Friendly results give pointers for 2010 World Cup betting

5th March 2010 | World Cup Betting category: World Cup Betting & Odds
World Cup Betting & Odds

The majority of 2010 FIFA World Cup participants were in action midweek with international friendly duty, and there were some interesting results to cast an eye over. Here we take a look at some of the main highlights of the early March mid-week actions, as well as assessing the chances of the favourites nations from a betting point of view. The Outright Odds for the World Cup are listed for participants.

France 0, Spain 2

Spain highlighted again just why they are outright favourites to win the 2010 World Cup, and why they will continue to draw the lions share of the betting. They just do not appear to have any flaws at the moment, such is their dominance from the back to the front. Their ability to hold onto possession in the middle of the park is unrivalled, and with Arsenal’s Cesc Fabregas running the show, they look immaculately accomplished. They are the complete package, quick at the back, slick in midfield, and sharp up front. They can simply pass and play their way around opposition, and their defence is incredibly tight and consistent. They play a great system under Vincent del Bosque, and can have opponents running around in circles. They will be hard to stop on the path to the World Cup final, but France look to be the polar opposites. Under Raymond Domenech, France still do not appear to know which system, and which direction they are meant to be playing. Always keen to tinker with things, Domenech, after seeing his nation struggle to reach the finals, will have witnessed probably one of the most disorganised outings his team have put out for some time. The French fans will have witnessed their team being outplayed, and will have been dealt a painful dose of reality that they are lacking true quality in midfield, and that a World Cup 2010 victory remains nothing but a very distant dream. The French fans aren’t happy, and the players don’t look to have a lot of clear faith in what they are being told to do.
Spain: 9/2 at Bet365
France: 16/1 at BetFred

Ireland 0, Brazil 2
The Brazilians rode into Arsenal’s Emirates stadium, looking to round off their World Cup preparations with a comfortable win, and they achieved just that. They had a little bit of a slow start against an eager Republic of Ireland side, but their true quality showed through in the second half. Manchester City fans will have been wondering why they have seen the best of Robinho, but it was clear to see why Brazil boss Dunga wants him in the side. Also a slow starter, he seemed to enjoy himself in the second half as Brazil easily got on top of the Irish, and looked as if he could be a real threat when he fulfils his obvious potential. Two sides of Brazil were seen, the one that had to dig in a little bit, and the one that knows how to quickly and lethally finish off opposition. Don’t be fooled into thinking that this is a Brazil whose game is based on daring, reckless attack, because it’s not. They are displaying a certain amount of stability and conservatism, leaning towards a conventionalism that may not be whole-heartedly familiar with a Brazilian side. Are they lacking something without their inate flair? Or will this make them stronger as they look to improve upon past failures? Some of their players may not be on top of their game at the domestic level in Europe, but when they come together, that enigmatic class is still there. They look to have the tough Group of Death, but they won’t fear any of their opponents there, one bit.
Brazil: 5/1 at Boylesports

England 3, Egypt 1
The signs are all pointing to success for England at the 2010 World Cup, but they have had a few cracks appearing lately. Missing some key players at the back, a media circus surrounding private lives, and having to rely on one man for goals, it may sound like the usual doom and gloom ahead of a major tournament. Fortunately they have a manager who is experienced, and is a great tactician and disciplinarian. England aren’t the best team in the tournament, and that is worth remembering when betting on them. They will need luck, they will need to remain injury free, and rely on up tempo performances to beat better opposition. They have minor issues in quality over the pitch, and the midfield isn’t entirely is the greatest form, nor does it have that spark of creativity. That being said, they battle well and could easily be more than the sum of their parts. Team spirit is necessary, as well as the firm hand of Capello in guiding them through the competition. Expected to win their group without any problems, but unity is key for England, as well as not losing Rooney to injury.
England: 6/1 at Bwin

