World Cup 2014 Betting Tips for Group A
On the 12th June, the day we've all been waiting for finally arrives. At 21:00 UK time, the World Cup will kick off with the hosts and tournament favourites Brazil facing off against Croatia.
The other two countries competing in Group A are Cameroon and Mexico. This is an exciting group as you have the clear favourites to win the group in Brazil, then second spot is up for grabs with the remaining three teams all being of a similar quality.
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Brazil are 10/3 favourites to win the World Cup outright and are 1/4 to win group A. This tells you all you need to know about the hosts expected dominance of Group A. They are levels above the other competitors, with star players such as Neymar, Thiago Silva, Oscar, Fred, Hulk and Dani Alves they will be far too good and should comfortably top the group. Brazil will be seeking revenge against Mexico as they defeated them in the Olympic final. Although the Olympics is not a true representation of the teams, it showed Mexico have good youngsters and enough talent to do damage against a Brazil team that included Neymar.
Mexico are joint second favourites to quality alongside Croatia, they are both best price 5/4 to qualify for the knock-out phases of the tournament and this market is where we will be looking for our Group A World Cup betting tip. Mexico dramatically scraped into the World Cup 2014, they were heading out before the USA scored two late goals against Panama which put Mexico through. They comfortably dispatched of New Zealand in the playoffs with impressive performances from striker Oribe Peralta. The forward is not very well known in Europe as he plays domestically in Mexico, but he has a good record scoring 15 goals in 28 performances and will be one to watch out for.
They have a talented squad without any stand-out world class players. Meico have a sold spine with veteran Marquez, Aguilar, Pena, Peralta and Jimenez and can also call on the Manchester United goal-poacher Javier Hernandez.
Croatia also qualified through the play-offs, beating underdogs Iceland in a cagey two legged affair coming through 2-0 on aggregate. If you look through Croatia's team there is a lot of recognised talent there. The stand-out player is midfield maestro Luka Modric. He is starting to settle into the Real Madrid team and is Croatia’s best player, most of Croatia’s attack goes through him and his creativity. Their midfield is a strength as Modric plays alongside highly sought after midfielder Ivan Rakitic. He plays for Sevilla; who might struggle to hold on to him with teams like Liverpool and Manchester United interested in capturing his services.
They have good striking options in Mario Mandzukic, who has up until now been a prolific goal-scorer for both Croatia and European Champions Bayern. Hull forward Nikica Jelavic is an option off the bench, who despite struggling the past season to get into any sort of club form, is capable of an impact goal. There are other experienced quality players including Dario Srna, Vedran Corluka and Josip Simunic that provide a solid defensive base to build from. This is an experienced team with some real quality throughout the team, despite them not achieving much in the last few years, I expect them to be stronger than the other candidates for second place and progress from the group and Croatia to qualify makes up my World Cup betting tip for Group A.
Cameroon are expected to finish bottom of the group, they also qualified through the play-offs defeating Tunisia 4-1 on aggregate. Their best player is Samuel Eto'o who is past his best but is still well capable of scoring goals at the World Cup. Webo, Alex Song, Makoun, Assou-Ekotto and M'bia provide a decent spine that can compete, but they will have to over-achieve and play past their potential in order to qualify for the next round. I think the value here is with Croatia to qualify at 5/4, their squad has been there before and has enough talent and experience in the team to get the best of Mexico and Cameroon and qualify in second place.
World Cup Betting Tip for Group A:
Croatia to qualify from Group A – click here to bet at 5/4 with Sky Bet.
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