World Cup Countdown: Could England and Ivory Coast clash?
Just four days lie between the world and the start of the most enthralling football tournament on the planet, with Ladbrokes continuing their role as World Cup hype man with their special offers.
Having priced up the possibility of Roy Hodgson’s England facing both Japan and Greece in the second round, the company go 4/1 that it’s the Ivory Coast who are the Three Lions’ second round opponents in Brazil.
Colombia are heavily fancied to finish Group C’s proceedings on top of the table and with the Ivory Coast in such average form leading up to the tournament, it seems unlikely that the Elephants will topple the South American side.
Two wins in their last seven games is hardly group-winning form for the African nation, but in such a tight group, a path into the second round could still be achievable as runners up for the Ivory Coast.
In fact, Ladbrokes have Sabri Lamouchi’s side as the favourites to come second in Group C, at 23/10, with the Colombians, Japanese and Greeks all trailing them in the market.
So with a runners up spot the most likely finishing place for Didier Drogba and co, then England would need to win Group D in order to face them in the round of 16.
The Three Lions are currently the third favourites, at 11/5, to win their group, behind Italy and Uruguay, but still harbour hopes of advancing to the knockout stages as group winners.
Uruguay are still waiting on star man Luis Suarez to win his fitness battle for the tournament, while the Italians look flimsy favourites to win the group in one of the competition’s most difficult sections.
A clash with the Elephants in the second round is therefore certainly not out of the equation and the 4/1 price should be taken into account of any pre-tournament betting strategy.
All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.
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