It’s finally here, the opening game of the first World Cup in the spiritual home of the beautiful game since 1950 and Brazil are weighty 3/10 to get their mission off to an ideal start.
Croatia are 21/2 to spoil the show, while an almost equally party-pooping draw is available at 9/2.
For all Croatia’s midfield wizardry the tidal wave of enthusiasm behind Luiz Felipe Scolari’s side should see the Balkan ballers swept aside – sadly the odds about it happening are on the lean side.
We at news.bwin.com/en/ realise that while some punters subscribe to the ‘value don’t pay the rent’ school of betting, there will be others for whom the trader’s assessment of the Canarinho is squeamishly skinny.
Below, for the delectation of the latter delegation, are three alternative wagers at slightly more lengthy prices.
Brazil to win the second half @ 57/100
Switzerland are the sole side to deny the Selecao a post interval net-bulger in their last 20 outings.
On home territory they’re expected to handle conditions that bit better than the Croatians, Eduardo excepted, with their guests’ tiring bodies expected to offer a slowly tapering level of resistance as the game progresses.
Fred to score @ 11/10
Cometh a tricky fixture (a boo-invitingly narrow win over the Serbians for instance), cometh Fred.
He may have been described by a Brazilian journalist as ‘Brazil’s worst striker in 30 years’ on BBC Radio Five Live this very morning, but the man his mother knows as Frederico Chaves Guedes has hit five goals in his last three competitive games for this country.
Both teams to score @ 8/5
Scolari’s scholars may have kept an imposing seven clean sheets in their last ten games, but Switzerland, Portugal and Chile (by some way the best of those foes) all managed to penetrate their defences.
Much may be made of the absence of Mario Mandzukic for Croatia, but given Ivica Olic and Ivan Perisic have both helped themselves to braces in recent friendlies, it’s likely the chances carved out by arch creators Ivan Rakitic and Luka Modric won’t all go a-begging.