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Posts posted by Fedar

  1. Re: Semi-Final - Brazil v Germany > Tuesday July 8th I still think Neymar is not such a superstar as the media is trying to present him. Of course, compared to the awfully playing at this tournament Hulk and Fred, he is much bigger threat, but I think he is still far from the impact that players like Robben, Messi and James have on their respective teams. He was very clueless in both games against Chile and Colombia, he was mediocre also against Croatia, albeit scoring a penalty and long shot range, followed by a keeper's mistake. My point is that I think Brazil's major weapon at this tournament are set pieces and aggressive pressure (often crossing the boundaries of fair play, but still tolerated by officials), and not Neymar Junior. So, I wouldn't over-value his absence and discard Brazil. Thiago Silva also has got a strong replacement in the face of Dante. I think the most obvious bet should be in the cards market. Germany has been pretty shy regarding yellow cards - just 4 yellows so far in 5 games: 2 against France, 1 against USA and Algeria. Brazil on the other hand get many yellows - 9 so far in the tournament and 5 only in the last two elimination games. And to be fair, this number should have been much bigger if it wasn't for referees' tolerating Brazil' aggressive tackles, and for the overall policy of officials at the tournament to give less yellow cards. However, there is one very important factor - yellow cards WILL BE cleaned after the semis, so no player will risk missing the final because of a yellow card. This should have some effect on referees and probably help them lower their criteria for showing yellow cards, as they have had unusually high at this tournament, which many specialist contribute to the "no clearing of yellow cards" rule. Brazil is much more aggressive than Germany in the pressing and they have got way too many players prone to making dangerous tackles: Fernandinho, Luis Gustavo, David Luis, Alves, Marcelo - just to name a few. The expectations are that the possession will be mainly with the Germans which should additionally create better circumstances for Brazil yellows. Also, I expect the emotional burden on the BRazilians will be much heavier, which might result in moments of loss of temper and self-control. They are surely much more likely to get cards for non-football reasons (arguing with the referee) as well. Brazil to get more yellows @ 2.05 (Marathon)

  2. Re: Quarter-Final - Netherlands v Costa Rica > Saturday July 5th

    Netherlands -1 Asian @ 1.95 (Bet 365)
    Bet lost. Although, if Netherlands would have scored any of their 100% chances in the 1st half, it would have probably landed. But still, to be fair, the Dutch were playing very slow and monotonous and cannot be happy with their performance. Their midfield lacks class with guys like Wijnaldum, Blind, and aging Snejder, who despite his great shooting, had little other impact on the game. I was also quite disappointed from the passive conduct of flank players like Depay and Kuyt, who were expected to have more freedom as the Costa Rica defense will focus on blocking Robben. Basically all the threats for Costa Rica were still coming from one man - the flying Dutchmen Arijen Robben. World Cup 2014 Stats: 32 Bets, 20 Wins, 11 Losses, 1 Void + 6.58 Units (1 Unit per bet)
  3. Re: Quarter-Final - Netherlands v Costa Rica > Saturday July 5th I this should be the end of the road for this brave team Costa Rica. First, they can no longer benefit from the underestimation advantage. Without any doubt, Uruguay and Italy underestimated them a lot, but at this stage they are known to everybody at this World Cup, so there is not even the slightest doubt that the Dutch will underestimate them. Second, CR so far didn't really play against teams with strong flanks, except for the meaningless game against dispirited England. Uruguay and Italy might have strengths elsewhere, but their attacking flanks are simply pathetic. And it is very hard to cut open such dense and compact defense when you lack pace and skills on the wings. However, now the Costa Ricans are facing a team with great quality on the flanks, which combined with the absence of key full-back Duarte, could be big trouble for the Central Americans. Netherlands -1 Asian @ 1.95 (Bet 365)

  4. Re: Quarter-Final - Argentina v Belgium > Saturday July 5th

    Belgium to Qualify @ 2.63 (bet365)
    Deserved win for Argentina in an annoyingly boring and dull game. Argentina managed to open the score after mistake in Belgian defense and was protecting the lead for the rest of the game. Meanwhile, Belgium was really frustrating as they showed a football style, which is more typical for the midtable teams in the Scottish league, than for a 1/4 finalist at the WC, full of top stars - just kicking the ball long and high from defense towards Fellaini/Lukaku/Origi. Unbelievable that a team with so much talent, can play such primitive football. World Cup 2014 Stats: 31 Bets, 20 Wins, 10 Losses, 1 Void + 7.58 Units (1 Unit per bet)
  5. Re: Quarter-Final - Brazil v Colombia > Friday July 4th

