World Cup 2018, Russia - An Ante-post bet for Every Country Challenge - join in!!!

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World Cup 2018, Russia - An Ante-post bet for Every Country Challenge - join in!!!

Postby tbuckley » Tue May 22, 2018 12:22 am

Hello there, those of you that know me and have come across me on here before will know that I like to take on different types of betting challenges including in the past doing An Ante-post bet for Every Country Challenge at the last World Cup & the last European Championships

For anybody interested here is the link to the Challenge I did for 2014 World Cup :-

https://www.olbg.com/blogs/post.php?id=407135

The basis of the Challenge is that I have to assess the wide & varied range of ante-post markets for the World Cup and come up with an Ante-post bet for each of the 32 countries at Russia 2018, those bets could be top group goalscorer, Stage of Elimination, To Win the Group, Outright Tournament winner, Tournament Match Bets, Total Group points or indeed any of the hundreds of markets available across the wide range of bookmakers available today.

So here we go, I'll go through each Group and select an ante-post bet for Every Country, it's as much about having an interest in every country to add more interest to all the games instead of a select few, of course hopefully the bets selected will deliver as well.

Group A :- Uruguay, Russia, Egypt & Saudia Arabia

Uruguay :- URUGUAY TO WIN GROUP A at Evens - Any country that can boast Suarez, Cavani & Godin amongst their ranks have to given serious respect and in my opinion the safest, most solid looking Uruguay based bet is for URUGUAY to win Group A at Evens, I would fancy Uruguay to beat Russia & Saudia Arabia, if they open up the group with a win against Egypt then that could basically guarantee them the group win straight away.

Russia :- ELIMINATED IN GROUP STAGE at 2/1 - It is often said that the hosts of any major tournament have to be respected & many have gone on to out perform expectations but I don't see any justification in believing Russia will do anything this tournament as their squad is one of the weakest Russian squads for some time and is also an ageing squad, they don't have the talent that Uruguay have and Egypt look stronger, so RUSSIA ELIMINATED IN GROUP STAGE at 2/1 looks good to me.

Egypt :- EGYPT TO PROGRESS FURTHER THAN RUSSIA at 7/4 - We all know that the absolute focus from an Egyptian perspective will be on the brilliance of Mo Salah, the biggest stage of all will be set for him to show what he can do and if he does then Egypt should at least extend their stay at the World Cup beyond the Group stage.

Egypt are a solid, well organised team and they have the brilliance of Salah who can make the difference, Russia don't have anything like the talent of Salah within their squad and they don't have the same solidity, I really can't see the justification for pricing Russia up so short, it's much closer than the odds suggest and Egypt have a better chance than the odds suggest.

Saudi Arabia :- DOUBLE CHANCE SAUDI ARABIA or DRAW vs Russia at 9/4 :- I must say that I don't envisage Saudi Arabia having too long a stay in Russia & they are very short price to finish bottom of Group A, however I think it's worth risking that they can get something to at least give them some joy and I feel their best chance lies in the opening match against Russia, yes Russia are the hosts & will be expected to win but I don't think Russia are as good as the odd suggest and I think it's worth risking Saudi Arabia can get a result in the opening match, it's 9/4 Saudi Arabia Double Chance against Russia and that looks worth risking.


Group B :- Spain, Portugal, Morocco, Iran

Spain :- Exact Group Finish :- Spain 1st, Portugal 2nd, Morocco 3rd & Iran 4th at 7/2 :- We all know about the incredible talent within the Spanish squad, indeed there is plenty of top talent not even in the squad so no doubt Spain are major players at the World Cup and will be hard to beat.

Getting any kind of betting value involving Spain is tough, Spain to win Group B at 1/2 looks rock solid and I can't oppose that, that said I think there is scope in trying to predict the Exact Group Finish and for Group B to finish in Betting Order as noted looks fair at 7/2.

Portugal :- GROUP FORECAST Spain 1st & Portugal 2nd at 5/4 :- Nothing special about this bet in terms of the odds but I honestly think Spain to Group A & Portugal to finish 2nd is one of the most solid looking Group Forecasts at the World Cup and 5/4 is fair enough, the other bet that tempted me was Portugal to get Eliminated in 2nd round at 13/8 but they've proven they can get through big matches & so it's no impossible they go further than the 2nd Round.

Morocco :- MOROCCO to beat Iran at 5/4 :- I won't claim to too much about Morocco given they are up against Spain & Portugal then they will surely see the opening group match against Iran as their best chance to enjoy some success at the World Cup, Morocco have enough to edge out Iran in the opening match.

Iran :- IRAN TO LOSE ALL GROUP GAMES at 7/2 :- Sorry for any Iran fans reading this but Iran are 1/6 to finish bottom of Group B for a reason, their main strength is defensive organisation but they lack goals and I think they'll end up finishing bottom by potentially losing all 3 group matches and at 7/2 it's worth risking that happens.


Group C :- France, Denmark, Peru, Australia

France :- FRANCE TO WIN WORLD CUP at 13/2 - Each Way 1/2 odds 2 places - Although the French let me & millions of punters down by failing to win the Euros in their own country, I'm prepared to forgive them that and for me FRANCE have a squad that gives them every chance of going one better this time.

The France squad is absolutely rammed with quality, creativity & goals and while they do face serious competition from the likes of Brazil, Germany & Spain, I'd rather take the chance on France Each Way at 13/2 than I would Brazil at 4/1 or Germany 9/2, I believe the likes of Griezman & Pogba can fire France to World Cup glory.

