BEN CLEMINSON PREVIEWS FRANCE V BOSNIA
IF YOU like lumping on short-priced favourites then there’s plenty to get stuck into over the weekend. Italy at 4/7, Ecuador at 8/11, Argentina at 1/7 and Germany at 1/4 aren’t really my idea of great value punting, though, and I’m happy to just watch those jollies in their respective clashes.
However, there are a couple of favourites at more backable prices that are worth a second look at, namely FRANCE against neighbours Switzerland and BOSNIA versus Nigeria.
The French were my tip for the top European side at the World Cup and, despite impressive starts by Holland and Germany, that bet has got off to a good start. They ultimately outclassed Honduras on Sunday and I don’t think the red card for the Central American’s really impacted the result.
It was also a cracking start for one of my Golden Boot hopes, Karim Benzema, with the striker hitting a brace. That will have his confidence sky-high heading into the clash with the Swiss tonight.
Switzerland weren’t great in their opener and needed a last-gasp winner to overcome Ecuador. They are likely to frustrate the French attack for long periods, but Paul Pogba, Yohan Cabaye and Benzema should unlock the defence and I’d be surprised if they couldn’t justify favouritism at 4/5 with Paddy Power.
Bosnia gave Argentina a real game in their Group F curtain-raiser and might consider themselves unlucky not to have got a point. They have real quality up front with Edin Dzeko and Vedad Ibisevic and should be too strong for a Nigeria team that failed to breach Iran’s defence in a dull stalemate on Monday.
The 19/20 with Paddy Power for a Bosnia win is more than fair and I wouldn’t put you off buying their supremacy at 0.65 with Sporting Index. The Balkan team hit 30 goals in qualifying and will find this assignment far easier than facing off against Lionel Messi and Co.
The France/Bosnia double pays just over 5/2.
On Sunday the USA look a big price at 4/1 with Star Sports available to beat a Portugal team who capitulated against Germany. They were 2-0 down before Pepe’s stupid sending off and, simply put, don’t look very good.
Cristiano Ronaldo isn’t fully fit and reports of another injury setback this week doesn’t inspire confidence for Sunday’s must-win game against the Americans.
Jurgen Klinsmann’s side are very well-organised and play some attractive football. They needed a late goal to beat Ghana but the Black Stars are useful themselves.
Like their Iberian neighbours Spain, Portugal’s World Cup hopes look over and whether they have the heart or the quality to put in a shift against USA looks debatable. The 4/1 looks worth chancing.
France to beat Switzerland at 4/5 with Paddy Power
Bosnia to beat Nigeria at 19/20 with Paddy Power
Buy Bosnia supremacy at 0.65 with Sporting Index
USA to beat Portugal at the 4/1 with Star Sports