Football / Preview / World Cup Tuesday 22Nd June

World Cup: Tuesday 22nd June

Groups A and B conclude on Tuesday where a draw between Uruguay and Mexico would send them both through, but knock France out.

Uruguay's Diego Forlan



Mexico (Bettorlogic rank 11) v Uruguay (13) (Tues, 15:00)

A draw here would send both teams through, however that would leave Uruguay as group winners and therefore likely to avoid Argentina in the next round, so there is an incentive for Mexico to go for the win and win the group.

Mexico have lost just 1/13 World Cup group matches with six wins and both teams scoring in 10 of those matches (seven +2.5 goals). They’ve also lost just 1/7 World Cup group matches against teams with a Bettorlogic ranking of 11-30 since 1970 (W4-D2-L1) and have won 9/11 finals matches against teams of this rank since 1999, including beating Uruguay 3-1 in the consolation match of the 2007 Copa America. Also, higher ranked teams from CONCACAF have won 17/31 (55%) finals matches against CONMEBOL teams, with just six defeats and 18 of the matches had +2.5 goals.

Since 2000 Uruguay have W4-D3-L4 in finals matches against teams ranked 11-30 with the last nine matches all seeing both teams score and at least three goals. Uruguay have lost only 2/9 finals matches against higher ranked opposition (W3-D4-L2) since 2004, although 8/9 matches saw both teams find the net and seven had +2.5 goals.

Since 1991 there have been 11 final first group matches between two teams with four points with the lower ranked team going W4-D4-L3. Five of these matches had at least three goals and six saw both teams score, while just three were level at half-time.

Recommendation: Over 2.5 goals 3.55, Betfair


France (8) v South Africa (83) (Tues, 15:00)

France have been terrible so far as they’ve failed to find the net in their opening two games and should the other group game finish in a draw they will go home. In fact a one-goal win for either of the other teams would still leave France needing to win here by four.

With France needing goals they should be very attacking but given Domenech’s lack of action against Mexico that can’t be taken for granted here. Back to the 2002 World Cup France have failed to score in 8/14 finals group matches as they’ve won just three times and none by more than two goals.

However, they’ve won both of their finals matches against teams ranked 51+, although both were goalless at half-time, and France have won 5/8 finals matches against teams ranked 30+ places below them. Also, 3/4 top-10 teams to win fewer than two points in their opening two games have won their third when playing a side at least 30 places below them.

Since the 2002 World Cup South Africa have lost 7/14 finals matches including 2/3 against top-20 ranked sides and the home support was not enough to make up for their deficiencies in their last game against Uruguay. Moreover, hosts ranked 51+ have lost 10/19 finals matches against teams ranked in the top 30 since 1970, including 7/11 excluding opening matches.

Recommendation: France Win 2.05, Boyles


Nigeria (40) v South Korea (38) (Tues, 19:30)

Nigeria need to beat South Korea by two-clear goals and then hope Argentina beat Greece if they are to qualify, while South Korea will almost certainly go through should they avoid defeat or lose by just one and Argentina beat Greece.

Nigeria have not won any of their last seven World Cup matches with six defeats and four matches having +2.5 goals. Also, they lost all three of their matches at this year’s African Cup of Nations against teams ranked 31-50.

South Korea won their only previous finals match against a team ranked 31-50 although they had the advantage of being at home on that occasion. However, they’ve won their only finals match as the higher ranked team and that was on neutral territory at the last World Cup. Worryingly for South Korea they’ve failed to win any of six matches after a defeat, with four further losses, although all those matches were against top-25 ranked sides.

Teams that lost their opening two World Cup matches have lost 7/8 final group games against teams that had taken three points from their first two games, including all five when their opponent had won their first game and lost their second. Teams ranked 1-10 places below their opponents have lost 19/43 (44%) final first group matches at the World Cup.

Recommendation: South Korea Win 2.63, Boyles


Argentina (10) v Greece (27) (Tues, 19:30)

Argentina are already qualified and will almost certainly top the group while the Greeks really need at least a point from this game and then hope Nigeria win their match if they are to progress.

This is the fifth time since 1970 that Argentina have won their opening two World Cup matches and in the four previous times they’ve scored just one goal in their four final group games as all four matches have had -2.5 goals. However, should Maradona rotate his squad he can still play a second choice front three of Aguero, Milito and Palermo.

However, top-10 teams that won their first two games have won 7/9 final first group-stage games at the World Cup when playing teams ranked 21-50, with 5/9 matches having -2.5 goals, although just two of the wins were by more than a single goal.

This is only Greece’s second World Cup and they’d lost all four matches before benefitting from an extra-man advantage to beat Nigeria in their previous game and after going a man up they showed a bit of creativity having been desperately poor in their first game.

Recommendation: -2.5 goals 1.90, Betfair

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