South America – World Cup Qualifying

7th September 2009 | World Cup Betting category: World Cup Qualification Previews & Predictions
World Cup Qualification Previews & Predictions

 



As It Stands…

 

Brazil‘s humbling of Argentina on Saturday night now means that the Brazilians have secured one of the four automatic qualification spots, leaving just three spots up for grabs. Paraguay, Chile and Argentina currently occupy the remaining automatic spots but both Chile & Paraguay are within one victory of booking their rightful place in South Africa for the forthcoming World Cup in 2010.

 

Argentina are hanging on for dear life in fourth position and are currently having to fend off the challenge from Colombia, Ecuador, Uruguay & Venezuela. However, Argentina‘s cushion has been reduced, with the gap between them and the chasing pack down to just two points, with Argentina having to face facts that defeat in Paraguay could see them relinquish control of the remaining automatic qualifying spot.

 

Uruguay & Venezuela simply have to win their remaining qualifiers if they are to stand any chance of sneaking into fourth place but both face tricky encounters which does make winning all three very unlikely. However, we mustn’t forget that the nation that finishes in fifth will face the country which finishes in fourth in the CONCACAF zone, so both countries will be eager to add as many points as possible before the campaign draws to it’s exciting close.

 

Both Bolivia and Peru can be safely ruled out of contention. Both cannot qualify for the World Cup but we suppose neither will want to end the campaign bottom of the standings. Peru are bottom for the time being despite their success at home to Uruguay at the weekend. They are two points behind Bolivia as the battle to avoid the wooden spoon intensifies… or not!

 

 

 

 

 

 

Bolivia V Ecuador

 

Wednesday 9th September – 20:00 GMT

 

 

As the race for qualification hots up, Bolivia will be hoping to scupper any chance of Ecuador making South Africa with victory back in La Paz, the same venue which seen Bolivia dish out a 6-1 beating to Argentina. Ecuador will need to have their wits about them as this is a game they now must win in order to keep their World Cup dreams alive.

 

With three games to go, Bolivia stand no chance of making the finals, not even mathematically. Even if they were to win all three of their remaining qualifiers, which is highly unlikely, the would still be a point short, and that’s if everyone else failed to pick up a single point, once again, very unlikely. However, although Bolivia can’t qualify they can still become the party poppers with victory over Ecuador, a nation still firmly in contention for one of the three remaining qualification spots.

 

Ecuador‘s 2-0 defeat away in Colombia at the weekend was a huge setback and that now leaves Ecuador two points off fourth placed Argentina. The defeat to Colombia wasn’t the be all and end all but it certainly leaves them with it all to do, with no slip up’s allowed form this point on. However, Ecuador face some tough qualifiers, with this game in Bolivia by far their easiest despite having to play several thousand feet above sea level.

 

Ecuador have to win but their record on the road in qualifying doesn’t indicate that they will actually do so. Their away record currently stands at 1-2-4, with their only away success being a 2-1 victory in Peru, a team bottom of the standings. On the contrary, Bolivia have hardly been sublime on home soil but all three of their victories in qualifying have come in Bolivia, losing just twice on home turf.

 

You would have to give a tentative vote to Ecuador but their away frailties should put any sensible punter off any such bet. Ecuador will be desperate to add a vital set of three points in a bid to bolster their World Cup cause but they could come unstuck in a difficult terrain. Neither side should be backed with any great deal of confidence so you shouldn’t go too far wrong with a small punt on this finishing in a share of the spoils.

 

 

Match Odds:

 

Bolivia – 6/4 SkyBet

 

Ecuador – 8/5 Bet365

 

Draw – 5/2 StanJames

 

 

 

 

Uruguay V Colombia

 

Wednesday 9th September – 22:00 GMT

 

 

Two countries still in with a shout of making the World Cup go head-to-head here in a clash that promises to be a feisty affair with there being so much at stake for both teams. With Uruguay now four points off the automatic qualifying positions, they will be under more pressure to attain the win but it’s Colombia who come into this tricky fixture with all the momentum after their weekend success at home to Ecuador, closing the gap on fourth placed Argentina to just two points.

