We are now at the Quarter-Final stage – and after giving the RO16 a miss, we return for one final Acca!
With England into this stage for the first time in 12 years, the interest is at an all-time high – and with that the betting industry is no doubt booming.
France vs Uruguay, Brazil vs Belgium, Sweden vs England + Croatia vs Russia – this should be very entertaining!
Here is my 4-Fold, paying 30/1:
Uruguay vs France: France Over 1.5 Team Goals @ 11/8 (Friday)
France were part of perhaps the game of the tournament – a 7 goal thriller vs Argentina, ending in a 4-3 win. Argentina’s poor defending made France look very good, perhaps better than they’ve been after struggling against France, Peru and Denmark. Uruguay have the toughest defence that they will have faced – but with no Cavani, who is likely to be on the bench due to injury – Uruguay could be a little toothless.
They also have a very inexperienced midfield, and France have the more physical players with the likes of Kante, Pogba and Matuidi – however I believe the latter is banned. Godin and Gimenez provide a stern centre back pairing, Caceres a little immobile at right back and Laxalt a more attacking left back – there are opportunities to expose them.
Equally, Uruguay, without Cavani – don’t have the weapons that Argentina did – so I don’t see them conceding 3 goals again. Should be a much tighter game, I can see France coming out on top whilst scoring a couple of goals.
Brazil vs Belgium: BTTS + Over 2.5 Goals @ 5/4 (Friday)
This should be a cracker! So many battles all over the pitch…although Belgium can’t afford to give Brazil a 2-goal head start like they did with Japan. Lukaku is likely to give Silva and Miranda the biggest test so far – they may not be keen on the level of physicality he will give. Hazard vs Fagner will be interesting, while the likes of Neymar/Willian will no doubt be looking forward to facing Meunier/Carrasco – mainly due to the fact that defensively they have not been brilliant so far.
For me, the obvious market is BTTS + Over 2.5 @ 5/4 – should be a goal-fest!
Sweden vs England: England Over 1.5 Team Goals @ 5/4 (Saturday)
This may look a little over confident…but I think its a good bet.
In South Korea and Germany, Sweden faced teams with relatively little pace and were pretty untroubled for the vast majority of the games, although they lost to Germany. They struggled against Korea in terms of getting goals, and let’s be honest – England are a much better team that Korea. They did however dismantle Mexico which was very impressive.
England are a difficult one. Looked decent against Tunisia in patches, Panama was a good performance (however, against a pub team) and obviously Belgium was a 2nd string. Colombia was the first real test, and they were moments away from a 1-0 win inside 90 minutes. They dealt with the physicality and often cheating from the Colombians, and looked much the better side for long periods.
The difference this time is Sweden won’t hit England with anything near the pace Colombia did, but probably allow England plenty of the ball and use set-pieces well. Weather Sweden can deal with the pace of the English fullbacks, and the likes of Sterling/Lingard – and the physicality of Kane. England are favourites, and if they play like they can and have – they should win this.
Whoever thought this would be said of an England team in the Quarter Finals!
Russia vs Croatia: Croatia Over 1.5 Team Goals @ 13/8 (Saturday)
For me, Croatia should sail through this. Denmark was a tough game, but for me Russia are not as capable at the back – look at the other game where Russia faced a threat of pace in the Uruguay game and they were taken apart.
Spain had no pace – they relied on passing and couldn’t unlock a flat back 11. The second Rodrigo came on, they nearly conceded. Croatia have pace, as well as the passing game. Rebic, Perisic and Pjaca have the speed to unlock Russia, and with Modric/Rakitic sat in behind, as well as no Golovin for Russia – I think it could be the end of the line for Russia.
Best of luck