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Goal Australia's betting expert Paul Gough casts his eyes over this weekend's South American World Cup qualifying and points you in the direction of the best value

The race to qualify for the 2014 World Cup finals from South America's CONMEBOL could be all but settled on Friday, if the bookies are on the money.

With four rounds to go and only the top four sides to qualify automatically for Brazil next year, Argentina lead the standings with 26 points from 13 matches, ahead of Colombia on 23 from 12, Ecuador on 21 from 12 and Chile on 21 from 13.

Then comes Uruguay in fifth spot - a position which would be enough to secure a two-legged play-off against either Jordan or Uzbekistan for another spot at the World Cup - with 16 points from 12 games.

Surprise packets Venezuela - who have never qualified for the World Cup - are also on 16 points but have played a game more while Peru (14 points from 12 games) are also still in contention to finish fifth, with Bolivia (10 points) and Paraguay (eight) all but out of contention.

However, in what shapes as a crucial round of qualifiers, the top four can all but book their plane tickets for Brazil on Friday while the race for fifth spot and a play-off place is likely to remain wide open.

Argentina are not in action in this round but second-placed Colombia at $1.53 at bet365 and Chile at $1.40 are both short odds to win at home against Ecuador at $7 and Venezuela at $8.50 respectively.

Both should win comfortably to all but secure their places in Brazil next year, as should Paraguay at $1.44 at home to Bolivia at $7.50 in what is essentially a dead rubber.


Back Colombia, Chile and Paraguay to win.

Go for a 0-0 draw in the Peru-Uruguay World Cup qualifier at odds of $9 in correct score betting at bet365.

However, the other game looms as a ripper, with Peru hosting Uruguay.

This is by far the best betting game of the round with Peru installed as the $2.60 favourites at home at bet365 with Uruguay at $2.75 and the draw at a tempting $3.20.

A draw in this game, combined with a likely loss for Venezuela, would leave the top four sides all but certain to qualify as well as ensuring the race for fifth spot between Peru, Uruguay and Venezuela goes right down to the wire.

Uruguay beat Peru 4-2 in Montevideo earlier in the campaign but Peru's home form so far has been superb - four wins and a draw from six games while their only defeat was a narrow 1-0 loss to Colombia.

Peru have also conceded just three goals in those six home games, meaning Uruguay will face a tough task breaking them down despite the presence of two of the world's best strikers in Liverpool's Luiz Suarez and Napoli's Edinson Cavani in their ranks.

Uruguay have also scored just three goals in six away games so far in the campaign so if ever a game had a 0-0 draw written all over it - particularly when the stakes are so high - it is this one and bet365 are offering generous odds of $9 on that score line in their correct score betting market.

*Note prices subject to change

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