Denmark :- TO BE ELIMINATED IN LAST 16 at 7/4 :- Denmark are clear 2nd favourites in Group C and it will be something of a shock if they can't follow France out of Group C, after that though I don't envisage their World Cup last too much longer and Denmark to get knocked out in the 2nd round at 7/4 looks solid, I just don't see Denmark as Quarter Finalists or better.

Peru :- Exact Group Finish :- France 1st, Denmark 2nd, Peru 3rd & Australia 4th at 10/3 - Given that I'm convinced France will win Group C and that Denmark will follow them through, the obvious first option for Peru was Eliminated in Group Stage at 2/5 but while seemingly rock solid that's a little short for an interest bet so I'll take a punt on Exact Group Finish market as suggested, I think Peru will be strong enough to secure 3rd spot.

Australia :- TO FINISH BOTTOM OF GROUP C at 4/5 - sorry Australian fans for this prediction & bet but I do think given the relative quality within each squad in Group C then Australia look to have the worst squad and 4/5 on offer for Australia to finish Bottom of the group isn't bad at all compared to the same markets in other groups that have a similar profile.

Australia To Lose All Group stage matches at 4/1 was also tempting but they might just pull of a draw somewhere so that's why I didn't nominate that bet in the end.


Group D :- Argentina, Croatia, Nigeria, Iceland

Argentina - OVER 4.5 GROUP GOALS at 8/11 :- When I first looked at this group I did think there was real scope for goals & given the attacking quality within the Argentina squad I do expect Argentina to get more than their fair share in the group stage.

So while Argentina to Win the Group at 8/13 looks solid & worth backing, I do prefer the 8/11 on offer for OVER 4.5 GROUP GOALS, surely Messi & co will deliver at least 5 goals in the 3 group stage matches.

Croatia :- GROUP FORECAST - ARGENTINA 1st & CROATIA 2nd at 15/8 :- Croatia have plenty of quality within their ranks & for me they look a clear 2nd best in Group D, they should have the beating of Iceland & Nigeria and should have enough to finish 2nd, on that basis a Straight Group Forecast of Argentina 1st & Croatia 2nd at 15/8 looks reasonable, it could quite easily be a bit shorter than that.

Nigeria :- NIGERIA to finish 3rd in Group D at 7/4 :- Given that I fully expect Argentina & Croatia to fill the top 2 places in Group D, that leaves Nigeria & Iceland to decide who finishes 3rd, the odds suggest it's a coin flip but I believe Nigeria have more quality and I think they can beat Iceland in the 2nd group match, that should seal the deal.

Iceland :- LOSE ALL GROUP STAGE MATCHES at 5/1 :- Mention Iceland to people & they instantly think of the Thunderclap celebrations & of them humiliating England and what they achieved at the Euros does indeed command respect.

That said I personally don't believe they have any realistic chance in Group D and I'll be hugely surprised if they don't finish Bottom of Group D, you can get 11/10 on that happening and that's fair, however a different line of attack at a bigger price could be to risk ICELAND LOSING ALL GROUP MATCHES at 5/1, or you can go EXACT GROUP FINISH bet of Argentina 1st, Croatia 2nd, Nigeria 3rd & Iceland 4th at 9/2.



Group E :- Brazil, Serbia, Switzerland, Costa Rica

Brazil :- GABRIEL JESUS GOLDEN BOOT WINNER Each Way at 18/1 (1/4 odds 4 places) - Brazil are 4/1 favourites to win the World Cup, 2/7 to win Group and basically pretty short for most of the markets so trying to find a Brazil based bet that offers interest & some betting value is tough.

One option that is tempting & does offer some value is the Golden Boot Market with Brazil likely to create & score plenty of goals, their obvious contender is their star Neymar and he's 10/1 shot, if he's fit and firing he could well be the player they all have to beat but at near double the odds is teammate GABRIEL JESUS has to be given some sort of chance, with 4 places on offer for Each Way he's tempting at 18/1 to fire the goals in for Brazil.

Serbia :- STAGE OF ELIMINATION 2nd round at 2/1 :- Bookmakers have Serbia as 3rd favourites behind Brazil & Switzerland in Group E but I personally believe it's basically a 50/50 call between Serbia & Switzerland as to who will follow Brazil through into the 2nd round.

On that basis I'd rather be on Serbia at bigger odds & you can get 6/5 that they qualify from the Group, if they do that then I think it's worth taking a chance on the 2nd round being as far as they go & 2nd ROUND ELIMINATION for SERBIA is 2/1.

Switzerland :- Exact Group Finish :- Brazil 1st, Serbia 2nd, Switzerland 3rd & Costa Rica 4th at 4/1 :- I've already stated that I think it's a coin flip for 2nd & 3rd place between Serbia & Switzerland but ultimately went for Serbia to finish 2nd, so that means Switzerland for 3rd and Costa Rica 4th, that pays 4/1 and I think that has every chance of collecting.

Costa Rica :- Costa Rica to Finish Last in Group at 5/6 :- Given what I've said for the other teams in this Group, I think Costa Rica to come last has to be the obvious, solid looking play, while Costa Rica will put up a fight, I just don't think they've got the quality to and it looks tough for them to get anything.



Group F :- Germany, Mexico, Sweden, Korea Republic

Germany :- OVER 5.5 GROUP GOALS at 8/13 :- Germany are generally 9/2 second favourites to retain the World Cup and we all know their incredible, proven ability to peform at major tournaments so they are clearly a major threat to everybody else.

