Teemo Pukki must have one of the worst names in international football, and I for one christened him with a couple of strong and offensive middle names after he popped up to knacker one of my accumulators last weekend.
It wasn’t the first time that Spain had done for me during the international week. I also had them down to beat France in Madrid prior to Christmas, only for Oliver Giroud’s last minute equaliser to cost me, and these two draws mean the reigning world champions now face an uphill task to automatically qualify for Brazil 2014.
They trail the French by two points ahead of their meeting in Paris on Tuesday night, and anything other than a win for Vicente del Bosque’s side will more than likely mean that La Roja will have to go the long way round to Rio.
But after their double dip, my sympathy for Spain is next to none existent and I’m now growing partial to the prospect of seeing them miss out on the main event.
They may be the greatest international side of all time but I find watching Spain pretty tiresome. Their hour and half tika-taka monopolisation of the ball may be effective but it’s about as wearing on the viewer as it is on the opposition and I’d shed few tears if they were absent in Brazil.
Despite their uncertain position at present, bwin still have Spain as 31/50 favourites to win Group I with France at 6/5, but the better pick is for Spain to actually win the World Cup at 5/1.
Even if they don’t pick up the points in Paris, they’ll still amble through the play-offs and it’s unlikely that the world champions will drift much further than 5/1, so the early punt would definitely be for them to win the thing in a little over 15 months time.
However, the here and now is the game at the Stade de France on Tuesday evening and there are similarly priced punts which would give you more of an instant return.
bwin’s 3Way football betting market has the visitors at a surprisingly short-priced 6/5 for the win with France at 9/4 and the draw the same odds, but I’m a bit strained as to which way to go.
If they click into gear then Spain could decorate this game with their class but at the same time, Didier Deschamps men are on the up and would take the draw now.
Even without siding with one or another, there is plenty out there to make money on, or, do as I do and boost your accumulator with goals.
Spain games don’t generally have too many goals but as they need the win, they’ll have to push on and that could open things up at both ends. It’s 11/10 there’s over 2.5 strikes overall and 5/4 there’s two in the second half and they seem safe enough to me to put on your multiple.
Out of the two, I’m thinking Spain are the more likely to claim the victory. I was unimpressed with the French when they were outclassed by Germany in the last international week and they looked a class below when knocked out of the Euro’s by Spain in the summer.
Given what’s at stake, I reckon the world champions can put in a shift worthy of that tag and as such I’ll be hoping to avoid an unwanted hat-trick by backing them once again.
Spain’s philosophy of passing the opposition into a coma invariably takes time, and a high percentage of games are all square at the interval.
As such, the 0-0 halftime score is only 31/20 but the draw/Spain win is 17/4 and that looks tasty to me.
If Spain can end their opening half jinx, then get on them to score in both halves at 13/5 and if you can see both sides scoring, Spain with over 2.5 goals in the game is 11/4, with 2-1 Spain a massive 8/1.
New customers signing up with bwin are entitled to a free £20 bet, and sticking that on a 2-1 Spain win could pull you in £220.
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