The 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil is less than one month away and, with many of the 32 teams announcing their squads, bookmakers have begun to frame player-specific markets.
England striker Wayne Rooney features in a couple of 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil goal-scoring match bets in which one is keen to back his opponent. Both 888sport and Unibet have paired Rooney with Netherlands attacker Robin van Persie, while Paddy Power has matched him with Edin Dzeko, the man who will lead Bosnia and Herzegovina’s forward line.
Dzeko is available at odds of 2.20 with Paddy Power to score more 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil goals than Rooney and that strikes one as the pick of the bets. Bosnia and Herzegovina is in 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil Group F in which it will battle with Argentina, Iran and Nigeria for one of the top two positions, whereas England is in 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil Group D alongside Costa Rica, Italy and Uruguay.
Bookmakers are betting that England is more likely to make the 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil knockout stage than Bosnia and Herzegovina but, realistically, the Three Lions are not going to challenge for the title and one would think that the difference in the number of games played by Rooney and Dzeko will not be more than one in the former’s favour.
One can see England’s 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil Group D matches against Italy and Uruguay being low-scoring affairs, particularly the one between the Three Lions and the Azzurri in Manaus, before Roy Hodgson’s team tackles Costa Rica in what has the potential to be a nervy final group game.
Similarly, Bosnia and Herzegovina plays its toughest 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil Group F match first and its easiest last. However, one expects Bosnia and Herzegovina to play without the crushing pressure with which England will have to deal and for it to play attacking football all the time.
Bosnia and Herzegovina qualified for the 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil by scoring 30 goals in its 10 games versus Greece, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania and Slovakia. Dzeko was Bosnia and Herzegovina’s top scorer with 10 goals and he boasts 33 goals in 60 appearances for his country, plus he ended the English season in great form for Manchester City.
And while Bosnia and Herzegovina is making its FIFA World Cup debut it has a live chance of making major progress. Bosnia and Herzegovina is ranked 25th in the world so it is well ahead of Iran (37th) and Nigeria (44th) and, if it does qualify for the 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil last 16, it will face one Ecuador, France, Honduras or Switzerland. Now that is a group that could throw up a weak knockout-stage side.
Dzeko was the second highest goal scorer during the UEFA qualification series for the 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil. The player who topped the UEFA goal-scoring chart was Van Persie and his Netherlands team is in 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil Group B alongside Australia, Chile and Spain.
Playing The Long Ball has written about 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil Group B previously because the presence of Australia and Chile in it should result in lots of goals. Australia’s youthful squad is treating the 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil as experience ahead of the 2015 AFC Asian Cup in which the Socceroos will be the host nation. Australia coach Ange Postecoglou is highly likely to send out attacking sides with the Socceroos looking weak in defence. Chile leaked the highest number of goals out of the CONMEBOL qualifiers.
Winning 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil Group B will be on the mind of the Netherlands because no side will want to face probable 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil Group A winner Brazil in the last 16. The identity of the 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil Group B winner could boil down to which team scores the most goals versus Australia and Chile so Van Persie, who averages better than a goal every two matches for the Netherlands, is attractively priced at odds of 1.67 to outscore Rooney.
Eric has been a sports journalist for over 20 years and has travelled the world covering top sporting events for a number of publications. He also has a passion for betting and uses his in-depth knowledge of the sports world to pinpoint outstanding odds and value betting opportunities.
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