 

Defeat at home to Colombia could all but ruin Uruguay’s chances of making the finals and their defeat away in Peru on Saturday night won’t of helped their cause, either. They now find themselves four points adrift of where they want to be. However, their best form has come back home and they will be hoping home advantage will prove the deciding factor in such a tight and important game.

 

Colombia’s world cup dreams were given a big boost with victory over Ecuador over the weekend. However, they can’t afford to let up now and they must continue where they left off in order to keep their top four ambitions firmly within sight. A huge negative though will be the fact that Colombia have failed to win on their travels in qualifying thus far, drawing 4 and losing 3.

 

Colombia may come into this crucial qualifier with a world of confidence but their dire away form makes them impossible to back. Not only have they yet to register an away win but they’ve only managed to score once on their travels in seven attempts. It’s been five matches since Colombia last found the opposing net whilst playing outside of Colombia and that makes for dreadful reading but will be music to the ears of Uruguay fans.

 

Uruguay cannot contemplate defeat here as this, on paper anyway, shapes up as their easiest qualifier left to play. They head off to Ecuador after this fixture before then playing host to an Argentina team with probably everything still to play for. Colombia’s diabolical away record has made backing Uruguay a lot easier and we fancy the Uruguayans to make amends for their weekend woes.

 

 

Match Odds:

 

Uruguay – 4/5 Boylesports

 

Colombia – 15/4 StanJames

 

Draw – 5/2 SkyBet

 

 

 

 

Paraguay V Argentina

 

Thursday 10th September – 00:00 GMT

 

 

This game could come down to who wants it more as second placed Paraguay host an Argentina squad on the verge of self-destruct. Not many would have predicted that it would be Paraguay playing for a place in South Africa and Argentina clutching at straws but that’s the predicament we have on our hands here.

 

Paraguay, after a superb campaign, have put themselves within one victory of the 2010 World Cup although they could have been handed a much easier game to finalise their berth into South Africa. Paraguay haven’t faired too well against the Argentine’s, winning just 11 of the previous 88 meetings between the two nations. However, Paraguay are the in-form side after victory at home to Bolivia at the weekend, winning 1-0. That victory was hardly convincing but it was a win nevertheless and was a whole lot more then Argentina got out of their weekend qualifier with Brazil, losing 3-1.

 

Argentina‘s humiliating 3-1 defeat at the hands of bitter rivals Brazil has left Diego Maradona‘s job hanging in the balance after a poor qualifying campaign. Argentina are now in the position where anything but a win would be unacceptable and costly. However, the signs aren’t good with Argentina‘s only away success thus far coming in the form of a 2-0 win away in Venezuela, seven away qualifiers ago. It’s now been six away matches since Argentina last won a competitive game and the confidence within the Argentina camp must be at an all time low, especially after their defeat on home soil to the Brazilians.

 

How Argentina are the favourites for this game is beyond me. They may need the win a whole lot more then their match day opponents but they’ve shown absolutely nothing of late to imply that they should or even could record a huge victory in Paraguay. What’s more bizarre is that Paraguay have been very impressive on home soil, winning six of their last seven home qualifiers, their only disappointment coming in a 2-0 defeat against Chile. Even Brazil came up short, losing 2-0 in Paraguay, so the odds ahead of this game certainly leaves us, and probably a handful of other punters, scratching our heads.

 

Good news for Maradona is that his has no fresh injury concerns of suspensions so he can choose from a full strength squad but he would need a colossal performance from his players if they are to humble Paraguay in Asunicon.

