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JD signs off his World Cup blog

Our glorious World Cup reaches its dramatic conclusion this weekend, and whoever emerges victorious from Spain and Netherlands will make history as neither of these nations have won football's greatest prize.

The stakes have never been higher.

I've enjoyed this World Cup immensely, although the standard of football has been mediocre (blame FIFA and their stupid beach ball), there has been plenty of drama, controversy and some tasty bets to keep us all ticking over.

Paul the psychic octopus is being lined up for a job with the bookies after correctly predicting every match he's been asked to do so far.

He even fancied Serbia to beat Germany when they were 5/1 (6.0) by the bookmakers - wish he had told me about that hot tip!


Psychic octopus | Paul predicts a Spain victory

Apparently Paul fancies Spain to beat the Netherlands and that Germany will beat Uruguay.

His tips have been more accurate than mine recently and I reckon he's bang on the money again.

Spain have thrilled us purists with their pass and move game and are around 11/10 (2.10) with most bookies to beat the Dutch in 90 mins. That's a decent price and well worth considering.

Vincent del Bosque's team retain the ball so well and are brilliant at wearing teams down eventually.

La Furia Roja have steel and a winning mentality which have never been evident in previous Spanish teams.

Frankly, it's incredible that Spain have never got beyond the quarter finals of the World Cup considering the deep reservoir of talent the country has regularly produced.

Now is their time. Spain won the European Championships two years ago so they are familiar with the requirements to win a big tournament.

Odds of 11/10 (2.10) on them to win is a price worth taking. If they don't end up as World Champions we can always blame the octopus. Anyone for a fish supper on Sunday night?

Howard Webb has been chosen to referee the World Cup final and it's a wonderful honour for the Englishman.

No doubt he'll be telling the grandchildren about this achievement when he puts his yellow card into retirement.

He was 16/1 (17.0) at the start of the tournament to referee the final and I was tempted at the time to put some money on him.

However, he refereed the Champions League final in May so that put me off as it's most unusual to be asked to do both showpiece occasions in the same year.

FIFA obviously have a lot of faith in him. Either that or they just couldn't find any other decent referees...

Mr. Webb is around 7/2 (4.50) to dish out a red card on Sunday. It's a tempting bet especially with the likes of Mark Von Bommel kicking anything that moves in the midfield.

You can imagine Van Bommel and his midfield partner Nigel de Jong getting physical and frustrated at the intricate passing of Xavi, Iniesta and company so it's worth a small punt.


Seeing red? | The likes of Xavi and Iniesta may frustrate Nigel de Jong

As for the third place play off well that is a tough game to call as it's hard to judge what mindset both teams will approach the game.

Losing any semi-final is tough. Losing a World Cup semi-final even more so.

That being said I expect Germany to show their class and pace that we saw against England and Argentina and see off Uruguay.

It won't be easy for Germany as Uruguay are a determined unit but I always say 'if in doubt back the Germans.'

Last week's tips weren't among my best. As I've always maintained we are in this game to make a steady profit.

Nobody can get it right all of the time unless you are an octopus. Let's hope we are all in squids come Sunday night!

JD's Tips


* Germany to win at 4/6 (1.67)

* Spain to win at 11/10 (2.10)

* Red card in World Cup final - 7/2 (4.50) (A small stake)

Enjoy the World Cup final and as always bet responsibly.

JD is Goal.com's betting blogger who lives in one of Europe's top cities and works in the stock market. He can be reached at betting@goal.com.

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