World Cup Matchday 1: The Stats and Bets You Might Not Have Seen

Football
Updated Monday 25th June 2018, 02:38 PM


The Netherlands didn’t make it. Italy - four-time winners - fell in qualifying. Chile and Alexis Sanchez won’t be on the plane to Russia, and the USA failed to qualify for the first time since 1990. This year’s World Cup has so far been characterised by its absences, with teams like these surprisingly missing out.

But what does this mean for the betting lines? Could an outside chance go on a run deep into the tournament? Or does it just mean that the final on 15th July is a dead-cert between favourites Germany and Brazil?

Over the next few weeks, we’ll scour the bookmakers to find the bets that are worth backing during the tournament, starting with Matchday 1.

The Fixtures and Bets to Watch Out For

Russia vs Saudi Arabia

  • Thursday 14th June, 16:00 GMT

The tournament opens on 14th June with Russia taking on Saudi Arabia at the Luzhniki Stadium. As they’ve not been through qualifiers, the hosts are something of an unknown quantity, but they have not looked very convincing in their recent international friendlies. They managed just two goals in four games, losing three matches and drawing their last one against Turkey. They’re not exactly entering the tournament in a blaze of glory, but the backing of the home crowd is sure to be fierce.

Saudi Arabia have qualified for their first World Cup since 2006, so they will head into the tournament feeling positive. They scored an average of 2.2 goals per game and conceded 0.8 per game over two rounds of qualifying, running rampant over minnows Timor-Leste, against whom they scored 17 goals in two matches.

They held their own even in the second round of qualifying, where competition was tougher, scoring an average of 1.7 goals per game and conceding 0.9 per game. While it feels like a bit of a stretch to see them coming away with a win, a look at both teams to score gives decent odds. Ladbrokes offer 17/10 on this, or 15/4 on both teams to score and Russia to win. If you have a bit more confidence in Saudi Arabia, a score draw bet will get you 11/2.

New customers should also take advantage of Ladrokes’ introductory offer of 25/1 on a yellow card to be shown in the game (£1 max bet). If it doesn’t come in, you get a free £5 bet.

 

Type Odds Provider Bet Now
Both Teams to Score
Russia vs Saudi Arabia
17/10
Ladbrokes Logo Bet Now
Winner and both Teams to Score
Russia
15/4
Ladbrokes Logo Bet Now
Draw and Both Teams to Score
Russia vs Saudi Arabia
11/2
Ladbrokes Logo Bet Now

*Please note, odds may fluctuate

Egypt vs Uruguay

  • Friday 15th July, 13:00 GMT

This is an intriguing match, as we just *might* see one of Liverpool FC’s all-time greatest strikers, Luis Suarez, compete against Mohamed Salah, the current king of Merseyside. Salah set the Premier League alight last season, scoring 32 goals in the league and 44 in all competitions. Egyptian hearts will have been on the verge of breaking, though, when he went down in the early stages of the Champions League Final against Real Madrid in May. He is said to have suffered a dislocated shoulder but is expected to feature in the tournament despite the injury. Egypt coach Ihab Leheta has not yet confirmed whether Salah will play against Uruguay.

Even if Salah does make it back, it’s difficult to say how the injury will affect his performance. As a result of the uncertainty surrounding the player, he’s currently a big outsider at 66/1 to take the Golden Boot. Until he makes some sort of return, backing him is a big punt.

Uruguay scored consistently during qualifying, averaging 1.8 goals per game, but they also conceded a few too, an average of 1.1 per game. A knee injury kept Luis Suarez sidelined for much of qualifying, so he only ended up with five goals. It was up to his strike partner, Edinson Cavani, and the rest of the team to pick up the extra goals, and they did just that, scoring an additional 27 goals in 18 games.

It’s worth staying away from any Egypt scoring lines, as the market may be volatile until it is confirmed whether Mohamed Salah will make his return. However, considering the wild swings in results Uruguay saw during qualification - from a 4-2 win over Bolivia to a 1-4 defeat to Brazil - backing a goal total over 3.5 is worth a look, which at the moment would yield 15/4. If Suarez, Cavani and company come out swinging, they could easily put four past Egypt, and if Salah is confirmed to return against Uruguay, you might see those odds shorten. After all, even Uruguayan stalwart Diego Godin has conceded that he would struggle against the striker in open play.

 

Type Odds Provider Bet Now
Total Goals Over 3.5
Egypt vs Uruguay
15/4
Ladbrokes Logo Bet Now

*Please note, odds may fluctuate

Tunisia vs England

  • Monday 18th June, 19:00 GMT

Harry Kane is currently a generous 11/5 to score the first goal against Tunisia. Is that an indication that England pose a goal threat from many positions on the field, or just a pessimistic forecast of England’s chances in the tournament?

Fans will be up in arms if England come away from the Volgograd Arena with anything less than three points, and rightly so. On paper, the team’s qualifying campaign has been a solid one, having scored an average of 1.8 goals per game, with only three goals conceded in 10 matches. The problem many have is that the team is underwhelming - both in selection and playing style - compared to some of the other big teams competing in Russia. Germany, for example, scored an average of 4.3 goals per game during qualifying, and Spain 3.6.

Nevertheless, those bridges will be crossed if England advance far enough in the tournament to meet teams like these. For their game against Tunisia, you will have to get creative if you’re backing England to win. They’re odds-on at 2/5 to come away with the result. That punt on Harry Kane to score first is a good place to start.

There were three occasions during qualifying when England scored just one goal: against Lithuania, Slovenia, and Slovakia. Considering this modest goalscoring record, the 21/10 price for England to score one goal in total against Tunisia seems good too. Tunisia conceded less than a goal per game during qualifying, obviously against lesser opponents, but it still suggests that they might not roll over for Kane and company.

 

Type Odds Provider Bet Now
First Goalscorer
Harry Kane
11/5
Ladbrokes Logo Bet Now
England Total Goals Scored
1.0
21/10
Ladbrokes Logo Bet Now

 

*Please note, odds may fluctuate


Written By
Published:
Last Updated: Monday, 25 June 2018 02:38:01+00:00
Published By Sports.net


Found this article interesting?
Share it on Social Media!


Related Betting Tips


Football
England's World Cup Odds Hit Record Low
Monday 9th July 2018, 12:30 pm
Football
England Are 10/1 To Beat Colombia On Penalties
Friday 29th June 2018, 02:51 pm
Football
Harry Kane Is 8/1 to Win World Cup Golden Boot
Thursday 21st June 2018, 09:53 am

More Football Betting Tips


Sports.net Facebook


You first need to login to Facebook to view this page because it contains age restricted content.


Go to Facebook and Login
×