Lopez won in 4 sets in his opener.
- 7 tie breakers in 5 matches for Lopez on hard court. The odds suggest similar today?
- IF this was on grass, I would be with Lopez.
- I cannot see this being a 3-0 win for either players and would tentatively back Lopez should his odds rise considerably in play. I am assuming that he is back to his best.
Agnieszka Radwanska v Yulia Putintseva - 1.18 Rad
- 8th v 31st.
- 2-0 Radwanska wins in head to heads.
- Both players had a tie breaker in their opening sets and won 2-0.
- 2 setters in her last 8 matches for Aggy.
- 12 consecutive hard court matches for Aggy which were 2 sets only.
- In her last 19 matches on hard, Putintseva has not gone beyond the 2nd round.
- Given the penchant for tie breakers, I would lay the first set winner.
Kurumi Nara v Svetlana Kuznetsova - 1.16 Svetlana
- 95th v 9th.
- 3-0 Svetlana in hard court head to heads.
- A brilliant performance from Svetlana last night saw her hit a high of 11. What a battling performance and I hope that Kuznetsova does more of that today.
- 4 of 5 hard court warm up events for Nara saw her out in the first round.
- If you retain faith in Kuznetsova, she should return the favour.
Tatjana Maria v Madison Keys - 1.13 Keys
- 103rd v 10th. We saw yesterday with Kuznetsova that top 10 players are generally reliable.
- Keys won the 2015 head to head.
- Keys was a finalist at Stanford, beaten by Muguruza at Cincinnati
- I expect 2-0 Keys today.