There are three more matches scheduled in the World Cup today, starting with Portugal’s clash with Morocco.
The Africans played well in their first match but couldn’t get past a resolute Iranian defence, and then were mugged in injury time. And things don’t get any easier, as they now face a Cristiano Ronaldo-inspired Portugal.
The Portuguese will be flying after their late draw with the Spanish, particularly their key player. It looks like Ronaldo wants to use this stage to cement his status as the best player in the world, and we look for him to shoot on sight. As a result we’ll take the 11/2 on offer at Paddy Power that he scores from outside the penalty area.
The next game sees Uruguay take on Saudi Arabia, with the famed South American frontline looking to improve from their first outing.
Uruguay snatched a late win against Egypt in their first match but their forwards of Luis Suarez and Edinson Cavani underwhelmed. They get the chance to put this behind them in the shape of the Saudis, who were dire in conceding five in the World Cup opener.
We thought Suarez looked short of fitness (maybe he will come on for the outing) so we’ll take Cavani to use his physical presence and score a header against this porous Saudi defence.
Last up are Spain, as they attempt to put Iran to the sword.
The Spanish may have been disappointed with the draw with Portugal but it should be remembered that they played very well for large parts of that game. A similar performance and it’s difficult to see how Iran can stay close.
The Spanish could shake up their side to give some other players from their talented squad a game, but they will be aware of the paramount need for a win.
With this in mind, we expect Spain to go for the jugular early and build up a healthy lead before resting some of their stars. We’ll take a punt that Spain win by more than a two goal handicap.
Portugal/Morocco: Ronaldo to score from outside the penalty area, 1 pt, at 11/2, Paddy Power
Uruguay/Saudi Arabia: Cavani to score with his head, 1 pt, at 9/1, Paddy Power
Spain/Iran: Spain to win despite a two goal handicap, 1 pt, at 9/4, Paddy Power
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