Football / Preview / World Cup Day Six

World Cup: Wednesday 16th June

Day six sees the final two opening group matches played with the favourites Spain starting their campaign while the hosts make their second appearance.

Spain's David Villa and Xavi Hernandez

 

 

 

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Honduras (Bettorlogic Rank 28) v Chile (7) (Weds 12:30)

This is only Honduras’ second World Cup having debuted in 1982, with their only other major finals competition being the 2001 Copa America where they finished third after beating Brazil in the quarter-finals.

Honduras were the final qualifiers from CONCACAF despite losing four times in the final group stage of qualification (W5-D1-L4). However, they’ve won 10 of 19 matches (including friendlies) against teams with a Bettorlogic ranking in the top 20 since 2005. During the 2001 Copa America they were level at half-time in five of their six matches, as they were in six of their 10 final group qualifying matches.

This is Chile’s first World Cup since 1998 and in their three previous World Cups since 1970 they’ve failed to win any of 10 matches, although they drew all three group games in 1998 to qualify for the second round where they were beaten by Brazil. They’ve also played only three finals matches against teams ranked 21-50 since 2000 (although none since 2004) and lost on each occasion. However, they qualified second in South America behind Brazil with 10 of their 18 qualifiers having three or more goals.

With neither team having much recent experience of major finals a look at general all-team stats shows that since 1970 teams ranked 5-15 have won 62% of 65 World Cup group matches against teams ranked 21-40, with 40% drawn at half-time and 55% having three or more goals.

Recommendation: Over 2.5 goals at 2.10, Victor Chandler

 

Spain (2) v Switzerland (26) (Weds 15:00)

Spain are looking to add the World Cup to their European triumph two years ago and look to be in great shape having qualified with a perfect record. Moreover, they’ve won every match they’ve played since their shock defeat a year ago in the Confederations Cup semi-finals. They’ve also been boosted by the return to fitness of Cesc Fabregas and Fernando Torres and while Andres Iniesta is a doubt the Swiss have a far bigger injury problem if their captain and best player Alex Frei is ruled out.

Since 2000, Spain have won 12 of 15 finals group matches with 11 of the games having three or more goals. Furthermore, they’ve won all six of their finals matches against teams ranked 16-40 since 2006, with every game featuring at least three goals and four wins by two or more goals.

This is Switzerland’s sixth major finals since 1994, although they’ve made it as far the second round only twice. Also, they’ve lost five of seven matches against teams in the top 10, with all five defeats by two or more goals.

Recommendation: Spain to win -1.5 Asian Handicap at 1.98, Bet365

 

South Africa (83) v Uruguay (13) (Wed 16th, 19:30)

South Africa maintained the unbeaten record of hosts in opening World Cup matches with an excellent display against Mexico after initially being outplayed. However, once again they face a team ranked significantly higher in the shape of Uruguay, who held group favourites France to a goalless draw in their opener.

South Africa have failed to win any of their last nine finals matches dating back to their second group game at the African Nations Cup in 2004. These games have seen them lose five times with seven matches having -2.5 goals and they’ve had under-goals in 4/5 finals matches against teams ranked 11-30. Worryingly for South Africa hosts ranked 51+ have won only two and lost six of 13 finals matches against teams ranked 11-31 since 1970 with five L/Ls and they’ve trailed 1-0 at half-time on seven occasions.

Uruguay will be happy with a draw from their opening game and have won 7/9 (one draw) finals matches against 51+ ranked teams since 1979, with five W/Ws. Moreover, teams ranked at least 50 places higher have won 15/17 matches at past World Cups since 1982 and led 1-0 at half-time on eight occasions as there have been 11 W/W doubles.

Uruguay look good value favourites but this probably wont be a goal-fest as while teams ranked 11-30 have won 11/19 World Cup matches against sides ranked 51+, 14 of the games have had fewer than three goals.

Recommendation: Uruguay to win at 2.40, Various
                                   Uruguay to win the first half 1-0 at 4.5, Sky Bet

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