While it’s no surprise to see teams play a more defensive game as the World Cup progresses, low scoring encounters have often been the bane of the average punters’ existence…until now.
That’s because Ladbrokes is offering 2/1 on two or more of the quarter-finals going to extra time – a fantastic price when you consider the track records of the eight remaining teams.
Not convinced? Read on for five reasons why no punter should pass on those odds!
Germany and France’s newfound goalscoring woes
Die Mannschaft toiled for well over 90 minutes against Algeria and though they found the net once against USA, they looked relatively toothless in front of goal for long periods of the game with Clint Dempsey coming close on one particular occasion.
France started the World Cup with a bang but have gone off the boil, drawing 0-0 with Ecuador before beating Nigeria 2-0 in a game heading for extra time until a blunder from Vincent Enyeama and a Joseph Yobo own goal. With both likely to be cautious, a further 30 minutes may be required.
Brazil and Colombia’s have a history of draws
Anyone consulting the record books will know that Colombia and Brazil have made something of a habit of sharing the spoils in recent times, with each of the previous four meetings between the teams ending in draws.
These haven’t been friendly encounters either, with three of the four draws taking place in previous World Cup qualifying campaigns. Having held the similarly attack-minded Chile to a draw in the last round, with a similar stalemate against Mexico in the groups, we could be in for a repeat.
Costa Rica’s dogged defence and Holland’s dodgy one
The undoubted minnows of the second round, Costa Rica will nevertheless fancy their chances of getting a goal against a Holland team with a horrible defensive record at this World Cup. The Oranje have just one clean sheet to their name and could fall foul to the likes of Joel Campbell and Bryan Ruiz.
Already goalscorers against the likes of Uruguay, Italy and Greece, Le Sele could take the lead here – as three of Holland’s four opponents at this World Cup have – before conceding a late goal. With a repeat of Robben’s last-gasp penalty box fall unlikely, a full-time score of 1-1 or 2-2 is possible.
The second round scorelines serve as an indicator
While the group stages saw teams attack with wild abandon at times, the knockouts have been a far cagier affair thus far, with just 10 goals scored in normal time across the eight matches played.
More importantly than that, a grand total of five of the eight games played have gone to extra time with no goals scored in a whopping three of these contests.
Messi may not make it through the Belgium Blockade
Lionel Messi may have been the man who set Angel Di Maria on his way to scoring Argentina’s extra time winner against Switzerland but the South Americans struggled for much of the 90 forgettable minutes played by the pair.
Failure to score could have slowed the momentum Messi was building after four goals in the groups and next up he faces the best defence at the tournament. The Red Devils may be struggling in front of goal but with Vincent Kompany and co yet to concede from open play, extra time looks assured.
All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.
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