Phil Kitromilides believes this is one of the toughest pools to call but explains why there could be value in backing a goalless opening game
With the greatest of respect to the Anitpodean outfit, 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 - and 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 is particularly prolific in front of goal and with so much at stake in such a tight 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