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Saturday, November 12, 2005

18 Injuries for the USA Team

USA Manager, Bruce Arena is obviously not what you'd call a lucky manager. He has 18 potential players injured ahead of the friendly against Scotland.

He said this, as reported on :

"We've had an incredible number of injuries. I actually counted 18 other players that we would have considered for this match but who were out because of injuries or club issues..."

As one of the injuries is to their star player, Landon Donovan and Fulham striker Brian McBride is also out , my money is on a home win for the Scots. It's a shame as I was looking foward to seeing what the United States could do and whether they were anywhere near as good as their 7th place world ranking suggests.

Still I congratulate myself on managing to get through this whole post without using that hideous and patronising phrase 'our American cousins'. Damn.

posted by mark_s at 11:04 AM 0 comments

Uruguay vs Australia - Just Because I'm Not Paranoid...

I'm very pleased to report that the antagonism, accusations and paranoia that I thought had ended with the final group games involving Nigeria has resurfaced in the run up to today's play off between Uruguay and Australia.

Both sides have been moaning to FIFA about the other. The Australians are claiming a campaign of intimidation while their Uruguayan hosts has somehow managed to revise the schedule for today's match to ensure that the Australian team misses their return flight.

This in response to the Australians refusal to reschedule the first leg in order to allow their opponents more recovery time before the second leg in Australia. FIFA has had to intervene on the start time of the match, meaning it is now to be played at 6 p.m. (20.00 GMT).

All this tension and bitching leads me to think that the Uruguayans are a little concerned that this time it might just be Australia who will play in World Cup Finals 2006.

posted by mark_s at 10:51 AM 0 comments

Thursday, November 10, 2005

World Cup Play-Offs Odds Round Up

This weekend sees the 2006 World Cup play-offs before the Finals Groups are drawn on December 9th. Within Europe, there are some interesting games to come :

Switzerland v Turkey
Slovakia v Spain
Norway vs Czech Republic

The value bets for these first leg ties are all in the win or draw markets. Certainly the Czech Republic should turn over Norway at home and Switzerland have looked extremely good on home soil during the qualification campaign. Maybe a draw between Slovakia and the permanently under achieving Spain would be a realistic result.

Best odds for these matches :

Switzerland vs Turkey - Swiss to win : 11/8 at VCBet
Slovakia vs Spain - Draw : 10/3 at
Norway v Czech Republic - Czech victory : 6/4 at TotalBet


posted by mark_s at 11:42 AM 0 comments

England vs Argentina Betting Odds

ENGLAND v ARGENTINA ODDS : Sa Nov 12 - 4.45 pm ko

by Nigel Ridgway of

There may be nothing at stake on Saturday but, given the fierce rivalry between the two teams, this match is unlikely to be played like a friendly. And with neither side rock solid at the back, and key defenders missing, we can expect some goals ('over' 2.5 goals comes in at 8/11 here at bet365).

As regards an outright bet on the game, neither England's poor record in friendlies and Argentina's recent away form inspires much confidence but, if you must bet on the result, the value could lie with England at 7/4.

England aren't the only team looking to rebuild their reputation with a win here against their old rivals. Since qualifying comfortably, the Argies have suffered three successive away defeats, the last two coming after a 3-1 win over Brazil in Buenos Aires. That inconsistency, along with the absence of some key players (Lionel Messi is suspended), makes Argentina opposable. The fixture should at least give us an indication of England's chances next summer, but even a victory against their old foes is unlikely to see a change in their current price of 8/1.

Live Game Pick: England @ 7/4. Visit Bet365 and claim a £100/$100 bet basket for new customers.

posted by mark_s at 11:33 AM 0 comments