World Cup 2014 Semi Finals Betting Preview

We are now down to the last four in the World Cup 2014, with the Quarter-Finals pretty much going as expected, there were some tight games and close results but ultimately the four favourites from the Quarters got through without any surprises.

So the Semi-Finals line up is as follows:

Tuesday 8th July (9pm UK time) Brazil v Germany

Wednesday 9th July (9pm) Holland v Argentina

 

Brazil v Germany Betting Preview

World Cup Semi Finals 2014 Betting Preview

The outright odds are as follows (90 minute market)

Brazil 7/4 (Betfred and Paddy Power)

Germany 19/10 (Bet365)

Draw 9/4 (Bet365)

The bookies have the two teams very close, they originally had Brazil a bit bigger but the betting trends on Oddschecker are showing that people are sticking their money on Brazil to do this one.  That’s interesting as Brazil are lacking arguably their two best players in Neymar and Thiago Silva.

Germany started this tournament with a flourish but have become more and more like the Germany of old, grinding out wins in a professional but unspectacular manner.  They beat France 1-0 with no real dramas and that should bode well for here, they were tight, disciplined and did what they needed to do.

Brazil also did well against Colombia, particularly in the first half but did endure some real scares at the end of the match with Colombia coming on strong.  There is the real sense that there is a vulnerability to this Brazil side just waiting to be opened up, but they have got away with it so far with arguably some of the reffing decisions showing a little bias towards them as the home team.  For example Fernandinho was allowed to foul Colombia’s star player James Rodriguez out of the last game, when he might arguably have been sent off by a less lenient ref.

That being said, the home crowd and reffing favours mean that Brazil, even without their best two players, should still be favourites here, the crowds have been immense in roaring on Brazil and this could prove key in such a close match.

We actually feel that the draw at 9/4 is probably best value in 90 minutes, this match could be a really close one and could go to extra time and penalties.

Holland v Argentina Betting Preview

Holland Argentina Betting Preview Wolrd Cup 2014

Argentina 7/5 (Bet365, Skybet)

Draw 11/5 (Coral, Paddy Power)

Holland 12/5 (Betfred, Bet365)

A more closely matched pair of teams you couldn’t really think of.  Holland hit the ground running in this tournament with the early demolition of Spain, but since then have not really ever fired, relying on the tactical nous of boss Louis Van Gaal to plot their course through to this stage and mainly relying on the counter-attacking speed of Robben, Depay etc.

Argentina have stuttered on through this competition, there is not really one match where you could say they have ever looked truly convincing, they showed improvement however against Belgium which was probably their most comfortable game so far after some real scares in previous matches.  They are another team who has relied on grinding it out in matches and waiting for a moment from an individual rather than any real flowing attacks or team goals.  A perfect example was Higuain’s goal in the last round that came to him rather fortunately off a defender but he finished the snap shot with fine aplomb.

So who’s going to win? Well one thing that seems clear and obvious – it’s probably going to be tight.  Both teams have shown a rather defensive nature when you consider how much attacking talent they have in their ranks.  This is probably due to both teams being fairly weak defensively, so they approach games defensively so that their defenders will have plenty of backup and men behind the ball.  Both teams seem to put 7-8 men behind the ball and let their 3-4 attacking stars try and conjure something up for themselves.

My prediction would sadly be another draw, I hate predicting draws but things are so tight at this stage and with the pragmatic approach of both teams this could be set up for another long night.

 

The odds for the matches to go to penalties

Germany v Brazil to go to penalties 5/1 (bet365)

Holland v Argentina to go to penalties 5/1 (bet365)

5/1 seems a good price that at least one of these matches will go to penalties, the pattern of the Quarter Finals seems to suggest that the teams have really tightened up now and are playing things very safe, fearing any small mistake might put them out of the tournament.  At the top level the first goal can be so important so it seems teams are really playing defensively and on the counter-attack to try and avoid conceding first.

A couple of singles on one of these matches going to pens would be the recommendation.