As with the other strong fancies to win it outright, it makes Germany seriously short to win their Group and there is no point in tipping up Germany at 1/3 to win the Group, they will do that but I'd rather have a bet that gives me a different interest in the Germany matches and I like the look of GERMANY TO SCORE OVER 5.5 GROUP GOALS at 8/13 as they will surely do that in a group consisting of Mexico, Germany & Korea Republic, they effectively need to score 2 per group game and that should be achievable.

Mexico :- Group Forecast, Germany 1st & Mexico 2nd at 9/4 :- I will be massively shocked if Germany don't win Group F easily & if Korea Republic don't finish last in the Group. That leaves Mexico & Sweden to fight for 2nd & 3rd and on balance I like Mexico to edge Sweden out, Mexico to Qualify at 11/10 was tempting but given that I think they will finish 2nd to Germany then the Group Forecast of Germany/Mexico at 9/4 looks worth backing.

Sweden :- SWEDEN TO FINISH 3rd in Group at 15/8 :- This bet is based on everything I've already covered in this Group, Germany to win it, Mexico 2nd so that should see Sweden achieve 3rd place, sounds simplistic but I think it will be in this group.

Korea Republic :- Group Exact Finish Germany 1st, Mexico 2nd, Sweden 3rd, Korea Republic 4th at 4/1


Group G :- Belgium, England, Tunisia, Panama

Belgium :- BELGIUM to Win Group G at 4/5 :- sometimes in football it's just best to keep things simple & as far as I'm concerned I don't see any other outcome apart from Belgium winning Group G and I think 4/5 is very fair, I'd back them at shorter given all of their fantastic quality and I don't see how they won't be the best side in Group G.

England :- ENGLAND to finish 3rd in Group G at 7/1 :- Now most of you reading this will think I've gone mad in thinking & then publically saying that I don't think England will finish in the top 2 but I honestly believe there are real grounds to take England on.

I don't think they are 11/10 shots to win the Group and I don't believe they should be as short as they are to qualify, England have a history of failing miserably at major tournaments and I wouldn't be at all surprised if suffered more nightmares in Russia.

Yes it's risky believing that Tunisia or Panama will finish above England but I can see a scenario where England fail to one of them, and I wouldn't be confident they'd win any of their matches just as they failed to win any in the last World Cup.

Shocks do happen in the World Cup group stages and I think this could be one of them.

Tunisia :- Group Forecast Belgium 1st & Tunisia 2nd at 10/1 :- The shock predictions continue in this Group and given that I've gone with England to finish 3rd that means either Tunisia or Panama can get 2nd, Tunisia are better than Panama and could well be the team to shock England in the opener, if they do that then suddenly that 10/1 on Tunisia to finish 2nd will look huge - a back up bet to this that I was considering was Tunisia win Or Draw Double Chance against England at 21/10 as Tunisia will be set up to absolutely stop & frustrate England.

Panama :- Panama to Finish Bottom of Group G at 4/9 looks solid, also tempted with Exact Group Finish Belgium 1st, Tunisia 2nd, England 3rd & Panama 4th at 12/1, I know England fans will hate me for saying all this but look at this way, if England flop again at least we make money, again!!!


Group H :- Colombia, Poland, Senegal, Japan

Colombia :- Over 3.5 Group Goals at 4/6 :- I'll confess and admit that this Group really has confused me and made it very difficult to have confident, clear opinions on any of the sides, well apart from Japan probably will finish last.

To me this group looks the most open of them all and I can honestly see any combination of teams, Colombia do have attacking talent and there should be goals in this Group, Colombia to score Over 3.5 Group goals looks solid at 4/6, as long as they score 4 or more goals I'll be happy wherever they finish.

Poland :- FINISH 3RD in Group H at 11/4 :- Given that Poland are only 4/7 to qualify suggests that I'm barking up the wrong tree in taking Poland on but this group looks wide open & therefore the odds are there to be upset and shocks can happen. Poland To be Eliminated in Group stage is 13/10 and that is tempting, but you can back Poland to Finish 3rd in Group H at 11/4 and that looks better as if Poland don't qualify I'd still have them to finish above Japan.

Japan :- JAPAN to Finish Last in Group H at 9/4 :- Group H is wide open and looks hard to be seriously confident about but on balance Japan look the weakest side and most likely to finish bottom, so Japan to Finish Bottom at 9/4 looks fair enough.



PHEW!!! :phew: - I've finally finished it, that's my take on the Ante-post Bet for Every Country Challenge, I hope people find it to be interesting and useful in some way, whether that be through making you aware of markets you didn't know existed, whether you agree and will back them or want to take me on and think I need help given some of my bets, either way I just hope you get something positive from it and of course I hope people join in.

You are welcome to take the full challenge if you want or just simply share your views about certain aspects. :win:
Loving it on OLBG, on twitter @tbuckleythinks :

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Re: World Cup 2018, Russia - An Ante-post bet for Every Country Challenge - join in!!!

Postby Micko70 » Tue May 22, 2018 11:27 pm

Top stuff as always Tommy, give me a few days (bit busy), then i will add my bits

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Re: World Cup 2018, Russia - An Ante-post bet for Every Country Challenge - join in!!!

Postby toadie21 » Thu May 24, 2018 2:25 pm

Great work Tommy. A day off work had me looking through the coupons in the bookies and one that stood out was Mané to be Senegal’s top scorer 11/4. He had a good year with Senegal last year 4 goals in 9 games but missed some games for them this year with injury but is back and in great form for Liverpool. They have avoided the “bigger” teams so should be competitive and have opportunities to score.
Good luck

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Re: World Cup 2018, Russia - An Ante-post bet for Every Country Challenge - join in!!!

Postby KanKeano » Thu May 24, 2018 10:19 pm

My thoughts...I'll add more tomorrow.