    BTTS @ 2.10 (BetVictor)
    A bit lucky bet to be fair. In retrospect, there was little value to be found in that game. Brazil deservedly won, but it was mainly because of their effort and stamina, not because of team play and skills. If it wasn't for this early set piece goal, the game could have developed differently. World Cup 2014 Stats: 30 Bets, 20 Wins, 9 Losses, 1 Void + 8.58 Units (1 Unit per bet)
  6. Re: Quarter-Final - France v Germany > Friday July 4th

    Line-ups released: http://i60.tinypic.com/o51e04.jpg Germany getting back to their old ways: Kloze up-front, Lahm at the right back, Schweini-Khedira in the middle. Considering these fact and the risen odds on Germany, I think there is some value on them. Germany DNB @ 1.83 (bet365)
    Indeed, Germany looked better in their "old clothes", instead of the tiki-taka experiment. The team had much more balance, although they didn't shine. World Cup 2014 Stats: 30 Bets, 20 Wins, 9 Losses, 1 Void + 8.58 Units (1 Unit per bet)
  7. Re: Quarter-Final - Brazil v Colombia > Friday July 4th Both teams to score for me. Despite Fred and Hulk's questionable performance, Brazil plays with high and very intense pressure (at least for big parts of the game), which makes it very hard for opponents not to commit mistakes in dangerous zones. Even though Brazil overall didn't play a good game against Chile, they had very strong first half, when they deserved to score 2-3 goals at least. I don't know how Colombia will cope with such pressure. Yepes-Zapata are excellent at physical duels but they don't seem like the fastest and most technical defenders. Colombia's holding midfielders' pair also consists of players with defensive profile which might have difficulties overcoming Brazil's intense pressure. There is a chance that Peckermann will opt for long balls transition instead of short passes (that's how Chile overcame Brazil's pressure in the 2nd half), but it is not Colombia's style. Brazil is also way too vulnerable at the back. The reason is in the substandard defensive performance of their full-backs, as well as, David Luiz inclination to go forward, thus often leaving the balance at the back on the shoulders of Silva. Brazil is weak when defending their flanks and Colombia's biggest strength is exploiting the wings, where their two best players operate - Hamez and Cuadrado. Also Colombia's full-backs Zuniga and Armero are attack minded and can cause additional problems. Luis Gustavo's missing is not a plus for Brazil defense either and it should create some extra exposure. BTTS @ 2.10 (BetVictor)

  8. Re: Quarter-Final - France v Germany > Friday July 4th I think that no serious betting can be done on this game until the line-ups are released. Crucial information is whether Lowe will be stubborn with his tiki-taka fetish and will once again insist on putting players off their natural positions and messing up the whole line-up. Germany might be into a huge trouble if they decide to play high defense line (such a crucial element of tiki-taka). The passing level of the back 4 against Algeria was of very low quality and Algerian attackers could steal the ball dangerously on numerous occasions. And the speed of Mertesacker is substandard, so no manager with at least basic tactical wisdom will ever play high line with Mertesacker in it. France is simply terminal on the break as they showed against the Swiss, when they were given so much space to explore. I wouldn't be surprised if we see something like Bayern-Real in this match, because we see a team, which is perfectly build to counter-attack (France), against a side which is clumsily trying to copy-cat tiki-taka, but lacking the assets to do so (Germany): technical defense line with top passing skills, high pressing, done by all the players (Ozil is just an observer when it comes to pressing and running), Messi..... If I was Lowe, I would have sticked to the classic Germany and Bayern (under Heynkess and Van Gaal) 4-2-3-1 with Kloze up-front, backed up Ozil or Gotze as "light attacker", Muller and Schurrle on the wings, and Schweini-Kedira as centre midfield pair. But I doubt the German manager will change his ways and probably we gonna see the same boring and vulnerable Germany. As to France, the line-up is clear. I don't think their manager will be so stupid to play the wood Giroud, after seeing his comical performance, and after Griezman showed his top skills. They should play with Valbuena and Griezman on the wings, and Benzema up-front - all of them fast players, who love to break. Add to this a very aggressive and pressing midfield trio of Pogba, Matuidi and Cabaye, and Germany might be indeed very vulnerable to losing the ball and being hit on the break. I will still wait for line-ups and formations, but if Germany don't change their ways, I am with France here.

