Football / Preview / World Cup Sunday 20Th June

World Cup: Sunday 20th June

Brazil face Ivory Coast in Johannesburg in the round's most mouth-watering fixture while earlier on the second matches in Group F are completed.

Brazil's Kaka



Slovakia (Bettorlogic rank 37) v Paraguay (14) (Sun, 12:30)

Slovakia were the victim of the first big upset of this World Cup as they let three points slip through their fingers when they conceded an equaliser 30 seconds from the end of their opening match against New Zealand. Paraguay also drew their opening match as they held the defending champions Italy in a far more creditable performance.

While the Slovaks were undeniably poor in their opening game there is evidence to suggest they will improve as teams that failed to beat a team with a Bettorlogic ranking 30+ places below them in their opening match at a finals since 1970 have gone W8-D2-L4 in their second match when playing higher ranked opponents than themselves, including W3-D2-L0 in World Cups.

Paraguay have drawn 6/13 World Cup group games since 1986 and a draw would be a good result for them here as it would mean they would qualify with a win against New Zealand. The South Americans were very well organised against Italy as they set up to defend from the outset and since 1979 they’ve lost just two of 29 finals group matches against lower ranked opposition with 15 wins and 12 draws, including W3-D3-L0 in the World Cup.

Also, six of eight second matches between two teams that drew their openers have finished all-square at the World Cup since 1982.

Recommendation: Draw at 3.4, Coral


Italy (6) v New Zealand (71) (Sun, 15:00)

New Zealand picked up their first World Cup points courtesy of a last minute equaliser in their opening game and now face four times champions Italy, who will be looking to stamp their authority on the group having been held in their opener by Paraguay.

Italy have won all four of their finals matches against teams ranked 51+ with four W/Ws, although two wins were by just one goal and two had fewer than three goals. Italy are unbeaten in 11 finals group games since 1980 having drawn their previous match, with seven wins, although just one was by more than two goals (two by exactly two goals). Also 8/11 had fewer than three goals.

New Zealand are competing in just their second World Cup – and first since 1982 – and Italy represent a big step up in the quality of their usual opposition. Not surprisingly, teams ranked 51+ have lost 15 of 19 World Cup matches against top-10 sides, with 12 defeats to nil and 11 L/L doubles. Moreover, 13 of the 18 such matches at the group stage have finished with fewer than three goals as the favourites have recorded five 1-0 and five 2-0 victories.

Recommendation: -2.5 goals at 2.10, Paddy Power


Brazil (1) v Ivory Coast (21) (Sun, 19:00)

The Samba Boys failed to start a World Cup party against a well drilled North Korean side in their first match as they eked out a 2-1 win with several of their stars – most notably Kaka – looking well below their best. Next up for the top ranked team is Sven-Goran Eriksson’s Elephants who seemed content to take a nil-nil draw in their opener as they packed the defence.

Brazil have a 100% finals record against African nations with five wins out of five, all of which have been achieved to-nil with four 3-0 wins and four W/W doubles.

Brazil have not lost a World Cup game since 1970 to a team ranked 11-30 with 22 wins in 25 games of which 14 were by two-clear goals, 12 were to-nil and eight were by the D/W double. In fact they’ve won the second half in 19 of these matches compared to just 12 first half wins. They’ve also got a formidable second match record at the World Cup having won their opener, with eight wins out of eight and 19 goals scored to just one conceded, winning the second half to-nil on seven occasions.

Ivory Coast played out a goalless draw with Portugal in their opener in a very poor game with few chances. This represented the first time they’d avoided defeat against a top-10 side at a finals competition having lost 2-1 to both Argentina and the Netherlands at the last World Cup.

South American teams have won 12/19 World Cup games against African sides and the second half in 10. Top-five ranked sides have won 65% (43/66) World Cup opening group matches against teams ranked 11-30 with 47% W/Ws and 53% having fewer than three goals. Also, top-five teams are unbeaten in the 17 second World Cup matches in this sample with 11 wins.

Recommendation: Brazil to win the second half at 2.10, Coral
                                   Brazil D/W at 5.20, Betfair


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