Group A - Straight Forecast - Russia (1st)/Uruguay (2nd) @ 3.50

Russia - Hosts. Have absolutely no form to fall back on going into this World Cup but expect them to be difficult to beat at home. Very rare a host fails to get out of their group (South Africa 2010) and with this favourable group draw I don't expect them to fail here. Don't play Uruguay till final match when both teams could have already qualified. - WIN ALL GROUP GAMES @ 9.00

Uruguay - Strong side - Godin, Cavani, Suarez, Gimenez etc. Qualified 2nd in the South American round robin group and will fancy their chances to top the group. Like Russia play the two weakest sides in their opening two games so may be looking to rotate in that final game. top 2 in this group are likely to face Spain or Portugal so likely to be elimated in last 16. STAGE OF ELIMINATION LAST 16 @ 2.25

Egypt - Despite being African Champions on a record seven times , it's only their third final appearance and the first since 1990. They were runners up in the 2017 African Nations but rarely played anyone outside of Africa since 2014 so it's hard to gauge their level. Lost their two friendlies against Greece and Portugal. Quite possible they lose all their games and finish bottom of the group, even with Salah. - BOTTOM OF GROUP @ 6.00

Saudi Arabia - Another side with little chance of progressing out of this group. Qualified for their fifth finals in the last 25 years but first since Germany 2006. Beat Greece and Algeria in recent friendlies and drawn against Ukraine. Not out of the realms of possibility they beat Egypt in that final group match. SAUDI ARABIA TO BEAT EGYPT @ 6.00

Group B - First group game - Portugal v Spain DRAW @ 3.54

Morocco - First appearance at the finals since 1996, they qualified from a group containing Ivory Coast without conceding a goal. Best known players are Benatia from Juve, Ziyech from Ajax and Galatasaray's Belhanda. Managed by the mecurial, suave Herve Renard who has won two African Nations since 2012 with Zambia and the Ivory Coast and he's renowned for getting the best out of his players. Unbeaten in their last 7 beating the likes of Serbia and Korea Republic so not without a chance but up against two really strong European sides in this group.- NO GOALSCORER @ 9.00

Iran - Don't profess to know much about Iran. Managed by the former No.2 to Sir Alex, Carlos Quieroz since 2011 the majority of the squad are based in Iran. However, they boast former Charlton striker Reza Ghoochannejhad who's represented the Dutch youth sides and Sardar Azmoun who is their main striking threat - 23 in 31 appearances (be worth a shout for him to be Iran's top scorer in a market that could be settled by just the one goal) Always really strong in Asia, only lost once in their last 31 matches but always find it hard to translate that form onto the world stage - qualified for the 5th time in the last 7 finals but have only ever won one group match. Never made it out the group stage. - AZMOUN (IRAN TOP GOALSCORER) @ 5.00

Spain - Will be as strong as ever and will be looking to improve on a group exit in 2014. Notoriously, slow starters they have won only 2 of their last 9 opening group matches in the World Cup (open up against their strongest opponents, Portugal). Ominously, not been beaten since their defeat at the Euros and recently put 6 past Argentina in a friendly (likely to meet again in quarter-final). Can afford to leave the Chelsea trio of Pedro, Alonso, Morata, but still boast the likes of de Gea, Ramos, Busquets, Silva, Isco, Iniesta and Costa . Apart from being Champions in 2010 they have failed to get past the quarter finals in 12 of their other 13 appearances at the finals and I can't be backing them at just 4/1 in the Winners market. A strong showing but likely to come up just short. - REACH SEMI-FINALS @ 2.38

Portugal - European Champions - they won one game in 90 minutes on their way to their 2016 triumph in France. Qualified for their fifth finals in row by topping a group containing Switzerland after losing their opening group match in Switzerland. Like their rivals Spain, they are notoriously slow starters in these types of competitions but they should have enough to get out of the group with Iran and Morocco. If they manage to achieve qualification they are at their most dangerous in the knockout stages. Any side with the Ronaldo in the team have got to have a shout of going far in the tournament. Can't believe the European Champions are 25/1 to win the tournament whilst the likes of France and Belgium are half the odds and England are shorter. They must be backed at that price.PORTUGAL - WORLD CUP WINNERS @ 26.00

Group C - Straight Forecast - France (1st)/Peru (2nd) @ 5.50

Peru - First appearance at the finals since 1982, since their great side of the late 70s/80s. Again don't profess to know much about the Peruvians but any side qualifying from the South American qualifying group must be given some respect with the likes of two time defensing South American Champions, Chile, sitting at home. Feel the runners up spot in the group is up for grabs and it should be between them and Denmark. Beaten Croatia and Iceland away from Peru in recent friendlies. Jefferson Farfan is their leading goalscorer but midfielder Edison Flores has scored 9 times in last two years and is still only 3rd in their top goalscorer market, twice the odds of Farfan - FLORES (CHILE TOP GOALSCORER) @ 6.50

France - Very strong squad but they still had worries in qualifying despite topping a group containing the Netherlands. Lost at home to Sweden and also dropped points against Luxembourg. Have talented players but question marks remain over their best players. I'm a Spurs fan and love Hugo but do not see him as a leader of men and has a habit of going missing in big games. Another to go missing in large parts of a game is Paul Pogba who has had another season at Man U where he's failed to justify the large amount of money the Old Trafford outfit spent to take him back to the club. Should be far too strong for the rest of the group and expecct them to go deep into the tournament but their ability to win it remains in question. Giroud finished the season well - Conte's decision to rest him in Chelsea's last home game against Hudderfield cost them dearly - and should be amongst the goals here. Scored 30 goals for the national side, including 9 since the start of 2017, and looks a decent shout in the tournaments top goalscoring market @ 40/1 - GIROUD (TOP GOALSCORER) @ 41.00

