Steve Claridge has joined Betting Directory to provide his expert views and tips on the latest football betting odds and the latest matches.
Thursday, 10th July 2014
Steve's tips for the 2014/15 Premier League season will appear here on Thursday 14th August. You can find the latest odds for the opening weekend's matches right here...
|Saturday 16th August|
|12:45||Manchester United v Swansea||Odds|
|15:00||Leicester v Everton||Odds|
|15:00||QPR v Hull||Odds|
|15:00||Stoke v Aston Villa||Odds|
|15:00||West Brom v Sunderland||Odds|
|15:00||West Ham v Tottenham||Odds|
|17:30||Arsenal v Crystal Palace||Odds|
|Sunday 17th August|
|13:30||Liverpool v Southampton||Odds|
|16:00||Newcastle v Manchester City||Odds|
|Monday 18th August|
|20:00||Burnley v Chelsea||Odds|
The 2014 World Cup reaches its conclusion with the final between Germany and Argentina on Sunday night and it brings to a close what has been an entertaining tournament in Brazil, albeit it has have lacked a bit of quality at times. The hosts were obviously hammered 7-1 by the Germans in Tuesday's semi-final and big questions have to be asked of Luiz Felipe Scolari as Brazil's manager. To play three up front was nothing short of scandalous as Germany completely overwhelmed them in midfield, while Scolari's back four were all over the shop.
I just couldn't believe he didn't pack the midfield because that is clearly where Germany are strong. It is remarkable to think that Scolari, who is a World Cup winner let's not forget, could get it so badly wrong. To play 4-3-3 was ridiculous because as soon as a German defender passed the ball beyond the front-three of Brazil it was carnage as Germany could then constantly outnumber them in the midfield area. It was like a 'turkey shoot' with German players lining up to score goals and that is what can happen when your manager gets it wrong and your players aren't good enough. They went into the game without any belief and once they went a goal behind they had no answer, they were defensively shocking. It is amazing to think that this team won the Confederations Cup last summer and they must surely rank as one of the worst teams to ever reach the last-four of a World Cup.
In contrast, the other semi-final between Argentina and Netherlands was arguably one of the hardest games of the tournament to watch and I'm not sure we saw a goalscoring chance worthy of the name! It was an awful match as both teams looked to stop the attacking talents of the opposition but that is probably the way that Argentina will have to approach Sunday's final with Germany, they simply have to stop them playing.
Germany v Argentina (8.00pm, Sunday 13th July 2014)
Such tactics are not what we want to see from a neutral's point of view but Alejandro Sabella's team were very effective in denying the likes of Arjen Robben and Wesley Sneijder space against the Netherlands on Thursday. They are not playing particularly well but they are through to a World Cup final at the end of the day and they come up against a Germany side who have produced arguably the two biggest performances of the summer, with their 4-0 win over Portugal during the group stages and of course their hammering of Brazil.
The Germans could become the first European country to win the World Cup on South American soil and one of the things that has surprised be the most about this tournament has been the fact that the weather in Brazil has almost been an inconsequence. Conditions have been ideal for Germany and their approach to the final will be the same as previous games as they will not compromise their style by worrying about marking Lionel Messi on Sunday - they will believe that they are the better team. However, Argentina won't allow Joachim Low's side to play the way they did against Brazil and they surely won't be as naive.
It will be interesting to see how Argentina approach the match because they have players who can hurt Germany. If you can get Sergio Aguero and Messi in behind them then they are certainly going to cause a problem, particularly as this German defence can be got at, as Brazil and Algeria have shown in recent games. Germany are not the 'complete side' by any means as there are question marks about them defensively, while Miroslav Klose, who is now the record scorer at World Cup finals, clearly knows where the goal is but he is hardly a world class player. It is remarkable to think that they could win a World Cup with such deficiencies in two key areas of their side, albeit Manuel Neuer is a sensational goalkeeper and they are clearly very strong in midfield.
Everyone will no doubt fancy Germany to win the game after their performance against Brazil but I have a sneaky feeling for Argentina. I know I should be going for Germany and that is what my head is saying but my gut says Argentina might just sneak it. We've seen Germany struggle at times during this tournament and Argentina will not get get their system horrendously wrong like Brazil did last time out. I'll go for Argentina to win 1-0 on Sunday and that can be backed at odds of 15/2 with PaddyPower.
|World Cup Semi Final Betting Preview Netherlands Tipped To Beat Argentina||07 Jul 2014|
|Will Brazil And Argentina Finally Come Good In The World Cup Quarter Finals||03 Jul 2014|
|World Cup Last 16 Betting Preview Brazil And Argentina Tipped To Progress||27 Jun 2014|
|England Can Sign Off The 2014 World Cup With Victory Over Costa Rica||23 Jun 2014|
|Back Both Teams To Score In An England Win Against Uruguay||17 Jun 2014|
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