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World Cup Betting Tips – 3rd July

World Cup 2018 TipsI’ve been smashing it up so far in the knockout stages with my World Cup tips and I’m very much planning on continuing that form for the rest of the tournament!

The first game today is an all-European clash between the winners of Group E, Sweden and the team that finished second behind Brazil in Group F, Switzerland. Both these teams are renown for having well organised defences, but not scoring a particularly high number of goals (though to be fair to Sweden, they did put three past a lacklustre Mexico last time out).

The final game of the Round of 16 pits England, who lost their final group game to Belgium 1-0, against the winners of Group H, Colombia, who came back from their shock defeat to Japan to defeat Poland and Senegal to claim top spot in the group. While this is a tougher prospect for England than facing Japan, it does mean that England avoid France, Argentina, Brazil or Uruguay (plus Belgium again) until the final, should they get that far.

2018 World Cup Tips: Tuesday 3rd July

July 3, 2018
Sweden
VS
Switzerland
Krestovsky Stadium, St.Petersburg
3:00 pm
Sweden Logo
Sweden
VS
Switzerland Logo
Switzerland
July 3, 2018
Krestovsky Stadium, St.Petersburg
3:00 pm
Key Stats
  • Sweden qualified top of Group E after a 1-0 win over South Korea, a 2-1 defeat to Germany and a superb 3-0 win over Mexico in their final group game.
  • Switzerland were unbeaten in Group F qualifying in second spot. They drew 1-1 with Brazil, beat Serbia 2-1 and then earned a 2-2 draw with Costa Rica.
  • Defender Andreas Granqvist is Sweden’s top scorer with 2 penalties scored in the tournament. All five of Switzerland’s goals have been scored by different players.
  • The historical record between the two teams is keenly balanced with both teams having won 10 matches and 7 games drawn. However the teams have not met since March 2002.
Analysis:

I don’t think I am being too unfair when I say that this game to me has all the hallmarks of being one of those 0-0’s after 120 minutes of somewhat turgid, dull football with the winner of the game eventually being decided by penalties.

Both teams strengths are defensive and in truth, with this now being knockout football, I can’t see either team pushing on too much to try and score the decisive goal. I do think they’ll aim to counter attack each other and even if one team does score, I think the other will cancel it out to force extra time.

The one X-factor in this game for me is Xherdan Shaqiri. The Stoke man has the capability to produce some special moments in key games and he may be the one player on show that has the ability to turn the game in his team’s favour. I just can’t see him being allowed the space to do it against a superbly marshalled Swedish defence.

So for me, this is a game that I think will finish in a draw and I do think it will require extra time and likely penalties to decide which of the teams goes through to contest the quarterfinals.

Draw - £10 returns £26.50
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July 3, 2018
Colombia
VS
England
Otkrytie Arena, Moscow
7:00 pm
Colombia Logo
Colombia
VS
England Logo
England
July 3, 2018
Otkrytie Arena, Moscow
7:00 pm
Key Stats
  • Colombia lost their opener 2-1 to Japan but then won their next two games 3-0 against Poland and 1-0 against Senegal to claim top spot in the group.
  • England won their opening two games with Tunisia and Panama but a much changed team then lost 1-0 to Belgium in their final group game to finish 2nd.
  • Colombia defender Yerry Mina has been an unlikely goalscoring hero for them netting two goals in two games. England’s Harry Kane has five goals in the tournament so far.
  • The teams have met five times in the past, England winning three with two draws. They have met once at a World Cup, in 1998, with England winning 2-0.
Analysis:

It’s hard to know what to make of both these teams in a way. Colombia would probably have won all three of their group games, but for an early sending off and penalty against Japan costing them dearly. The South American side have looked very sharp, especially against Poland where Rodriguez and Cuadrado in particular looked very dangerous playing behind Radamel Falcao.

England rested eight key players against Belgium and produced a disjointed and poor performance as a result with the tendency to back off players and allow them to get crosses and shots off in the box a real low point. Southgate will know his team will need to be much better against Colombia and in fairness, with a full strength team they should be.

One key issue here could be fitness with England having rested so many key players for this game, while Colombia had to play their full strength team against Senegal. In Moscow on Monday night, that could be crucial, especially if things are tight heading late into the game.

For me, the Belgium game was a non-event and this is the first real test for Gareth Southgate’s men. If they can win this game, then a place in the semi-finals is on (with Sweden or Switzerland their quarter-final opponents). It will be tough but I am backing England to just about scrape through.

: England to win - £10 returns £21
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*Tips are exactly that tips (predictions) and do not guarantee success.

the Cheeky Punter

the Cheeky Punter

The Cheeky Punter is an ex professional online sports bettor and trader with over 15 years of experience in the industry. He has worked for a number of top bookmakers including Ladbrokes, William Hill and Coral. He's also written for a number of leading news outlets including the Guardian, i (newspaper) and Soccer Lens. More about him here.

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