Flying Dutchmen to soar and minnows to bore

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The 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil round of 16 continues with a couple of match-ups that few punters predicted would occur – the Netherlands versus Mexico and Costa Rica against Greece.

Mexico’s 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil performances have been a million times better than most of its displays en route to the tournament but one thinks that the general punting public is getting carried away with El Tri’s form.

Immediately prior to the 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil kicking off, Mexico lost 0-1 in back-to-back friendly games versus Bosnia and Herzegovina. Mexico deserved to beat Cameroon in its first Group A match but it made heavy weather of getting its hands on the three points, winning 1-0 when 3-0 would have been a fair reflection of the balance of play. Mexico was indebted to Guillermo Ochoa’s brilliance against Brazil, otherwise what ended as a 0-0 draw would have been a large loss. And Mexico ran away from Croatia in the latter stages only because Vatreni had to commit numbers forward as it searched for the goals that it needed to score to progress.

The jury should still be out about Mexico that, when all is said and done, has not defeated another 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil round of 16 qualifier since getting the better of Costa Rica 1-0 in Mexico City nearly two years ago.

The Netherlands has done more than Mexico in the 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil to convince one that it is the real deal. The Netherlands shocked the world when it beat Spain 5-1 first up before playing in spurts to defeat Australia 3-2 and triumphing 2-0 over Chile without Robin van Persie.

Beaten once in its last 24 games – 0-2 by France in Paris three months ago – the Netherlands is most vulnerable when it comes up against a high-scoring team because its defence does not look the most reliable and its strength is its front three of Arjen Robben, Wesley Sneijder and Van Persie. Luckily for the Netherlands, one could not describe Mexico as high scoring given its record of scoring four goals in its last five matches, three of them versus Croatia.

One thinks that the Netherlands is very fairly priced at odds of 2.15 with several bookmakers, including BetVictor, Coral and Unibet, to beat Mexico in regulation time.

Costa Rica versus Greece is a 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil round of 16 game that will only interest residents of the competing countries and football anoraks. Costa Rica and Greece were two of the most defensive sides in the group stage and one should not allow the story of the Ticos topping Group D ahead of three former FIFA World Cup champions overshadow their negative approach.

It would be a surprise if a sudden-death 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil tie between Costa Rica and Greece was anything other than low scoring. One expects neither team to be all that adventurous, with the Ticos looking to hit the Piratiko on the counter attack and the Piratiko looking to make the most of set pieces such as corner kicks and free kicks.

Bookmakers are trying to duck under two and a half goals in the 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil clash between Costa Rica and Greece, with Betfair’s sportsbook offering odds of 1.47. If one is not keen on betting at short odds then one could opt for a punt on a goalless draw at odds of 7.00 with Coral and Ladbrokes. Odds of 7.00 about a scoreline that, on the face of it, is an obvious pick is not the worst bet in the world.

Costa Rica’s last 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil Group D match resulted in a goalless draw, while three of Greece’s last six games have ended scoreless. If one is going to sit through 90 minutes of Costa Rica and Greece then one should back 0-0 at odds of 7.00 as a form of punting insurance.

Tips Summary

Netherlands to beat Mexico
29th June 17:00 GMT
Odds: 2.15
Where to Bet: BetVictorCoralUnibet

Costa Rica and Greece 0-0
29th June 21:00 GMT
Odds: 7.00
Where to Bet: Coral, Ladbrokes

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