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.