Friday, 2 July 2010

QF - Day One

Four years ago today, I was in Gelsenkirchen with my son awaiting Saturday's England v Portugal match. On the Friday night, we went to the FanFest viewing area to watch Germany play Argentina, and that one is being repeated this year, but only one other team from the 2006 Quarter-Finals has made it through this time around.

As I wrote a couple of days ago, the draw is historically a 46% probability at this stage, and there are no strong favourites to remove today to increase this figure still further. Incidentally, someone asked the other day what a strong favourite is, and for me in this context it is a team trading around or below 1.67.

The final (90 minutes) score has been 0-0 in 29% of matches, and 42% of teams have failed to score.

As I keep cautioning, the sample is unavoidably small, but the evidence suggests that the draw is where the value is to be found.

Brazil v Netherlands has the draw available at 3.45 and in the Uruguay v Ghana match, the draw is 3.35. The 0-0s are 9.2 and 7.4 respectively.

In the Elo ratings, Brazil are top, the Netherlands third, Uruguay sixth and Ghana down in 25th spot. No African side has ever reached the semi-final of course and missing key players through injury and suspensions won't help Ghana's efforts to become the first.

While the draw at 90 minutes is value, someone has to go on and Uruguay To Qualify at 1.55 and Brazil To Qualify at 1.48 are my bets there.

For the records, in penalty shoot-outs the Dutch lost their only one (v Brazil), while Brazil are 2 and 1. Uruguay and Ghana have never been involved in one.

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