  9. Re: Quarter-Final - Argentina v Belgium > Saturday July 5th I simply don't get these odds, after having seen all the games of both sides. In my opinion, bookies are just trying to reflect the large portion of irrational "name betting" which will push big money streams toward Argentina only because of their big name and history. To say that Argentina doesn't impress is an under-statement. Their midfield, defense and goal-keeper are at mediocre level and far away from the standards of a 1/4 finals of the World Cup. They were punished twice by Nigeria, but in fact, they deserved to concede goals against both Iran and Switzerland - especially the Swiss created a plethora of excellent scoring chances, most of them with active contribution by Argentina defense. Yes, the Gauchos have top quality up-front, but these top players are sometimes big liability. Higuain, Di Maria, Lavezzi and even Messi rarely press up the opponent in their half. Thus, crossing into Argentina's half turns into a very easy task for their opponents, as the Swiss showed on numerous occasions. Also, I don't like neither the interaction among the attacking people in Argentina's squad, nor their slow and boring rhythm. It seems that they leave all to Messi, but to be fair, despite a few moments of brilliance, he doesn't seem to play his best football at this tournament and for big parts of the game he has very little influence on the events on the pitch. Belgium is the most balanced team in this tournament, with plenty of class in each line, starting from probably the best goal-keeper in the world and finishing with two very promising strikers like Lukaku and Origi.Belgians are gradually finding their form and had their best game of the Mondial against the USA, when the Red Devils deserved to win with huge margin. Belgium's weak spots seem to be their full-backs being natural central defenders, which sometimes takes toll on their ability to support the flanks. But Alderweiredl and Vertongen look very solid when defending Belgium's flanks. Another problem for Belgium might be converting their chances, which they must substantially improve. However, all in all, Belgium should be heavily dominating the midfield against the likes of Mascherano, Gago and Di Maria (not natural midfielder and physically not that strong player). Their wingers ripped apart on numerous occasions the USA defense and I feel that Rojo might have a nightmare game against the likes of Mertens, De Bryune and Mirallas (and let's not forget that also attackers Origi and Lukaku make sometimes excellent and smart runs on the wings). Another important aspect are the substitutions. Belgium can bring in players like Origi/Lukaku, Mirallas, Chadli, Januzai, while Argentina can bring in....Palacio and Biglia. Huge advantage for Belgium in this respect as their bench is way above the Argentine. All in all, I don't see where the advantage of Argentina should come from. They continue to play crap and very dispirited football, and apart from several super-stars, the rest of the team is of very questionable quality (including their coach). Belgium is full with belief and getting into their best form. Psychological advantage is entirely with Belgium as they have already achieved their goal in this tournament and everything more they can get here is over-achievement for them, unlike Argentina, for which failing for one more World Cup to pass the 1/4 finals will be considered a failure. Belgium to Qualify @ 2.63 (bet365)

  10. Re: Europa League - 1st Qualifying Round - Thursday 4th July

    Personally I'm all over the Blotev Plovdiv clean sheet, it seemed too obvious to be true - but that was before I read about their internal problems on here!
    Internal problems are NO PROBLEM for this game. As I wrote, they have plenty of quality in the squad and on the bench (coached by national manager Lubo Penev) and should annihilate the San Marino team. One thing which is very important is that Botev are hungry for international football. Before the last summer, they hadn't played in Europe for like 15 years, and they followed the Rangers pathway three years ago, when they declared banruptcy and relegated to third tier of local football. Afterwards, Botev were taken by the most powerful banker and businessmen in the country at that time (not anymore though after recent events) and they started living in a dream. Last year's Europa League games were welcomed with unseen enthusiasm in the team and among fans - the first European experience in nearly two decades for this popular Bulgarian team. Now this enthusiasm will live on, despite the financial problems and I believe this will be for Botev much more than a boring game against amateurs. For these reasons, I am taking the handicaps here on Botev, which are very generous. Marathon offers -3.5 @ 2.35, which I wouldn't price higher than 1.60 in reality. Of course, Marathon are jokers and their limits are ridiculous, but I expect when serious bookies open, the price to be still very tasty.
  11. Re: Europa League - 1st Qualifying Round - Thursday 4th July Botev will keep clean sheet with 99% certainty. Yes, they are missing some important players, but they are attackers, while their defense and goal-keeper are all available. I doubt the San Marinese will even have a shot on target, because Botev has one of the best defense and goalkeeper in the country. The class gap is a huge one and I believe in an easy 5-6 to nil win of Botev.