Australia - Really struggled to qualify for the finals this time and look to be lacking the quality of the side a decade ago. It's telling when that Tim Cahill is your best chance of doing something in this World Cup at the age of 38! Villa's Mile Jedinak will be on penalty duties so if you're looking at their top goalscorer market he's one to bear in mind. Only won 4 of their last 18 internationals. - FINISH BOTTOM OF THE GROUP @ 2.10

Denmark - Qualified for the finals by beating the Republic of Ireland in a playoff with their talisman Christian Eriksen scoring a hatrick in the game in Dublin. Most of their hopes rest on his shoulders after another fine season in the Premier League for Spurs. Lost two of their three opening group matches but since then are unbeaten. This will be their fifth appearance at the finals and they never failed to qualify for the knockout stages but it's very much a side that have done well to qualify rather than look for them to progress far in this tournament. In the long run I think that win against the Republic will be shown to be a win against a weak Irish side. May flatter to decieve. - STAGE OF ELIMINATION - GROUP STAGE @ 2.25

Group D

Argentina - Another side that struggled in qualifying and needed the brilliance of Messi in their final group match to secure qualification to Russia. Usually flatter to deceive but have still reached two Copa America finals & one World Cup final in the last 4 years so must not be dismissed. However, I find that with Messi just about running the national side the others often hide behind him. Expect them to do the same here. Defensively, not the best having just shipped 6 against Spain and are another side that are notoriously slow starters. May not even top the group but expect them to qualify. On paper a fantastic squad, in reality will be struggle to watch. Not to be trusted. - STAGE OF ELIMINATION Q/FINALS @ 4.33

Croatia - Qualified for the finals by the playoff route after finishing behind group rivals Iceland. This is their fifth appearnce in the last six World Cup finals but they failed to get out of the group in their last three appearances. A talented group of players once more but are often found wanting outside of Croatia and may struggle again here. - NOT TO QUALIFY FROM GROUP @ 2.88

Iceland - Solid team. As mentioned above qualified by topping group containing Croatia. Make the most of what they have but still have genuine quality in Sigurdsson, despite him not playing regularly for his club side Everton this season. Made the Quarter-Finals in Euro 2016 may struggle in a very competitive group here. - FINISH BOTTOM OF THE GROUP @ 2.10

Nigeria - African Champions as recently as 2013 they've qualified for their sixth finals in the last seven tournaments. Also have a history with Argentina having been paired with them on four different occasions and are yet to take a point off them in four group games but they did beat them in a recent friendly. They have a decent group of players and on their day can beat anyone so 11/1 to finish top of the group not out of the question. - FINISH TOP OF THE GROUP @ 12.00

Group E - Straight Forecast - Brazil (1st)/Switzerland (2nd) @ 2.80

Brazil - The standout side of this group. Everyone knows Brazil's record on the world stage - it's superb - but after 2014's disappointment as hosts they'll be determined to put that right. One of their star men, Neymar has not played for quite a while and it will be important he's fully fit. If he is though expect him to play a vital part of their campaignAnother important cog is coach Tite. In his 19 games as coach they've only lost once and only conceded 5 goals. They walked the South American qualifying group and I'm expecting them to lift the Jules Rimet Trophy for the sixth time in July. Notoriously quick starters, they got an exemplary record in the opening matches of the group stages having won 17 of their 18 opening two matches since 1980. As Tommy says, there's not much value in any of Brazil's odds but if they do win the tournament you'd expect Neyamr to be close to best player in the tournament. - NEYMAR JR - Golden Ball (Best Player) Award @ 13.00

Switzerland - A solid European side who looked to be topping a qualifying group containing the European Champions until the final group match. However, they did their job against Northern Ireland in the playoffs to book their place at the finals. Another side that have qualified for consecutive tournaments and they got out their finals group on three of their four appearances. Expecting them & Serbia to be fighting for the runners up spot behind Brazil but face a tough task facing Brazil in their opener and could be under pressure to beat Serbia in their second game if Serbia get a positive result in their opener. If they are to do anything they need their big players who have had disappointing seasons with their clubs sides - Shaqiri, Xhaka ( :eyebrows: ), Behrami & Rodriguez. One thing in their favour is they don't concede many. Likely to meet Germany in the last 16. - STAGE OF ELIMINATION - LAST 16 @ 3.00

Costa Rica - Surprisingly, topped their finals group in 2014 containing England, Italy and Uruguay. Then went on to reach the quarter-finals losing on penalties and remaining unbeaten. Don't expect them to do it again. Done well to qualify again through the CONCACAF qualifiers but don't score enough to offer any threat to these teams. Expect them to try to grind results out. - NO GOALSCORER @ 11.00

Serbia - They've made it back to the World Cup after missing the 2014 finals. As Yugoslavia and then with Montenegro, Serbia have a colourful history in this competition and will be fighting out with Switzerland for that runners-up spot. They qualified for the tournament by topping the Republic Of Ireland and Wales' group but decided to part with their coach at the end of their camapign. Therefore, their current coach has only been in charge for four games can't see that helping. Their main threat, Newcastle's Mitrovic, finished the qualifying campaign as their top scorer and is ending the season in form with Fulham. Expect Tadic (penalty taker) & Ljajic to be their other threats. - TADIC (SERBIA TOP GOALSCORER) @ 6.00

