WORLD CUP PREVIEW: Spain v Netherlands (8pm)
[dropcap]I[/dropcap]t’s always nice to start any major tourney with a profit and the recommended bet yesterday of backing Brazil (-1) on the three way handicap with Star Sports – came up trumps thanks to the late third goal from Brazil.
That was a profit of 16.6 points to the recommended stake.
I’m not sure what we learned last night in terms of future matches.
The referee had a shocker. Yuichi Nishimura should have sent Neymar off prior to him scoring and the penalty decision was ludicrous.
Vanishing powder is a good innovation. Goal line technology, less so, in my opinion. There are many more times when matches are ruined by poor refereeing decisions (last night, prime example) which have far more consequences for punters than the relatively few occasions of ‘did the ball go fully over the line’.
It’s probably a subject for another day but I’d much rather have seen the technology used to review pivotal decisions such as red cards and penalties. If it had, we would have seen a completely different match.
In terms of Brazil’s overall chances in the World Cup I came out of the game neutral. I fail to see why bookmakers have shortened up their price based on what we saw last night. Brazil benefitted from TWO massive decisions yet bookmakers have taken the vanishing powder to their outright odds.
Three games tonight 5pm, 8pm and 11pm. Crikey, to be in the pizza delivery business during the World Cup…..
The highlight match has to be Spain v Netherlands (8pm BBC) – a repeat of the rather dull final four years ago that ended 1-0 to Spain.
When they met four years ago in South Africa referee Howard Webb was forced to issue 14 bookings and one red card !!!!
Over the years Spain have edged the head to heads by 5-4 with just one drawn match since they first played in the 1920 Olympics. I remember Star Sports supremo Ben Keith recently telling me all about that one….
HEAD TO HEAD RECORD
(Max last 10 only)
Jul 2010 World Cup Holland 0-1 Spain
Mar 2002 International Holland 1-0 Spain
Nov 2000 International Spain 1-2 Holland
Jan 1987 International Spain 1-1 Holland
Nov 1983 Euro Championships Holland 2-1 Spain
Feb 1983 Euro Championships Spain 1-0 Holland
Jan 1980 International Spain 1-0 Holland
May 1973 International Holland 3-2 Spain
Jan 1957 International Spain 5-1 Holland
Sep 1920 Olympic Games Holland 1-3 Spain
Since 2010 Spain and the Netherlands have gone in polar opposite directions with the Spaniards, led by Vicente del Bosque, now bidding to win a fourth straight major trophy.
Group B looks competitive. A draw in this match and win for Chile later against Australia would put immediate pressure on both Spain and the Netherlands so a stalemate is not going to be a desirable option.
Same bet for me as last night Spain (-1) on the handicap but we are looking at around 11/4 tonight.