Monday, 21 June 2010

Opportunity Knocks For England

I haven't seen this mentioned anywhere else, but it seems to me that there is a very good chance that the World Cup Round of 16 will not be balanced too evenly.

Heavyweights Netherlands, Italy, Brazil and Spain (three of the top four in the betting) could all be in the second quarter of the draw. The Netherlands are 1.05 to win their group, with Brazil at 1.22 to win theirs. Paraguay are 1.25 to win Group F with Italy second favourites to qualify. Group H is wide open with Switzerland favourites to win the group at 2.3, and Spain not out of it. Brazil v Spain, with Spain 2.0 to reach the last eight? I also think the Swiss are a lay at this price. I have Chile to beat them, and while they can still win the group with a win over Honduras, the price will drift.

Even if only three of those groups pan out as the odds suggest, that will still be a heavyweight section by any measure.

The third quarter could see Argentina in there with Germany, (two of the top five), plus Mexico and the USA (or England if they can't beat Slovenia too handily but I'm thinking 3:0), and the fourth will have possibly Japan, Switzerland, Paraguay and Portugal.

The top quarter may yet feature England, and if they can make it they will possibly face Serbia, followed by South Korea or Uruguay. That's as easy as it gets, but didn't we think that about Group C?

Undoubtedly there will be more surprises yet, but it's informative to look ahead and see the possibilities or probabilities.

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