A good day's trading in the World Cup, backing Belgium any other home score at 13.5 at halftime and cashing out at 3-0 up. I un-patriotically layed Eng-er-land 1-0 up at 1.14 and cashed out after the fortuitous Tunisian penalty. I missed laying the late draw in the England match. Did you lay it? Don't forget yet another 0-0 at halftime in the Korean match ended with a 2nd half goal. This is THE trade of the group stages. And you penalty backers can now afford a wheel barrow to carry your winnings.
Even better news. Ronaldo's top scorer odds have started to drift in response to Lukaku and Michael Caine's 2 goals yesterday. I did say 3.25 was far too short with so many world class players yet to play.
The tennis continues today, no sign of Federer in Halle. Is he injured? Djokovic and Raonic, amongst others, are out. I'll post my eye-catchers below.
13:00 - Colombia v Japan - 1.77 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.
- 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.
- If we base conclusions on 2014 form, then Colombia should eye the win here today. Solid defensively recently have been the Colombians albeit in friendlies and a win v France in a friendly is eye-catching.
- Asian countries are poor - they simply do not have quality opponents to stretch them. Colombia's world cup qualifying campaign was poor. Only 2 wins in 9 yet they are here!
- A top 20 ranked team should have too much. But the watchword this World Cup is TIGHTness in the matches.
16:00 - Poland v Senegal - 2.4 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.
- 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!
- So hard to quantify Senegal's 'achievements' which I suppose is why the market has opted for 2.4 the favourite (i.e. 'we haven't got a clue either').
- Excellent recent form from the Poles, but then only 2 losses in 30 for Senegal.
- I am afraid I will sit this one out but remember to attack any 0-0 at halftime in the 2nd half. It seems to be the Group Stage trade. Lewandowski is on the pitch so there is a chance.
19:00 - Russia v Egypt - 2.16 Russia
- Ranking - 70th.
- Overall form - no win in 7.3 losses in 4. 3-3-3-1-1 conceded recently. 1-0-3-0-1-0-1 scored recently.
- Overall form at home - no win in 6. 1-0-3-0-1-1 scored recently.
- Recent friendly form - no win in 7. Last 4 wins v Ghana, Romania, Hungary and Korean Republic.
- Recent friendly form at home - only 1 win in 10 v Korea Republic. 3-3-3-1 conceded recently. Scored and conceded in 7 of their last 9 matches.
- World cup qualifiers overall - not applicable.
- World cup qualifiers at home - not applicable.
- Ranking - 45th.
- Last World Cup - 1990.
- Overall form - no win in 6 matches; only 2 wins in 12 matches v Uganda and Congo; scored 2 goals only once in 14 matches.
- Recent friendly form - no win in 5 matches. Drew 0-0 v South American Colombia. 1-0-1-0-0 goals scored in those friendlies.
- World cup qualifiers overall - 1-0 Loss Uganda; 1-0 win Uganda; 2-1 win Congo; 1-1 Ghana which saw them through.
- 5-0 win for Russia v Saudi Arabia. A win today could see them through the group stage.
- Egypt lost 0-1 v Uruguay after, to be honest, taking a battering.
- Another higher ranked side for Russia to face. Another match where 0-0 may be in play in the first half given Egypt's performance against a better attacking side in Uruguay.
- I'll be backing 0-0 pre match and hoping to cash out at halftime.
18:00 - Varbergs BoIS v Helsingborgs - 1.9 Helsingborgs
- 5 consecutive defeats.
- Only 1 clean sheet.
- No draw in 5 and in 6 at home.
- Only 1 0-0 at halftime at home.
- Not beaten a top 9 side. 4 defeats at home v top 9.
- Only 2 defeats, one came last match.
- Failed to score only once.
- Scored in their last 9 and in their last 6 away.
- Only 2 0-0's at halftime away.
- Losses came v top 3 only.
- Rather like Falkenbergs at a hugely generous 2.74 odds the other day, the bookies tend to be too cautious with this Superettan. Helsingborgs look strong here.
