2010 FIFA World Cup Group F Betting and Fixtures

10th April 2010 | World Cup Betting category: World Cup Betting & Odds
World Cup Betting & Odds

Group F World Cup Betting Preview: The defending Champions have a tricky, but not unassailable group to contend with, but one of South America’s dark horses could cause an upset in Group F.

World Cup Teams: Italy, Paraguay, New Zealand, Slovakia

Almost four years ago, Italy’s economical, conservative and efficient style of play, led to them to World Cup glory against France. It all came down to a penalty shoot out after the two goalscorers in the match, Italy’s Materazzi and France’s Zinidane Zidane had come together with in the infamous head-butting incident by the French master. Italy won 5-3 on penalties after beating Australia, the Ukraine and then Germany in the semi finals to reach the World Cup Final. That victory gave Italy their fourth World Cup, and betting on Italy at the World Cup for 2010, should still be strong as they look to retain their title. The personnel, on the large part, may have changed from the 2006 final, but there are still some stalwarts in the mix, which gives Italy a good blend of experience and youth. Some of the mentionable youngsters are Giuseppe Rossi, Alberto Aquilani and Giampaolo Pazzini. They have one of the most experience and accomplished goalkeepers in the World, in Gianluigi Buffon, and with Fabio Cannavaro still a major influence at the back, you know what you are going to get from Italy, and that is control, if not the most attacking dynamism or flair. Their midfield still boasts Andrea Pirlo and Gennaro Gattuso, but it was largely Alberto Gilardino’s goals which helped Italy comfortably win their group ahead of the Republic of Ireland. The Italians are probably right in the position where they want to be on the World Stage, as they are not drawing so much attention in terms of betting on the World Cup, but they will be confidently strong going in to the tournament, after not losing a match during qualification. Only conceding seven goals through their European qualification, Italy, despite concerns from pundits over the aging legs in their team, have great pedigree in the tournament, and will always be a threat. In fact, only six players in the recent squad against Cameroon were 30 years or older. Coach Marcelo Lippi is not afraid of making tactical and personnel changes to the Azzurri, and has racked up 31 consecutive matches without defeat. After qualifying for the World Cup, Italy have drawn friendly matches against Holland and Cameroon, while edging out Sweden 1-0 in another friendly. This shows everything about Italy, they are unlikely to go out and look to be the World Cup’s top scorers, and they will be incredibly hard to break down. This is the kind of mettle, determination and tactical know-how which can make them World Cup Champions again. If they do, it will be the second time they have won the World’s Premier football tournament twice in a row. Italy’s World Cup fixtures start them off against Paraguay and is one of the most interesting group openers. Paraguay could be one of the dark horses of the World Cup, after looking mightily impressive during qualification. They finished third, just one point behind winners Brazil, and level on points with Chile. They won’t be any slouches at the World Cup, and could turn in some exciting, attacking football. This is their fourth consecutive appearance the World Cup, and in their last effort, they finished behind England and Sweden in the group stage. Their game will be about offence, with Nelson Valdez a strong forward, along with Roque Santa Cruz and Salvador Cabanas. They have some talent up front, but there will be questions over their defence, but they could provide, as they showed in qualifying, an exciting spark in Group F, and should push hard for a place in the last sixteen. Their enthusiasm and speed could cause Italy problems in their opening Group G fixture, which would blow the group wide open. The second European side in Group G, Slovakia will be no pushovers either, after looking extremely good through qualification, edging out Slovenia for top spot, and eliminating the Czech Republic. This is the first time they will play at the World Cup as an independent nation, but have experience as the former Czechoslovakia. A lot of their stars play in the German Bundesliga, which puts them in good standing, and makes them a real threat, and they could take an early advantage starting against the group minnows New Zealand. New Zealand have drawn a tough group, and they will struggle to pick up any rewards from 2010. With Australia moving to the Asian qualification zone, that left the Kiwis pretty much an open passage through to the 2010 FIFA World Cup finals in South Africa from the Oceania zone, with competition only coming from New Caledonia, Fiji and Vanautu. Their toughest match came in the playoff qualification match against third placed Asian team Bahrain. The All Whites won that 1-0 on aggregate, to reach their second World Cup finals. They have a tough task on their hands though, and their best chance may come in a spirited first effort against Slovakia, but even that seems like an uphill struggle.

Group F Betting Stats (World Cup History form in brackets)

(Final outcomes of Golden Goal, Extra Time and Penalty Shoot Out results count as wins or losses)

Italy: The World Cup Champions don’t have the easiest of groups, but will say a lot about them if they win it. They have met Paraguay once before in the World Cup, winning 1-0 in 1950. They have never played New Zealand before in the World Cup, and as for Slovakia, Italian have won twice against them in their former guise as Czechoslovakia, once in the 1934 final after extra time. (P77, W45, D15, L17)

Paraguay:
Have their one defeat against Italy as their World Cup history against their 2010 opponents. No experience against the other two sides on the top of the World Stage, but will pose a threat to all of their group rivals. (P22, W6, D7, L9)

Slovakia: This is their debut as an independent nation, and will look to try and press home the form they showed in qualification. Just the matches against Italy behind them as the former Czechoslovakia, otherwise untested against the others. (P0, W0, D0, L0)

New Zealand: Rank outsiders in the group, with no World Cup history against any of their opponents. Struggled terribly in only previous World Cup. (P3, W0, D0, L3)

 

World Cup Group F - Table

Rank Team Matches / Points
1 Paraguay 3 Matches / 5 Points
2 Slovakia 3 Matches / 4 Points
3 New Zealand 3 Matches / 3 Points
4 Italy 3 Matches / 2 Points

Group Stage Fixture List

 

 

World Cup Betting at Boylesports for Outright Winner of Group F, has Paraguay at 10/3, Slovakia at 6/1, New Zealand at 50/1 and Italy are favourites at 4/11 (and 12/1 to Win the World Cup Outright).



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