Iran to frustrate frustrating Nigeria

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Iran is one of the most defensively minded teams in the 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil and Nigeria has a reputation for being wasteful in front of goal so betting on under two and a half goals in the Group F games between the sides is logical.

Former Manchester United right back Gary Neville wrote in his autobiography that Carlos Queiroz was obsessive about stopping the opposition during his time as the Red Devils assistant manager. Queiroz is coach of Iran these days and he has got the 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil outsider playing what is essentially a boring 4-4-1-1 formation that places considerable emphasis on making the team hard to break down.

Iran’s defensive organisation is its key strength and, while there is clear gap in talent between its players and those representing Nigeria, there is a good chance that the 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil Group F roughie will make life hard for a Super Eagles side that does not deserve its nickname.

Nigeria deserves to be the favourite for its 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil Group F match against Iran because the underdog’s last four results have been poor – a win over Trinidad and Tobago and draws with Angola, Belarus and Montenegro. The issue that one has regarding Nigeria is that its form does not read all that much better, with its last four results being a loss to the United States of America and draws with Greece, Mexico and Scotland. If one is in a 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil tipping competition then Nigeria would be the pick but it does not make betting on it worthwhile.

What is worthwhile, though, is snapping up odds of 1.62 with Bwin about Iran and Nigeria combining for under two and a half goals. Each of Iran’s last four games have gone under two and a half goals and seven of its last eight 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil qualifying matches in the AFC zone went under that line as well. Four of Nigeria’s last six games have gone under two and a half goals and seven of its eight 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil qualifying matches in the CAF region went under that line as well. Anything could happen but a low-scoring game, quite probably won by Nigeria, is what one think is most likely to unfold in Curitiba.

Germany versus Portugal is the most attractive 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil match of the day, at least from a viewing perspective. Germany is unbeaten in its last 10 matches and Portugal has not lost any of its eight games since losing 1-3 to Brazil in the United States of America nine months ago. Furthermore, Germany and Portugal have had four common opponents since the beginning of 2013 – Cameroon, Ecuador, Ireland and Sweden – and one’s reading of the results put the Germans on top in two and the Portuguese on top in two.

Betfair’s sportsbook and Boylesports are offering odds of 3.40 about the 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil Group G clash of the giants resulting in a draw and that feels like the bet.

Finally, there is the other 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil Group G match between Ghana and the United States of America. The teams met in the 2010 FIFA World Cup South Africa round of 16 and it took Asamoah Gyan’s extra-time goal to separate Ghana and the United States of America in favour of the Black Stars. Ghana and the United States of America rate similarly now to what they did four years ago so backing the draw at odds of 3.20 with Boylesports is a rational play.

Collateral form followers will note that Ghana beat South Korea 4-0 in the United States of America earlier this month and the Stars and Stripes posted a 2-0 win over the same opposition on home soil in February. That form line favours Ghana but, just as they say in boxing, styles makes fights and the United States of America is unlikely to play as aggressively in attack against Ghana as South Korea did. Ghana’s strength is hitting sides on the break, something that its early goal versus South Korea made possible.

Tips Summary

Iran v Nigeria Under 2.5 Goals
16th June 20:00 GMT
Odds: 1.62
Where to Bet: Bwin

Germany and Portugal to Draw
16th June 17:00 GMT
Odds: 3.40
Where to Bet: Betfair’s sportsbook, Boylesports

Ghana and USA to Draw
16th June 23:00 GMT
Odds: 3.20
Where to Bet: Boylesports

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