As is so often the agonising way for acca punters, a 90th minute goal cost us a steady 6.5/1 winner last week.
The culprit? Little Xherdan Shaqiri, whose last minute winner for Switzerland against Serbia in the World Cup ensured our Under 2.5 Goals selection was toast.
Otherwise, there were wins for Germany, Mexico and Belgium, while our -1 handicap tilt on England against Panama landed with ease.
The World Cup is just starting to creep towards its business end, which may make finding genuine betting value tricky, but this column has been in good form for a number of weeks now and so there’s no reason to panic.
Here’s this week’s football accumulator betting tips:
|Panama vs Tunisia||Tunisia Draw No Bet||1/3|
|France vs Argentina||Under 2.5 Goals||1/2|
|Uruguay vs Portugal||Uruguay/Draw Double Chance||2/5|
|Spain vs Russia||Spain to Win||8/13|
|Croatia vs Denmark||Croatia to Win||17/20|
|Five-Fold Acca Odds||7.36/1|
Panama vs Tunisia: Tunisia Draw No Bet
England were excellent in dispatching Panama 6-1 on Sunday, but we have to look at both sides of the coin and suggest that the Panamanians simply aren’t up scratch as far as World Cup football is concerned.
Seemingly more interested in kicking the opposition and arguing with the referee, Panama qualified from the Central American section with a minus goal difference and clearly that is no coincidence.
Tunisia are no strangers to roughhouse tactics themselves, but at least there is an end product where they are concerned. They managed 15 shots at goal against Belgium last time out, five of which were on target, and that suggests they have just enough going forward to see off the physical stylings of Panama.
France v Argentina: Under 2.5 Goals
Lionel Messi, Antoine Griezmann, Sergio Aguero, Kylian Mbappe, Gonzalo Higuain, Olivier Giroud….
France and Argentina are similar in that they both have a litany of attacking talents at their disposal, and yet neither can find a system that brings the best out of them.
Indeed, the Argentines needed an 85th minute goal against Nigeria from a defender, Marcos Rojo, just to stay in the competition.
Combined, these two teams have scored six goals in 540 minutes of football, and so while it feels counter-intuitive based upon the players at their disposal, we don’t expect France and Argentina to play out a goal-laden cracker on Saturday.
Uruguay vs Portugal: Uruguay/Draw Double Chance
We have been unconvinced by Portugal throughout this tournament, and their 1-1 draw with Iran did nothing to change that attitude.
They are the archetypal one-man team, with Cristiano Ronaldo wholly isolated in a sea of mediocrity. The European champions don’t even work hard for their talisman – covering just 89km against the Iranians, and their complete lack of class will see them come unstuck sooner or later.
Perhaps Uruguay are the team for the job, because make no mistake Luis Suarez and Edinson Cavani will make mincemeat out of Pepe and Jose Fonte if their service is good.
The South Americans are solid, rather than spectacular, but they are yet to concede a goal in Russia and their switch to a back three against the hosts really seemed to suit them; they had an attacking edge to go with their defensive solidity.
Spain vs Russia: Spain to Win
It’s going to be very hard for Russia to recover from the 0-3 trousering at the hands of Uruguay; their proverbial bubble has been burst.
Okay, so they were reduced to ten men early in the piece, but their play was disjointed and there was a sense amongst the quietened crowd that the fervent support that had greeted the players previously was waning. Perhaps the belief has gone….
Spain don’t lack in belief, and why should they. But for a Ronaldo masterclass they’d have claimed seven points from their group matches, and while they struggled against Morocco you suspect their standards will rise in more important encounters.
They have so much class at their disposal that you can see the Spaniards bringing a premature end to the hosts’ party.
Croatia vs Denmark: Croatia to Win
It would be fair to say that Croatia have been one of the most impressive teams of the World Cup so far.
They have taken a maximum nine points from their group matches, have seen five different players score and were able to rest some key figures for their final game to ensure they were fresh for this one.
There is very little about Denmark to suggest an upset is on the cards. Christian Eriksen is a class act and Pione Sisto looks lively down the left flank, but the Danes on the whole are sluggish and bring very little to the party.