World Cup: Heads up, England…

Today sees the completion of the last sixteen games in the World Cup, with firstly Sweden taking on Switzerland.

Both these teams have the reputation of playing safety first, set piece-dominated football. Thus, this game doesn’t look like being a scoring bonanza.

We’ve looked at various anytime goal scorer options, i.e. Sweden’s Andreas Granqvist and Switzerland’s Ricardo Rodriguez, but with such low goal expectations we think there’s better value elsewhere.

These two teams look equally matched, and with two of the six knockout matches to date having gone to penalties, we think 4/1 that either team wins in that method offers value.

The second game is the big one, can England win a knockout game in the World Cup? It’s Colombia that will be trying to stop them.

This England side have effectively played two matches in this tournament (ignoring the second choice team that was put out to face Belgium). In the first game (vs. Tunisia) Harry Maguire looked extremely dangerous from set pieces. Panama, in the second, recognised this, marked (?) him tightly resulting in two headed goals for fellow center back John Stones and two penalties!

William Hill offers 12/1 that either Stones, Maguire or Kyle Walker head a goal in the 90 minutes. We think this offers value.

In a similar vein, in a game where we think set piece chaos is the route to England victory, the 80/1 that Paddy Power offers that Stones assists a goal at any time seems too big to turn down. Maguire is at 10/1 and Walker at 11/2 in the same market. Lump on!

Recommendations:

Sweden/Switzerland: Either team to win on penalties, 1 pt, at 4/1, SkyBet

England/Colombia:

Maguire, Stones or Walker to score a header, 1 pt, at 12/1, William Hill 

Stones to assist at anytime, 1 pt, at 80/1, Paddy Power 

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