Germany 0, Argentina 1
A goal from Higuain on forty-five minutes settled this heavy weight clash, but six bookings in the match will tell you how fiercely competitive it was. Argentina were the story of World Cup qualification, and will be throughout the tournament, simply because of Diego Maradona. The manager will a constant focus of attention for the press, and after their turgid qualification process, he managed to at least get them to South Africa. With most bookmakers, they are regarded as still being in with a strong chance of winning the tournament. They do have the best player in the world, Lionel Messi at their disposal, and while the little genius will have the world at his feet, the quality that his team-mates have should not be overlooked. They turned on their technical ability with style against Germany, at least in ball control and movement, even if chances were few and far between for both nations. The winning goal, by Angel di Maria was sublime and highlighted the fact that they are not going to be easily pushed aside. Being an unknown quantity, makes them a great potential dark horse bet. Germany will be smarting after going unbeaten for the best part of a year, and it appears as if they actually have more work to do than Argentina. Judging by the action on Wednesday night, a World Cup bet on either of these would be better placed on the South Americans. Germany’s problems mostly lie up front, where they don’t have much on display, neither in the creative department of midfield. They have great World Cup pedigree, and while the German domestic scene is flourishing at the moment, it’s not translating to the World Stage. Should they be written off? The midfield, as an efficient work horse, is Germany’s strength, but it doesn’t look as if it is going to carve teams apart. They need an injection of pace and quality up front, something they are seriously lacking.
Germany: 14/1 at Totesport
Argentina: 10/1 at Blue Square

Italy 0, Cameroon 0
Something of a non-event, and neither team will have been able to take much away from this. Both put out, what have been termed “experimental sides” as both managers looked at alternative options. Cameroon disappointed badly in the African Cup of Nations and have two more friendly match to come, as do Italy. Both sides will need some work, but Cameroon do not look to have the edge which would lead them too deep into the competition. For a World Cup which promised a lot for the African sides, none of them are really standing out. In fact they looked a bit jaded, and not willing to take chances or take the game to the Italians. The Italians game, under Marcel Lippi will be based on solid defence, and that is one thing which opposing teams will be certain of. They will play their patient game while looking for the one killer goal, draining the opposition dry, by squeezing them into a negative game. They are one of the main sides who will be leaning heavily on experience, as the defending champions will a tough time on their hands. Certainly not to be discounted though, but being pushed hard in qualification will have raised some eyebrows, but they have the Italian way of making the most of limited opportunities.
Italy: 13/1 at Expekt
110/1 at SkyBet

Ivory Coast 0, South Korea 2
Much has been made about the Ivory Coast having the best chance at the 2010 FIFA World Cup, of all the African nations. Sadly, they look to be falling a long way short. At the African Cup of Nations, where they lost to Ghana, they looked like a side of good players trying to do their own thing, as opposed to be anything like a cohesive team unit. That team spirit just did not look as if it was there at all. They do have talent in the side, and talisman Didier Drogba will cause his problems for defences. They are in a group along with Brazil and Portugal, and they are going to need to raise their game drastically to what it has been over the past six months, if they are going to really make a genuine impact at the World Cup. There are whispers about Guus Hiddink taking charge of them for the World Cup, and that could make a huge difference in how they approach and perform at the tournament. This result will have been a major blow to their preparations. South Korea will be jumping though. They qualified easily, and will be pacy and energetic in their performances, but remain as outsiders, simply because the level of quality in competitiveness when it comes down to playing against top opposition, just is not there.
Ivory Coast: 28/1 at BetFred
South Korea: 300/1 at Bwin

Holland 2, USA 1
The Dutch breezed through European qualification, and highlighted a lot of weaknesses about the USA. England will have been paying close attention to this, as they open their World Cup campaign against the Americans on June 12th. Quite how the USA are going to pose any kind of threat to anyone at the World Cup, based on this display, remains a mystery. They lack any kind of threat going forward, and the quality of the national side appears to somehow have slipped backwards to what it has been in the past. No doubt, they will turn up full of enthusiasm, but a simple ball possession game, should take them out of the game. Holland showed this perfectly, restricting the Americans to just one shot in the first half. No-one will want to meet Holland in the World Cup, as they are on a fine run of form, and have Wesley Sneijder, who is one of the best in the world at being the link between midfield and forwards. Holland will be a threat after a string of successive results which have elevated them up into being ranked third in the World. Do they have the temperament to go all the way? While they look a slick, fluent team, they really haven’t come up against too much top opposition, with their last quality opponents being Italy, who held them to a 0-0 draw. A decent outside bet, and in a group with Denmark, Japan and Cameroon, should see them safely through to the last sixteen.
Holland: 14/1 at Bet365
USA: 80/1 at SportingBet


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* All mentioned odds were valid at the time of writing. Betting odds are subject to fluctuations. Please check the current odds with the respective bookmaker!

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