 

 

Match Odds:

 

Paraguay – 2/1 StanJames

 

Argentina – 7/5 Boylesports

 

Draw – 9/4 Bet365

 

 

 

 

Brazil V Chile

 

Thursday 10th September – 02:00 GMT

 

 

With the Brazilians already safely through to South Africa, will they go easy on a Chilean side just one victory away from confirming the same fate. Chile failed to grasp a fantastic opportunity on Saturday night which seen them draw 2-2 at home against Venezuela, will that disappointing result be fresh in the minds of the players and will Brazil field a weakened side to the one that cruised past a poor Argentina? So many questions, many will only get answered upon kick-off and beyond.

 

Brazil looked at ease against Argentina on Saturday, with their 3-1 victory fully deserving on what was a terrific display from Dunga & Co. Luis Fabiano stole the plaudits with two goals, extending his goal tally to eight in qualifying and in the process making him top goalscorer in the South American continent. That performance, in combination with qualification, should mean Brazil are on top of the world, but, with qualification already wrapped up, will Dunga see this fixture as one where he can experiment a tad or will he be eager to keep up the momentum his side has built up? Something tells me it could be the latter although a few of the more ‘expensive’ players shall we say could receive a well earned rest while players like Adriano, Dani Alves & Lucas Leiva could be handed a rare starting appearance.

 

Chile will want to conclude their qualifying campaign as early as possible but they may have passed up their best opportunity already. This game with Brazil represents a difficult game for them to confirm their place in the World Cup but it’s do-able nonetheless. However, Brazil gave Chile a footballing lesson the last time the pair clashed, back in Santiago (Chile), Brazil running out 3-0 winners. You would like to think that if Brazil can trounce Chile on their own turf then beating them once again in front of their home fans, albeit with probably a slightly weakened outfit, should be a breeze.

 

Chile will be gunning for the victory that will confirm their spot in South Africa but hunger doesn’t always override natural class. The Brazilians have so much class within their ranks that even the likely replacements of Kaka, Robinho & maybe Luis Fabiano, should be more then accomplished to handle a Chile desperate for success.

 

 

Match Odds:

 

Brazil – 4/9 Boylesports

 

Chile – 7/1 SkyBet

 

Draw – 16/5 Bet365

 

 

 

 

 

Venezuela V Peru

 

Thursday 10th September – 02:00 GMT

 

 

With Peru having nothing but pride at stake, the smart money will surely be on a Venezuela side still well in the hunt for at least a fifth place finish, if not a surprise top four breakthrough. However, Venezuela have been very inconsistent throughout qualifying and their form back on home territory has been no different. This does shape up as a very easy fixture for Venezuela and one they should comply in, anything but will be catastrophic.

 

A 2-2 draw with Chile, in Chile, was a very respectable result and one that has seen their World Cup flame remain firmly lit. Now they must build on that positive result against a poor Peru that does boast a win over a decent Uruguay side.

 

Peru have the potential to become a nightmare nation for Venezuela as victory for Peru would give them back-to-back wins over Venezuela, both home and away. The Peruvians beat Venezuela 1-0 in Lima last year in a rare success for Peru. Venezuela will of course be hungry to avenge that potentially costly defeat but something tells me they could come unstuck in a match that really should win.

 

Backing Venezuela looks a precarious bet to me. They are an extremely thin price to beat a side with nothing to lose, while Venezuela have the pressure of a nation on their shoulders. Don’t get me wrong, Venezuela should win this encounter but at the odds, i don’t see much, if any, value.

 

Peru have won 17 of 25 meetings, an immense head-to-head record it has to be said. However, despite Peru leading the way in previous meetings, the bookies still have Venezuela as firm favourites to win the match, which, in our honest opinion, looks absurd.

 

 

Match Odds:

 

Venezuela – 4/7 StanJames

 

Peru – 6/1 WilliamHill

 

Draw – 3/1 Bet365

 

 



The tip is based on the personal opinion of the author. No success is guaranteed. Please gamble responsibly. 18+




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