Weekend Witness - - Racing - WITH ERIC DEN­MAN

AT the time of writ­ing we knew the first eight sides to en­ter the knock­out stages of the World Cup this week­end. In to­day’s early game at 4 pm, Uruguay, who have not con­ceded a sin­gle goal in the tour­na­ment, face un­der­rated and hard­work­ing South Korea. This is a dif­fi­cult match to fore­cast but given the South Amer­i­can team’s de­fence, I think they could edge this game by one goal to nil, al­though South Korea will fight to the bit­ter end.

In tonight’s late game at 8.30 pm the USA team, who de­served to win Group C af­ter suf­fer­ing bad calls in two of their three games, face the only African side left in the com­pe­ti­tion, Ghana. Ghana have not scored a sin­gle goal from open play and the only two goals they did score came from the penalty spot and they def­i­nitely lack a goal scorer of any abil­ity. The USA team cut the de­fence of Al­ge­ria to pieces when only win­ning 1­0 and could be too classy for their African op­po­nents, and I go for a 2­1 USA vic­tory.

In to­mor­row’s 4 pm game it’s the old en­e­mies of the 1966 fi­nal meet­ing each other again when Eng­land play Ger­many. Ger­many’s only loss came when they played with 10 men for 70 min­utes, oth­er­wise they have looked de­fen­sively strong and one of the tour­na­ment con­tenders. Eng­land have only scored two goals and could not win an easy group and looked very mod­er­ate against Slove­nia in their only vic­tory. Ger­many are my con­fi­dent choice to win this fix­ture and the win­ners of this game should play Ar­gentina in the quar­ter­fi­nals.

In to­mor­row’s late game, Ar­gentina face cen­tral Amer­i­can op­po­nents in the form of Mex­ico, who play at­trac­tive foot­ball but sadly lack a goal scorer up front and given the fact that Ar­gentina have scored seven goals in the group stages it looks a case of men against boys and once again I am con­fi­dent of Ar­gentina record­ing a vic­tory mar­gin of two goals.

In to­mor­row’s rugby fix­tures the All Blacks play Wales for the sec­ond of their two­fix­ture se­ries and al­though the All Blacks have changed a num­ber of com­bi­na­tions, they look un­beat­able on last week’s re­sult. With­out con­ced­ing a try and with a 33­point win­ning mar­gin, the All Blacks look a good bet to over­come to­day’s hand­i­cap.

Aus­tralia will be livid with their poor dis­play last week when los­ing by a sin­gle point to Eng­land in the sec­ond game at 11.45 am. I fore­cast a much­im­proved Aus­tralian show­ing to­day when they face Ire­land and tip the home team to win by a seven­point mar­gin.

The Spring­boks play at 3 pm in a re­peat of last week’s fix­ture against Italy. The Spring­boks were dis­ap­pointed in their per­for­mance when only win­ning by 16 points and will be look­ing for a big­ger win­ning mar­gin but the Ital­ians have shown tremen­dous im­prove­ment and must take some of the credit for last week’s low win­ning mar­gin. Given the Spring­bok team be­ing stronger than last week’s, I am con­fi­dent they will over­come their big hand­i­cap in the bookmakers ‘sys­tem.

In tonight’s late game, Ar­gentina, who sur­pris­ingly lost both their fix­tures against Scot­land, face France, who will look to im­prove on their thrash­ing by the Spring­boks. Given Ar­gentina’s in­abil­ity to score tries against Scot­land, I can only make a good bet on France to over­come their hand­i­cap in the bet­ting sys­tem.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from South Africa

© PressReader. All rights reserved.