Football / Preview / World Cup Tournament Update

World Cup: Tournament Update

As the World Cup reaches the quarter-final stage we re-visit our pre-tournament recommendations and uncover more value selections.

Luis Suarez celebrates scoring for Uruguay


Outright Tournament Update

Netherlands (Bettorlogic ranking 2)  Brazil (1)
Uruguay (7)  Ghana (34)
Argentina (3) Germany  (5)
Paraguay  (11) Spain (2)  

Since 1970, teams ranked 5-15 places higher against their quarter-final opponents, as Uruguay are, have won 21 of the 50 such quarter-finals in 90 minutes and 17 of those teams made it to the final. Of the 16 teams that were level after 90 minutes, five failed to qualify and only five made the final.

There have been 13 quarter-finals between closely ranked teams (separated by 1-2 ranking points) since 1970 and nine of the matches have been all square after 90 minutes. Of the four that did win in normal time, only one has subsequently won their respective tournament (Brazil 1970 World Cup).

Spain are the 18th team since the 1970 World Cup to lose their opening match and qualify for the knockout stage. Only two of the 17 teams (Italy 1994 and Argentina 1990) have reached the final.

Prior to Spain and Germany’s losses in the group stage, 22 top-five ranked teams had suffered a defeat at a similar stage since the 1970 World Cup. Only Italy in 1974 subsequently won the tournament and since the abolishment of the second group stage, only 5/16 made it to the semi-finals (all were finalists).   

Argentina and the Netherlands had 100% records in the group stage and of the 18 teams with similar records since the 1970 World Cup, three have won the tournament (the only finalists) and another six have made the semi-finals.

In the six previous World Cup Finals that had 16 knockout matches, 31% of matches have gone to extra-time and 20 of those 30 resulted in a penalty shoot-out. In the four World Cups that have had two draws in the Last 16 stage, as this one has had, at least one of the quarter-final matches went to extra time and half were contested by closely ranked teams similar to the Brazil and Argentina matches.

There have been 19 quarter-final matches between South American and non-South American teams (W7-D6-L6). South American teams have won only one of the five penalty shoot-outs.

Since 1970, Brazil have won 6/9 penalty shoot-outs, the Netherlands 1/5, Argentina 5/8, Germany 5/6, Uruguay 3/7, Ghana 1/2, Paraguay 1/3, Spain 3/6. Teams ranked 1-10 places higher have won only 39% of penalty shoot-outs since 1970.


Uruguay to reach the Final 6.20, Betfair
Lay Spain to reach the Final 2.30, Betfair
In a penalty shoot-out back the lower ranked team

Already recommended

Brazil to win 5.0 Stan James (money back if Spain win)
Germany to reach semi-finals 3.4 Tote Sport 


Golden Shoe Update

Since 1986, there have been eight leaders or co-leaders left in at this stage (in 1994 the leader at this point was already out) with three of the players finishing first and the other five second. Moreover, four of the five who finished runners-up were knocked out in the quarters while two of the three that progressed were winners. The other three winners in this time actually came from two off the lead, but they are the only 3/23 to make it into the top two and on each occasion there were no more than two players with more goals than them – this time they’d have to overtake six.

Given this, both Villa (3.20) and Higuain (4.00) look to offer some value with Villa rightfully favourite given Spain’s easier quarter-final. However, if you’d followed our pre-tournament recommendation to back Villa now might be the time to take some cover on the Argentine. Of the rest, Luis Suarez (15) looks to offer better value than Luis Fabiano (6.50) given both have a similar chance of advancing to the semis, although in both cases it looks likely that they’ll be fighting for the place money.

No recommendation


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