Betting Special: Are we set for more low-scoring action in the World Cup semi-finals?

Having seen a high-scoring group stage take on a defensive slant in the knockout stages, Al Hain-Cole wonders how much entertainment could be in store on Tuesday and Wednesday
After treating fans to the second highest-scoring World Cup group stages since 1958, goals seem to have dried up since the knockout rounds got underway.

Semi-final Goals

Odds from William Hill
Argentina-Netherlands Under 2.5 goals 4/9
Brazil-Germany Under 2.5 goals 1/2
Brazil-Germany both to score 21/20
Argentina-Netherlands Under 1.5 goals 6/4
Brazil-Germany Under 1.5 goals 13/8
Argentina to win to nil 12/5
Brazil-Germany to finish 0-0 13/2
Averaging just over a goal a goal per game, the knockout stages have so far been edgy affairs, although neutrals will be hoping for more entertainment when Brazil take on Germany and Argentina face the Netherlands in the semi-finals.

With 20 goals between them in their previous five fixtures, Brazil and Germany are available at 6/4 (2.50) with William Hill to produce at least three of them when they come face-to-face in Belo Horiztonte, and just 1/2 (1.50) to not exceed two.

Having seen just two goals scored in normal time in the last three matches, odds of 13/8 (2.63) may be worth considering on Joachim Low’s men reaping no more than one for the third consecutive match on Tuesday, although 4/9 (1.44) odds on over 1.5 would have paid out in each of the Selecao’s last three.

In fact, considering both teams have found the net in four of the hosts’ previous five at this tournament, odds of 21/20 (2.05) are probably better value on goals going in at both ends when they take on a dangerous German outfit.

Despite Neymar’s absence, it is unlikely that Luis Felipe Scolari’s side will attempt frustrate Die Mannschaft as Algeria did in the last 16, hence the 13/2 (7.50) odds on a goalless draw.

Meanwhile, even top scorers the Netherlands failed to find the net for the first time against Costa Rica last time out, and you can get odds of 4/9 (1.44) on no more than two goals going in when they take on an Argentina side that have kept three clean sheets in their last four.

Having produced just one goal between them in their respective quarter-finals, odds of 6/4 (2.50) certainly seem tempting on under 1.5 being scored when they come up against each other in Sao Paulo.

That bet looks particularly attractive considering it would have paid out in each of the last two meetings between the sides, including a 0-0 draw at World Cup 2006.

While Alejandro Sabella’s allegedly unadventurous tactics have been criticised back home, surely all would be forgiven should his side secure a place in the final on the back of a ninth clean sheet in 11, with odds of 12/5 (3.40) available on them winning to nil.

Brazil-Germany Both teams to score for a 2pt stake at 21/20 (2.05) with William Hill Netherlands-Argentina Under 1.5 goals for a 1pt stake at 6/4 (2.50) with William Hill

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Al Hain-Cole is an experienced tipster and avid follower of European football. He specialises in accumulators and if you would like to read more from Al you can follow him on Twitter here.