Sporting predictions by Chris Clegg – Putting your money where your mouth is!
Fancy a World Cup Wager? Will the Aussies have The X Factor in South Africa?
I was talking to an Aussie mate of mine the other day and he is convinced the Socceroos can win the World Cup. Realising how blindly patriotic the Aussies tend to be, I thought I would check out their prospects.
Middlesbrough’s Rhys Williams narrowly missed out on making the 23 man squad and commented: “I’m heartbroken, but obviously proud…just to have got this far.”
Does Rhys think he’s in The X Factor or Aussie’s got Talent ? I don’t think getting that far is quite enough, and I am sure Duran Duran‘s favourite footballer Ferdinand can testify. Cue the music: “His name is Rio and he’s knackered up his leg!” Anyway, I will come to England in due course.
One player who did make the Aussie squad is injury-plagued Harry Kewell. Guess what: he is injured at the moment – no surprises there then – but Pim Verbeek is confident Kewell will be fit for the first match against Germany. Leeds and Liverpool fans are still waiting for him to be fit.
To sum up the Aussies’ chances, they have a few good players, in midfielders Tim Cahill (Everton) and Brett Emerton (Blackburn), keeper Mark Schwarzer (Fulham), alongside players some of us have never heard of such as Mark Milligan who plays for JEF United, and Michael Beauchamp (Al-Jazira). Al Jazira, isn’t that an Arabic TV station? And who the EF is JEF? I think Verbeek and his team will be sipping Pims in the South African sunshine before Kris Kamara can say “Unbelievable, JEF!” My Aussie mate claimed “We’re in an easy group!” I think he’s confusing cricket with footy as they are placed with Germany, Ghana and Serbia… not renowned as good cricketing teams. Mind you, neither are the Aussies these days! The smart money is definitely not on Austraaaaaailia this year. That said, you can get as much as 200/1 on the Socceroos.
Elephant Long Shots
So who will win the 2010 World Cup then? Well, Spain are the outright favourites at around 4/1 and they are in a relatively easy group with Honduras, Chile and Switzerland so cannot be ignored, even at such a stingy price. Second favourites are the Brazillians at around 9/2 and everyone loves a Brazilian, don’t they? With Argentina 13/2 and England fourth favourites at 7/1. Last World Cup winners Italy are 16/1 with the lucky French, whom shouldn’t even be there, around 20/1.
Now, I like an outsider and premiership golden boot winner, Didier Drogba’s Ivory Coast outfit are around 40/1 which is tempting. With players like Chelsea’s Drogba and Salomon Kalou, alongside Manchester City’s Kolo Toure, Arsenal’s Emmanuel Eboue, Barcelona’s Yaya Toure and Sevilla’s Didier Zakora, their whole squad looks strong, aggressive and hungry for success. The initial issues for The Ivory Coast are the realisation that they are grouped with Portugal and Brazil; alongside the fact that Drogba broke his arm on Friday… but if Drogba can make a speedy recovery and they can get out of the group of death, they may just become the first African country to triumph, and on their own continent’s soil. With Sven Goran Eriksson managing the Elephants, I am certainly not writing them off. I wonder why they are called the Elephants… Apparently Kalou is longest in the shower… They are certainly long shots, but I will be having a sly diver on them.
Who will be the top scorer in South Africa?
What a fantastic market this is, with the favourite, Spain’s devastating duo David Villa at 8/1 and Fernando Torres at 12/1. Argentina’s Lionel Ritchie…sorry Messi, at 9s. Wayne Rooney is priced at 10/1. As I’ve already suggested, Ivory Coast are in the group of death, alas, if they can get out of there with Drogba’s arm intact, the double carpet 33/1 wrapped around the Elephant’s big trunk is generous, to say the least. Carlos Tevez is priced the same as Didier and Argentina face Greece and South Korea in the group stages so Carlos may fancy his chances, though he may not start many matches with so many class strikers in the Argy squad.
Spain face potential whipping boys Honduras, as well as Switzerland and Chile so there is no wonder Torres and Villa are the favourites.
What about the chances of world cup holders Italy’s sharp shooters? Well, Italy are renowned for their boring, defensive football. However, they face New Zealand in the group stage. Now, New Zealand have little known Rory Fallon up front for them. If you have never heard of Rory, like me you’re probably a Barnsley fan. Apparently Rory played for us for quite a long time but could not hit a cow’s arse with a banjo…and there are a lot of cattle in Barnsley. New Zealand’s skipper is Blackburn Rovers’ defender Ryan Nelson and alongside his teammates, will have a tough task, to say the least. Italy’s Gilardino (40/1) and Di Natale (50/1) may just have a field day against the Kiwis, and at the same time boost their own chances of winning that golden boot.
World Cup Wagers
Well I’m going to take a chance on big DD and place my trunk of cash on les elephants. As the uncertainties surround Sven’s men at the moment, 60/1 is being offered on Betfair – get on! Allez Cote D’Ivoire!
If you’re more of a favourite-better then Spain will be awesome in Africa and might just follow up their European triumph by conquering the world. 4/1′s tighter than a duck’s ass though.
Golden booty wise, I would love to suggest Rooney but I just don’t think he will quite manage it. How about France’s Nicolas Anelka, who is around 66/1 at most bookies. Other than that, I can’t look further than Torres at 12s. Pile in.
Doubles for Dough
Now you know I like a double: most Northerners do. Betfair punters are offering some cracking doubles on team triumph/top goal scorer winners. The one that stands out to me is messy Lionel (Argentina) to be the top goal scorer and the Argies’ adversaries Brazil to win the world cup. This tempting double is around 66/1 on Betfair. Another tempter is England to win the world cup and Fernando Torres to top score, which is a mammoth 140/1. Worth a couple of quid, isn’t it?