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The knock out stages are finally here and there are some fabulous markets to make money on for this afternoon's first showdown...


Kick Off: Saturday, June 25, 2010. 16:00 CET
Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium, Port Elizabeth

After two weeks of group stages and plenty of snooze fests thrown in for good measure the business end of the World Cup gets underway this afternoon. Bring on beautiful knock-out football.

Uruguay played two decent teams plus France in the group phase. They earned maximum points after thumping South Africa and a hard fought win over Mexico while a point was their due against Les Miserables Bleus. Oscar Tabarez's team have yet to concede a goal and have a fearsome striking duo of Diego Forlan and Luis Suarez. Win today and they'll fancy their chances against Ghana or the USA in the quarter finals. A last four place is a very real possibility.

South Korea are here on merit and don't let any Greece or Nigeria fan tell you otherwise.  The Asians outclassed their European opponents before getting ahead of themselves against Argentina where they fancied their chances of winning. A resolute draw was their reward after an entertaining contest with Nigeria which could have gone either way.

Uruguay Tips
Forgive me for pointing out the obvious but Diego Forlan is your best bet for Uruguay. He's been his country's most potent attacker forcing ten shots, scoring two goals and completing 140 passes which put him at the top of the stats chart. At even money to score during the 90 minutes, snap him up.  

* Diego Forlan to score first/anytime - 4.0/2.0

As we said above Uruguay have yet to let a goal slip in between the sticks. Tabarez has his team well drilled and will be aware of Korea's ability on the break.

* Uruguay to keep a clean sheet - 1.83

South Korea Tips
Having scored in every game, write off the Taegeuk Warriors at your risk. They've scored in the first half of every single group game and have the pace and ability to do so again today.

* South Korea to score first - 2.87

Lee Jung Soo has bagged two goals in the tournament so far and is fabulously priced in both markets to do so again today.

* Lee Jung-Soo to score first/anytime - 51.0/23.0

Betting Verdict
Between them these teams have scored in five of their six World Cup games. Only Uruguay's turgid opener with France was a stalemate and the gloves are off now. This leads me to believe the sensible bet is on both teams to score at 2.20. This is unlikely to be a high scoring match as both teams have too much to lose so under 2.5 goals at 1.52 looks worthwhile

The last time Uruguay reached the last 16 the same man was on the bench. Oscar Tabarez oversaw a 1-0 over South Korea during Italia '90 and I expect him to do the same again today. Back Uruguay to win at 1.86.

Outside Value Bet
Diego Forlan to score two or more goals - 7.0
Yes, we realise it's obvious but given his rich vein of form this is worth a small stake at least.

Expert Eye
Robin Bairner, Goal.com International

"Uruguay have very much been one of the form teams of the competition to date and look good to seal their passage into the quarter-finals for the first time in 40 years. South Korea certainly won’t make life easy for their South American opponents, but Oscar Tabarez’s side should be a little too stable and have a little too much flair for their opponents."

Prediction: Uruguay 2-0 South Korea

Odds on Uruguay 2-0 win: 7.0

Uruguay to win by two:
4.50

Uruguay to win to nil:
2.60

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Odds correct at time of publication. Goal.com encourages all readers who bet to do so sensibly.

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