With some excellent sides in the group, Phil Kitromilides believes that it is a tough one to call but explains why there could be value in backing a goalless first match
With the greatest of respect to the Anitpodean team, nobody expects Australia to realistically win a match
and they are understandably the rank outsiders for top spot in Group B at 33/1 (34.00) with Paddy Power.
Therefore it will be left to Spain, Netherlands and Chile to battle it out for progress to the latter stages and La Roja are the clear favorites at 8/11 (1.72) to finish ahead of the others.
The Dutch come next in the betting at 11/4 (3.25) while Chile are offered at 4/1 (5.00).
Paddy Power also offer a market on who will finish bottom of the group but, in this particular field, it is almost impossible to see past Australia, who are available at just 1/4 (1.25) for the wooden spoon.
Paddy Power do, however, offer another more intriguing market: that the first group game will end 0-0. In Group B that game is Spain against Netherlands.
The price for a goalless draw here is 8/1 (9.00) and that looks like being of real value for punters looking for a small group investment.
Spain, of course, lost their first game at the previous World Cup and are usually slow starters. The last meeting between these two sides was the final match of the previous tournament, which also finished 0-0 after 90 minutes.
While both teams are supremely talented, neither are particularly prolific in front of goal and, with so much at stake in such a close group, an extremely tight game could be on the cards.
Given that it is a tough one to call, this might just be the most interesting selection for this particular group.
|Opening game to be goalless at 8/1 (9.00) 1.0pt stake with Paddy Power|
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Phil Kitromilides is a sports journalist and TV presenter in Madrid