Group F

Germany - Champions on four occasions and alongside Brazil are probably the most consistent side in the competition's history, having reached the last four in 13 of their 21 previous appearances. Defending Champions having triumphed in Brazil in 2014 and won last summer's Confederation Cup with a 'B' side. Will be a surprise if they fail to make at least the semi-finals again and the bookies have them a very skinny EVENS to do that. Don't make mistakes in the group stage and always hit the ground running. Tend to put a marker down in the opening game. The only negatives (and it's been picky) is that I don't think Low knows his best team (too many good players) and in recent friendlies against the top sides they have struggled to win games. With odds been very skinny on Germany my best bet is WIN GROUP F @ 1.44

Mexico - Another perennial qualifier who have a nasty habit (similar to Arsenal's) of getting out of the group but losing in the last 16. Happened on their last their six apperances at the finals and could happen again. Not as strong as in previous tournaments with quite a few of their main players advancing in years - Guardado, dos Santos, Hernandez, Marquez. Got to the semi-finals of last summer's Confederation Cup and may just have enough to finish runners-up but are likely to go out again at that stage with Brazil their likely opponents. - STAGE OF ELIMINATION - LAST 16 @ 3.00

Sweden - This is their fifth appearance at the finals since 1980 and on their four previous appearances they qualified from the group on three ooccasions, their best run being to the semi-finals in '94. No Ibra in this campaign but that didn't stop them beating Italy in a playoff for these finals. They seem to be more a team now without their long time talisman spearheading their attack but I feel they'll struggle to win games at these finals. TEAM GROUP POINTS - 3-4 @ 2.15

South Korea - Sonny's team. Heung-Min Son has been brilliant for Spurs this season and his nation are making their ninth successive apperance at these finals. They've failed to win a game in five of those eight appearances and only qualified from the group twice - once on home soil in '02. Having watched them recently against Northern Ireland I can't say I'm particularly enamoured by their chances and unfortunately I feel this will be another campaign which finishes in the group stage. - HEUNG MIN SON (SOUTH KOREA TOP GOALSCORER) @ 3.50
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Re: World Cup 2018, Russia - An Ante-post bet for Every Country Challenge - join in!!!

Postby tbuckley » Thu May 24, 2018 10:35 pm

Thanks Micko, Toadie & Kankeano for your responses, I am looking forward to this World Cup and seeing how it works out, thankfully the winnings I've had on the horses in May will pay for my bets :win:

keep the bets & thoughts coming :win:
Loving it on OLBG, on twitter @tbuckleythinks :

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UnderdogsLover
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Re: World Cup 2018, Russia - An Ante-post bet for Every Country Challenge - join in!!!

Postby UnderdogsLover » Fri May 25, 2018 3:48 pm

First great work Tommy & Kankeano..
Yes that be nice read over the weekend.... :) sorted...

Yes i bet it was Tommy
PHEW!!! :phew: - I've finally finished it,
And thanks both of you..
Then can sort out a small flutter on all the groups..
Once selected them, will post them on here... :win:

Hmm :P Wonder what odds England won t make it to Ko??
Belguim be hard one, as there no easy teams now!!

Thanks and cheers.....

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Re: World Cup 2018, Russia - An Ante-post bet for Every Country Challenge - join in!!!

Postby whatarethechances » Tue May 29, 2018 9:11 am

Hi Tommy. I was hoping you would do this thread again, I certainly learned a thing or two from it 4 years ago!

One question - whats your tip for Senegal? Judging by your other comments on Group H are you backing them to qualify from the group?

For what its worth, I'll add my own thoughts below, starting with an outright selection...

Name the Finalists: Brazil/Spain @ 17.0

For me, these are the two standout teams in the tournament and providing they win their groups as they should they cannot then meet until the final. Both teams have plenty of talent, both also have a point to prove after what happened to them 4 years ago. In that respect Neymar and Co remind me of Ronaldo and Co in 2002 and the same trend that suggested a previously dominant Spain would be dumped out in the group in 2014 suggests they could roar back and reach the final this time. Both teams look a bit skinny on the Winner and To Reach the Final markets so I'll back them this way instead.

I'll post the rest of my selections a group at a time over the next few days...

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Re: World Cup 2018, Russia - An Ante-post bet for Every Country Challenge - join in!!!

Postby whatarethechances » Tue May 29, 2018 9:50 am

Group A is really baking my noodle as it appears to me to be a genuinely value-free zone! I'll come back to it later.


Group B

Spain - I've given my thoughts on Spain in the previous post. I don't expect them to have much trouble winning this group.


Portugal - Under 5.5 Group Points @ 2.0 This bet would have landed at 3 of the last 4 World Cups. Portugal have won just 2 of their last 10 matches at major tournaments since 2014 and just 4 of their last 12 GROUP STAGE matches at major tournaments since 2010. Edged out in Group G by the USA four years ago, qualified from their Euro2016 group only by a quirk of the format, I find it hard to have much confidence in them even if they are European Champions. All the same, one of the things I like about this selection is that it still has a chance to win even if Portugal do okay this time round.

As a side note, reigning European Champions used to do pretty well at the World Cup back in the 70's and 80's. From 1990 onwards, however, Spain (2010) are the only ones to have gotten past the QF stage and Germany (1998) the only other ones to even get that far.

MOROCCO - BACK Morrocco DNB vs Portugal @ 5.50 With Portugal looking potentially dodgy, if Morrocco are to make an impact in the group they have to do it in this game. This is their first World Cup since taking 4 points from their group in 1998. Recent form sees them unbeaten in 16 matches since last June with 11 wins, almost all against African teams but still, this suggests they are one of the strongest African nations atm. A comfortable win in Serbia in March also hints they could pose a threat. The only previous meeting between these teams saw Morrocco beat Portugal 3-1 at WC86. It could be worth keeping an eye on their forthcoming friendlies with Ukraine and Slovakia.

