2014 World Cup Betting – Group D Preview
This is where it is at. This is where a lot of focus will be during the group stages of the 2014 FIFA World Cup. Two big European sides England and Italy, go up against the firepower of South America’s Uruguay and the unpredictability of Costa Rica.
To start with, if England Are going to get through this group, then there is going to be a hard road ahead and the bookmakers aren’t exactly trusting them to do so. Roy Hodgson’s Three Lions have consistently been trading as third favourites behind Italy and Uruguay to win the group, and it has been the same story in the To Qualify market. A price of 12/5 can be fetched on England topping Group D and 4/6 on them to make it throughout the knockout stage.
So confidence isn’t high in the Three Lions and their quest for World Cup glory this summer, but at the end of the day, this group is really wide open and anything can happen in it. England face off against Italy in their opener and that could set the tone for the rest of the campaign. Three points for either side there will naturally give whoever gets them, a little bit to defend when they go on to meet Uruguay in the group. Defeat in the opening round of fixtures and there will be a bit of desperation creeping in.
Fans will be immediately thinking back to the 2010 World Cup and how badly England struggled with a really easy group on that occasion. They scraped through to the knockout stage on that occasion they too left it a bit late during qualification to reach Brazil 2014, having far greater struggles than really they should have had. Still, one thing this all adds up to with England is value. No-one is fully expecting them to launch a big World Cup challenge, especially with the tough group task ahead, and the best markets on them is to win or qualify from the group.
What challenges await England in Group D? Big ones. Italy are being favoured to beat England in their opening group match, as the Italians still have a lot going for them. They knocked England out of the quarter finals of Euro 2012 remember, looking a far superior side in terms of technical ability. Italy breezed through qualification for Brazil 2014 too. Their ability to hold the ball, even though they are quite an adventurous side, could pay dividends in the Brazilian heat. As for Uruguay, they will be at home with the conditions and while they are nowhere near as strong or convincing as they have been over most of the last four years, they are a threat.
When you can throw out Luis Suarez and Edinson Cavani into the starting lineup while looking for goals, then you are always going to have a chance. Pace, power and clinical finishing from them really could trouble the England defence, and yet even the South Americans fall second to the Italians when it comes to the outright Group D winner and To Qualify markets. Costa Rica are bringing up the rear in all markets, being 66/1 outside shots to top the ground, while trading as overwhelming 1/7 favourites to finish bottom.
Italy will be a test of England’s patience and composure, while Uruguay will be a test of England’s back line. Punters perhaps will be questioning where England are going to find enough punch from going forward and where that star quality to control a game in the middle of the park is? football in the heat calls for superb ball retention, and that could be a big problem for England. Still, that isn’t going to deter punters from rushing to get patriot bets down on them, and if they can get through their first two matches against Italy and Uruguay relatively unscathed, they round off against a Costa Rica side who could be out of the picture completely by that stage.