Chile set to inspire South American clean sweep at World Cup
Chile’s all-action victory over World Cup holders Spain not only provided arguably the biggest shock of the World Cup – it could also inspire some of the fellow South American teams to progress through the group stage.
Jorge Sampaoli’s team had come in for some slight criticism after only beating group whipping boys Australia 3-1 in their opening fixture, but after seeing the Socceroos run Holland close yesterday, La Roja could even be ready to pip the Dutch to top spot in the group.
The Oranje will be without talismanic striker Robin van Persie, who is set to sit out the final round of fixtures after picking up a second yellow card, so Chile will have to go all out for a win, knowing that draw will see the Dutch team progress in top spot.
Fail to come top of the pile and a second round encounter with Brazil could be in the offing, with the hosts still looking good to top their group, despite drawing 0-0 with Mexico earlier this week. Backing Chile at 2/1 therefore could be worth considering.
One South American team who do look nailed on for progression is Colombia after Los Cafeteros blew away Greece – the team with the best defensive record in the UEFA section of qualifying – winning 3-0 in a comfortable victory for Los Cafeteros.
With fixtures against Ivory Coast and Japan to come – two teams with notably poor defensive records – a top spot finish looks assured at 4/9 with Ladbrokes.
Two teams from the continent facing an uphill task to progress, however, are Uruguay and Ecuador.
Uruguay face-off against England later and, provided they win, then 4/1 offered on qualification looks good, particularly if a fully-fit Luis Suarez returns to lead the line.
Ecuador face a similarly tricky route to progression, after suffering stoppage-time heartbreak against Switzerland, but there is still some room for optimism.
A game against a poor Honduras team awaits them later this week and a big win there, combined with another high scoring France win over Switzerland could offer some hope going into the second game.
That combination could allow France to take their foot off the accelerator in the final fixture, knowing that only a heavy loss would result in them failing to qualify or even top the standings.
Switzerland will be quietly concerned about facing Honduras the team that held them to a draw in 2010. That result sent Ottmar Hitzfeld’s team home and should it come, then the 10/3 on Ecuador progress looks tempting.
Argentina, meanwhile, look nailed on for top spot after seeing off nearest challengers Bosnia and at 1/25 could be the cherry to put atop of this South American clean sweep bet.
Available at sensational odds of just over 96/1, a £10 bet with Ladbrokes would return £976.40 – but can you bet against England?
All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.
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