IRAN - BACK Iran +0.25AH v Morocco @ 2.0 Could it be that Iran hold the key to who qualifies from this group? Since beating USA at WC98 the only bright spots in Irans two subsequent World Cup appearances were their two meetings with African nations which both produced draws. Morroccos only World Cup meeting with an Asian/Middle Eastern nation saw them lose to Saudi Arabia in 1994.

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Re: World Cup 2018, Russia - An Ante-post bet for Every Country Challenge - join in!!!

Postby The Snail » Tue May 29, 2018 12:13 pm

Group A is really baking my noodle as it appears to me to be a genuinely value-free zone! I'll come back to it later.


Group B

Spain - I've given my thoughts on Spain in the previous post. I don't expect them to have much trouble winning this group.


Portugal - Under 5.5 Group Points @ 2.0 This bet would have landed at 3 of the last 4 World Cups. Portugal have won just 2 of their last 10 matches at major tournaments since 2014 and just 4 of their last 12 GROUP STAGE matches at major tournaments since 2010. Edged out in Group G by the USA four years ago, qualified from their Euro2016 group only by a quirk of the format, I find it hard to have much confidence in them even if they are European Champions. All the same, one of the things I like about this selection is that it still has a chance to win even if Portugal do okay this time round.

As a side note, reigning European Champions used to do pretty well at the World Cup back in the 70's and 80's. From 1990 onwards, however, Spain (2010) are the only ones to have gotten past the QF stage and Germany (1998) the only other ones to even get that far.

MOROCCO - BACK Morrocco DNB vs Portugal @ 5.50 With Portugal looking potentially dodgy, if Morrocco are to make an impact in the group they have to do it in this game. This is their first World Cup since taking 4 points from their group in 1998. Recent form sees them unbeaten in 16 matches since last June with 11 wins, almost all against African teams but still, this suggests they are one of the strongest African nations atm. A comfortable win in Serbia in March also hints they could pose a threat. The only previous meeting between these teams saw Morrocco beat Portugal 3-1 at WC86. It could be worth keeping an eye on their forthcoming friendlies with Ukraine and Slovakia.

IRAN - BACK Iran +0.25AH v Morocco @ 2.0 Could it be that Iran hold the key to who qualifies from this group? Since beating USA at WC98 the only bright spots in Irans two subsequent World Cup appearances were their two meetings with African nations which both produced draws. Morroccos only World Cup meeting with an Asian/Middle Eastern nation saw them lose to Saudi Arabia in 1994.
I agree with this! Portugal are not a good side. I still cant really work out how they won the Euros...they only won 1 game, against Wales. The only other team with that record was England and we all know how highly we rate them! Friendlies generally mean diddly squat but Portugal drew with Tunisia last night, hardly inspiring!

I've gone Iran rather than Morocco as the side that potentially upsets the apple cart here. Admittedly they didn't have to beat much in qualifying but they are dogged in defence, only conceding 2 goals in ten games, in a group with S.Korea and the way the fixtures have fallen, if they can squeeze past Morocco 1 - 0 in the opener and Portugal get a pasting at the hands of Spain, confidence could play a big part in the last match and theoretically they could only need a draw against Portugal to go through.

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Re: World Cup 2018, Russia - An Ante-post bet for Every Country Challenge - join in!!!

Postby whatarethechances » Tue May 29, 2018 12:31 pm

Group C


France - Peru v France - DRAW @ 5.20 (Side bet 0-0 @ 13.0)

Since beating Paraguay 7-3 at the World Cup of 1958 France have encountered South American opponents at World Cups on 8 occasions. 4 of those were against Brazil and Argentina - lets set those aside, I'm more interested in the other 4 matches against "lesser" South American sides. First, Zidane and Co. drew 0-0 with Paraguay on home soil at WC98. Then there were the two 0-0's against Uruguay in 2002 and 2010. And as if that wasn't enough how about the 0-0 draw with Ecuador four years ago! Now France face another South American "minnow" at another World Cup. Surely the same thing can't happen again. Can it?

Peru - to qualify from Group C @ 3.40

Its Perus first World Cup since 1982 so theres not much to go on there. Their recent form has been quite good though - at the time of writing Peru are unbeaten in 12 matches since the start of 2017. Its a sequence which has seen them draw with Columbia and Argentina and also beat Uruguay, all in World Cup Qualifiers so they must be a decent side. They also chalked up comfortable victories over Croatia and Iceland in March. If I were Denmark, I'd be worried...

Denmark - to finish bottom of Group C @ 6.0

...and not just because Peru look a decent outfit. Denmarks record since the start of last year doesn't seem to bear much examination. First we have 2 defeats in "Non-Fifa friendlies". Defeat to Sweden may not be so bad but losing to Jordan does not inspire much confidence! Aside from that they have 6 wins and 5 draws since the start of 2017. But look at who is padding that list of wins - Kazakhstan, Armenia, Montenegro, Panama. Then look at the draws. Aside from a single, creditable result against the Germans the list reads, Romania(twice), Ireland, Chile. And my point is this: If this is how Denmark perform against sides who didn't qualify for the World Cup, how on earth will they get on when they meet sides who did?