- Varbergs tend to lose to top 9. Helsingborgs only lose to the top 3. Score draw worst case for helsingborgs for me today so enter the match with that in mind.
- Laying the 0-0 in the halftime score market may be on given Varbergs have had only 1 0-0 at halftime at home But Helsingborgs away have scored 7 goals 2nd half.
No times put up as it is always fluid in the tennis world.
Caroline Garcia v Hsieh - 1.25 Garcia
- Hseih did beat Konta on grass in Eastbourne so could give Garcia a game.
Stefanie Voegele v Victoria Azarenka - 1.3 Azarenka
- I would be keen to take Azarenka on if she wins the first set. Not a patch on the Azarenka of old.
Alison Riske v Angelique Kerber - 1.5 Kerber
- Riske extremely short odds winner yesterday. Kerber reliable if going a set down.
Stefanos Tsitsipas v Lucas Pouille - 1.58 Pouille
- Tsitsipas breakthrough year I think. Brilliant on clay. But what about grass? I would take a chance and lay Pouille if Pouille wins the first set.
Marton Fucsovics v Philipp Kohlschreiber - 1.5 Kohl
- The Germans expect Kohlschreiber to win today and I would definitely side with him were he a set or a break down.
Mischa Zverev v Karen Khachanov - 1.8 Zverev
- The market expects a 3 setter. The locals expect a good performance from local boy Zverev.
Richard Gasquet v Florian Mayer - 1.37 Gasquet
- Mayer infront of home support may give a good account. Gasquet a class act but layable at 1.38?
- Mayer had an excellent pre-Wimbledon run, particularly in Germany, in 2017.
Julia Goerges v Sakkari - 1.54 Goerges
- Like Tsitsipas, Sakkari is Greek and has had some good matches. She could be a thorn today. I'll see if Goerges wins the first set.
Dalila Jakupovic v Elise Mertens - 1.31 Mertens
- A very good clay court season for Mertens could continue onto grass.
Lesia Tsurenko v Heather Watson - 1.72 Our 'eather
- Guernsey's finest infront of home support suggests I definitely lay Lesia if Lesia takes the first set.
Johanna Konta v Petra Kvitova - 1.62 Petra
- Konta talked herself up in the French Open then crashed out first round in 2 straight sets.
- Home support today. Kvitova is a real class act and on form should have too much (if as good on grass as she is on clay).
- Konta is infront of home support so expect a battle. If Petra wins the first set and her odds are short enough, do you trust Konta to fight 2nd set?
ATP London (Queens)
Damir Dzumhir v Dimitrov - 1.21 Dimitrov
- Dimitrov always a shortlister. Great to back at big odds in play.
Leonardo Mayer v Kevin Anderson - 1.24 Anderson
- The big serve on grass a big advantage hence we see Anderson and, below, Raonic strong favs.
Milos Raonic v Yuki Bhambri - 1.16 Raonic
John Millman v Novak Djokovic - 1.17 Djokovic
- Millman I remember took a set off Dimitrov in Brisbane. Millman not at home this time but could be a thorn. I would speculatively lay Novak at 1.17.
Tomas Berdych v Julien Benneteau - 1.39 Berdych
- Thunder thighs down in the rankings but solid.
Nick Kyrgios v Andy Murray - 1.36 Kyrgios
- Bellus Endus v the Master Murray. A return for Murray pre-Wimbledon will have expectations high.
- 21st v 16th.
- 5-0 Murray but no grass court tennis since Wimbledon 2017.
- 3 3 setters for Kyrgios in Stuttgart.
- Watching brief for Andy.
David Goffin v Feliciano Lopez - 1.75 Goffin
- The 200/1 man Goffin must be on any shortlist, alongside Dimitrov, Halep, Wozza et al.
Ryan Harrison v Kyle Edmund - 1.42 Edmund
- Come on Tim, I mean Andy, I mean Kyle. The new hope Edmunds should battle if a set down.
Adrian Mannarino v Daniel Evans - 1.87 Mannarino
- 1.87 odds already tells us to lay the first set winner, more so if it is Mannarino, given that Evans is at home.