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Punters betting on two of today’s three 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil games have the results of recent head-to-head meetings on which to lean when making their assessments.
The 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil match that will capture the most attention is the one between the host nation and Mexico in Fortaleza. Brazil and Mexico have met numerous times down the years, increasingly so because El Tri have been on the CONMEBOL Copa America invite list since 1993, and their last clash was in the 2013 FIFA Confederations Cup Brazil that served as a dress rehearsal for the showpiece event.
The 2013 FIFA Confederations Cup Brazil Group A game between the Selecao and Mexico resulted in a 2-0 victory for the home team that eliminated El Tri from the tournament. Neymar put Brazil ahead in the ninth minute and Jo doubled the Selecao’s tally as the match was entering stoppage time.
Only a Marcelo own goal prevented the 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil campaign of the host nation getting off to a perfect win-to-nil start. Mexico defeated Cameroon 1-0 in its Group A opener and El Tri had what looked like two perfectly fair goals ruled out but scoring has been a recurring problem for El Tri against much weaker sides than the title favourite.
Betfred is offering odds of 2.30 that the 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil Group A game between Luis Felipe Scolari’s team and Mexico results in a home win to nil. Basically, any odds-against quote simply looks too big to ignore in light of the 2013 FIFA Confederations Cup Brazil scoreline.
Russia and South Korea will be the last of the 32 sides to kick off their 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil campaigns and, luckily for punters, the teams have recent history. Russia and South Korea met in the United Arab Emirates just before the 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil draw placed them in the same section. Kim Shin-wook opened the scoring for South Korea in the sixth minute before Fyodor Smolov equalised six minutes later and Dmitri Tarasov won the game for Russia 14 minutes into the second half of the match at a neutral venue.
Unbeaten in nine games leading into the 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil and boasting that recent 2-1 win over South Korea, Russia will be popular at odds of 2.25 with many bookmakers, including Coral and Ladbrokes, to kick off its Group H campaign with a victory. South Korea has lost four of its six matches since losing to Russia seven months ago, with its most recent game resulting in a 0-4 loss to Ghana.
One does not doubt that Russia merits favouritism but Fabio Capello’s side has been making hard work of beating the likes of Armenia, Morocco and Slovakia in its recent matches and none of those teams qualified for the 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil. Russia for small stakes is the sensible bet on the head-to-head market, while Russia to win to nil and under two and a half goals are other potential plays.
Finally, 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil dark horse Belgium plays Algeria in Belo Horizonte. It seems that every second pundit has nominated Belgium as its 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil one to watch but one feels that the Red Devils are at least one tournament away from being the real deal, with most of their star players in their early to mid 20s. It would be a shock if Belgium did not get over the top of Algeria but all the 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil odds pertaining to the Red Devils are too short because of the media hype surrounding them.
Brazil to beat Mexico to nil
17th June 20:00
Where to Bet: Betfred
Russia to beat South Korea
17th June 23:00
Where to Bet: Coral, Ladbrokes