as great as we are, we tipsters gotta eat too

Thursday, June 26, 2008


<3.30> <3.07> <2.00>

russia have burnt a hole in the pockets of many with their shock win over the dutch. i advised caution in that match, but truth be told, i still expected the dutch to progress. now for spain. can they overcome the russians? they have looked like world-beaters since the return of arshavin, and early movement in the singapore pools odds indicates a few people predicting a russian win/draw in this one. in team news, kolodin and torbinsky are suspended, but i doubt this will affect russia much. kolodin will be replaced by berezutskiy, while torbinsky's absence merely limits hiddink's options off the bench. spain, though, are expected to start with cesc fabregas, and i think this is the key. xavi looks like a loser, and sometimes plays like one. i fancy spain to win this one.

- Eddy's predictions: $5 on spain to qualify for finals @ 1.55 = $7.75
$5 on spain @ 2.00 = $10.00
$5 on spain to score 1st goal @ 1.80 = $9.00

This will be a great football match. Spain, with their precise build up play versus Russia with deadly fast counter attacks. Forget the 4-1 trashing in the group stages, that will not happen again. Russia have been growing in confidence, winning the next 3 games 1-0, 2-0 and then 3-1. Spain have, conversely, shown a dip in form as defences tighten up in the later stages of the group and looked out of inspiration in their 0-0 draw against Italy. Form wise Russia wins hands down as they're definitely the team with more confidence, but I feel that the Russians were only able to defeat the Dutch due to the latter team's utterly shite defending. Spain have shown that they are capable of defending with Puyol marshalling the defensive line superbly (even though I think he's over the hill) and Iker Casillas is a great presence in goal. The Dutch also could have scored 32094324 goals if not for some poor finishing and lack of killer instinct - so many set plays were poorly defended by the Russians and were not cleared. While Spain aren't notably good at set plays, I think the mobility of front duo Torres and David Villa will exploit the spaces left behind by the Russian's Anyukov and Zhirkov and Spain will nick this game. After all, the Dutch didn't have the most mobile of strikers in Ruud van Nistelrooy and the Russians could defend easily by massing numbers. A tight draw is also likely but I think Spain will go through in the end.

- Roland's prediction: $10 on Spain Qualify @ 1.55 = $15.50
$5 on Spain @ 2.00 = $10.00
$5 on Draw @ 3.07 = $15.35

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