World Cup Countdown: 16/1 for two or more Asian group winners
The latest instalment of Ladbrokes’ countdown to the World Cup revolves around the participants from Asia, as the company go 16/1 that two or more of the four qualifiers end up topping their groups.
Japan, South Korea, Iran and Australia are the quadrant hoping to land Ladbrokes customers some dough, although realistically only two of them have a chance of achieving the feat.
Judging by the Group Winner betting, Japan, who are 9/2 to prevail in Group C, are still outsiders for top spot.
Both Colombia, the 4/5 favourites, and Ivory Coast are better priced to progress as group winners than Shinji Kagawa’s side but the mini-league is still very much open.
A win over Belgium and a draw with Holland in recent internationals hints at the capability of the Japanese and they are certainly ones to pin hopes on if taking on the 16/1 special offer.
South Korea are the other side with a shot of finishing top in a group with Belgium, Russia and Algeria.
Although their 7/1 price doesn’t suggest they have much of a chance, their competitors aren’t of the same stature as the likes of Argentina, Brazil or Spain.
Belgium, although highly vaunted, have next to no experience at a major international tournament while any English readers can vouch for Fabio Capello’s potential to be a negative influence in these situations.
At 33/1 and 50/1 to win their group’s respectively, Iran and Australia aren’t really worth making a case for if the special 16/1 price takes the fancy.
2002 was the last time two Asian sides topped the group stages, with both South Korea and Japan obliging when acting as co-hosts.
Any worries that their home surroundings were the main reason for such a showing are perhaps justified, but their second places in the 2010 version suggest that performances in other parts of the world are possible.
All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.
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