Germans Could be Quick Off the Mark


Few would have predicted Germany would be bottom of Group E after two games, but here we are and it’s a case of all or nothing for Die Mannschaft against Costa Rica tonight.

Defeat to Japan wasn’t in the script for Hansi Flick’s side, nor would be needing a late equaliser against Spain to salvage a point.

That leaves Germany needing a favour off the Spanish tonight because a point or more for Japan could send the 3-time champions home early for the second succesive tournament. Costa Rica‘s win over the Japanese was a huge result for Germany otherwise the Samurai Blue could’ve been out of sight.

All that aside, nothing but a win, and a good one at that, will do for Germany. They simply have to come out and get a result.

An early goal or two would pile some pressure on the Japanese too so we could see a quick start for the Germans here.

It’s 5/6 that there’s a goal before the 21st minute. That feels a little too early for value and the 5/6 on there being two or more first-half goals looks a better option.

At 18/1 Costa Rica are the biggest price we’ve seen at the tournament, a result no doubt of their 7-0 mauling by Spain. That means it’s just 1/9 for Germany to claim the three points.

Spain are in pole position in the group and a draw will be enough to book a place in last 16. After watching a much-changed France side toil against Tunisia yesterday punter should be wary of piling in to the Spaniards at short prices (2/5).

It’s all to play for in Group F where any two from Croatia, Belgium and Morocco can still qualify.

Canada will be playing for pride but could be up against it versus the Moroccans who have yet to concede a goal and stunned the number 2 ranked team in the world, Belgium, on Sunday. The Atlas Lions look an attractive price at odds of 11/10 but be warned, a draw will be good enough for Walid Regragui’s side so they could take a cautious approach.

In which case it’s unlikely they’ll go chasing a win. They’ve shown they can do a defensive job on teams and Canada look a bit lacking in the attacking department. That suggests it’ll be a low-scorer in Doha. Under 2.5 goals pays 8/11, a goalless first half is 13/8 and the No Goal Before line is set at 31 minutes at 5/6. Take your pick.

Most viewers will however, be tuning in to the Ahmad bin Ali Stadium in Al Rayyan where Croatia v Belgium has all the potential for a World Cup classic. The winner qualifies but a draw would be sufficient for Croatia so it’ll be fascinating to see how this one pans out.

Both teams will probably feel they’ve underperformed so far and Belgium in particular will be stung by that 2-0 defeat to Morocco. The squad has come in for some heavy criticism and Eden Hazard has denied the reports of dressing room unrest.

Over half of the Belgian squad are aged 29 or over so this is no doubt the last big opportunity for their supposed Golden Generation. Perhaps it’s a step too far for an ageing squad.

Croatia have plenty of experience in their squad too, none more so than 37-year-old Ballon D’or winner Luca Modric. His battle with Kevin De Bruyne could be key to the outcome of this one.

It’s too close to call so look at a goals angle in this one. Between Lukaku, Batshuayi, Mertens and Eden Hazard there’s been 149 international goals scored so there’s no shortage of players who know where the back of the net is at this level but just one goal so far is a poor return so far from such a talented squad. There can be no excuses tonight.

After drawing blank against Morocco, Croatia looked a lot more dangerous against an admittedly out of their depth Canada. In a game that could ebb and flow we could see both teams get on the scoresheet at 4/5.

Super Singles

  • Germany v Costa Rica – Two or more first half goals 5/6 Bet365
  • Canada v Morocco – No goal before 31 minutes 5/6 Bet365
  • Croatia v Belgium – BTTS 4/5 Bet365

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