Australia - to score Over 2.5 goals in Group C @ 2.50

This bet would have landed in each of the last 3 World Cups, despite the Aussies only qualifying for the Last 16 once (2006). Even in 2014, when they lost all 3 matches to Spain, Holland and Chile they still managed to score 3 goals. As always, they are short on quality but I doubt there will be another team in the tournament who put in more effort.

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Re: World Cup 2018, Russia - An Ante-post bet for Every Country Challenge - join in!!!

Postby CapnBob » Tue May 29, 2018 2:40 pm

sometimes in football it's just best to keep things simple

How very true. Terrific contribution, tommy. In 2014, examined things from all angles & felt the Germans would exit early. Well, we all know what happened. I think England are worth siding against, they didn't have the most challenging group & perhaps lack creativity/guile in midfield to break down obdurate opponents & Tunisia & Panama (Costa Rica echoes) will not be intimidated.

I've gone for a Brazil - France final (25-1 with b365) though with some reservations. There are doubts about Deschamps's tactical acumen, it was pointed out on the radio that Varane (Ramos) & Umtiti (Pique) play alongside great defenders at club level & Koscielny is absent. The France squad is noticeable by how so many quality players are absent. Rabiot withdrew himself from the stand-by list.

I have chosen Brazil because they do not have to cope with the weight of expectation that came last time out as hosts & which many thought would be too much (Tim Vickery). They only lost once in the Latin American qualifiers and that was to a Chile team who have not qualified. Brazil have responded before following difficult World Cups such as winning in 2002 after losing the final in 1998.

With doubts about France, I also like whatarethechances' suggestion about Brazil - Spain as a final. The route to the final has both winning their group and being kept in different halves of the draw.

Browsing the winners/finalists since 1970, 7 nations have featured in the 12 finals with 6 winning. The teams appearing have been drawn from four European heavyweights (Italy, W 82, '06, RU '70, '94) (France W '98, RU '06) (Germany, W '74, '90, '14, RU '82, '86, '02) (Spain, W '10) with Holland as RU '74, '78 & '10.

The other winners/finalists drawn from the two Latin American superpowers, Brazil, W '70, '94, '02 & RU '98 & Argentina W '78 '86 & RU '90, '14

Two of the seven failed to qualify, meaning we are left with 5. Perhaps too simplistic to draw on this limited pool, but the bigger nations possess players who ply their trade at elite clubs & so are used to playing in high profile games & club competitions. It is also worth studying the amount of caps & number of World Cups these particular nations possess in their squads, for instance Pique & Ramos have well over 100 caps for Spain.

(edit). The last three nations to win the trophy for the first time are Argentina, France & Spain. Interestingly, Argentina & France, '78 & '98 respectively, failed at the following World Cup, but then appeared in the subsequent final after that ('86 & '06). Spain won in '10, exited group stage in 2014, like France in '02 - their squad has 5 members remaining, 4 of whom appeared in the 2010 final, Ramos, Pique, Iniesta & Busquets with Silva as a squad member.

With two strong traditional power-houses slipping out, could this mean a new finalist? Not sure. A Belgian journalist was asked about his team's prospects (TalkSport, 5live?) , mentioned that they could meet Brazil or Germany during their side of the draw.

https://www.theguardian.com/football/20 ... nteractive

I attached a link regarding a possible route to the final if anyone is interested.
Last edited by CapnBob on Tue Jun 05, 2018 11:55 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: World Cup 2018, Russia - An Ante-post bet for Every Country Challenge - join in!!!

Postby whatarethechances » Tue May 29, 2018 4:22 pm

I agree with this! Portugal are not a good side. I still cant really work out how they won the Euros...they only won 1 game, against Wales. The only other team with that record was England and we all know how highly we rate them! Friendlies generally mean diddly squat but Portugal drew with Tunisia last night, hardly inspiring!

I've gone Iran rather than Morocco as the side that potentially upsets the apple cart here. Admittedly they didn't have to beat much in qualifying but they are dogged in defence, only conceding 2 goals in ten games, in a group with S.Korea and the way the fixtures have fallen, if they can squeeze past Morocco 1 - 0 in the opener and Portugal get a pasting at the hands of Spain, confidence could play a big part in the last match and theoretically they could only need a draw against Portugal to go through


And I agree with this Snail! Iran have now qualified for 5 of the last 7 World Cups over the last 20 years. Surely its only a matter of time before all that experience translates into concrete results!


I've gone for a Brazil - France final (25-1 with b365) though with some reservations. There are doubts about Deschamps's tactical acumen, it was pointed out on the radio that Varane (Ramos) & Umtiti (Pique) play alongside great defenders at club level & Koscielny is absent. The France squad is noticeable by how so many quality players are absent. Rabiot withdrew himself from the stand-by list.

I have chosen Brazil because they do not have to cope with the weight of expectation that came last time out as hosts & which many thought would be too much (Tim Vickery). They only lost once in the Latin American qualifiers and that was to a Chile team who have not qualified. Brazil have responded before following difficult World Cups such as winning in 2002 after losing the final in 1998.

With doubts about France, I also like whatarethechances' suggestion about Brazil - Spain as a final. The route to the final has both winning their group and being kept in different halves of


I think you are right to have doubts about France reaching the final, Bob. Did you know that in the entire history of the Euros since 1960 the team that lost the Euros final has never made it the final of the next World Cup!

I also think you make an interesting point about Italy and Hollands absence opening the field up for less fashionable sides. The only tournament I can think of to compare it to would be 2002 when Portugal, Argentina and France all perished in the Group stage opening the way for Turkey and South Korea to reach the semis. Although as I type this I think of USA'94 - perhaps stretching the point a little - but England and France were missing that year, Bulgaria and Sweden turned up in the semis...

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