  12. Re: Last 16 - Germany v Algeria > Monday June 30th

    Germany -1.5 @ 1.97 (Pinnacle)
    Bet lost. Excellent performance by Algeria and goal-keeper Mbolhi, and very poor 1st half by Germany. The key moments were several. First, playing Mustafi as right back to replace Boateng, who moved to the center, instead of just putting Lahm at his freaking natural position and play Kedira in the middle. Germany looked so much better after Mustafi got injured and replaced by Khedira, and Lahm returned back to his real position, before the tiki-taka freak Guardiola took over Bayern. Second, the outrageously poor performance by Ozil. The guy was a big liability and was not only not able to provide for the German attack, but never really took part in the pressing. Third, the great goal-keeping by Mbolhi, because if it wasn't for him, Germany would have still covered, despite their overall sloppy performance. World Cup 2014 Stats: 28 Bets, 18 Wins, 9 Losses, 1 Void + 6.65 Units (1 Unit per bet)
  13. Re: Last 16 - Germany v Algeria > Monday June 30th Guys, don't know why this discussion got so wide-spread, as the Ramadan thing was never my main argument, but only secondary - my main argument was Algeria's very poor defending, which I believe will be punished heavily by the Germans. I also don't understand this arguments about "exemption" from Ramadan. It is quite obvious, that if one doesn't want to fast, he simply won't fast, regardless of exemptions or anything. Probably nobody will ever know or care if someone fasted or not. But the thing is that as we saw from the quotes, many Muslim top players decide to fast during Ramadan, regardless of exemptions etc....And we are talking about players like Demba Ba, Cisse, Fredy Canoute - players of much higher caliber than the Algerians. Just remember the quote from Demba Ba - the guy was fasting secretly why lying to his coach and the others that he was not fasting. So, you can see it is not about the exemptions in Quran, it is completely about the internal conviction of the Muslim players. And I guess Algerians are quite devoted Muslims, judging from how they pray after each goal. Also, I don't believe this bullsh*t that fasting will make you stronger and in better condition, because it will enhance your spirituality. We are talking about physiology of sportsmen here, and not taking liquid or food for more than half of the day during such physically demanding event like World Cup for sure can have some serious effect on players.

  14. Re: Last 16 - Germany v Algeria > Monday June 30th

    Ramadan is excused for sport players even in their own country' date=' let alone World Cup... I strongly believe this is false.... you think they will play 90 min+ without taking a drink? Good luck believing that![/quote'] I didn't know the Quran had made special provisions for sportsmen?!! All I know is that I remember quite a lot examples discussed in sports media in recent past about Muslim players in big clubs obeying the fasting during Ramadan. http://www.nbcbayarea.com/news/local/Muslim-NFL-Players-Come-to-Bay-163640676.html http://www.goal.com/en-sg/news/3952/asia/2013/07/11/4107215/how-muslim-players-cope-with-playing-during-ramadhan http://www.huffingtonpost.com/qanta-ahmed/the-hunger-games-muslim-athletes-observe-ramadan-at-london-olympics_b_1752364.html "Mido revealed, during his time in England, that he fasts in Ramadhan, except on matchdays" "Former Tottenham player Frederic Kanoute is another who insists on not being treated any differently during the fasting month, and to perform as well as when he is not fasting." "Amr Zaki, despite insisting in a Goal UK interview that he performs more strongly when fasting, admitted that there were times when he had to lie to the team manager that he was not fasting in order not to be benched." "Chelsea’s Ibrahim Ba seems to have struck a fair compromise between his faith and his footballing duties. He continues to fast while playing, and lets the manager decide on his performance."
  15. Re: Last 16 - Costa Rica v Greece > Sunday June 29th Value on Greece for me! They are by far the more experienced team. I feel that Costa Rica will feel uncomfortable in the new role of a favorite and they will fall pray to the risen expectations towards them. Costa Rica's style is clear and straight forward - defend deep with many people (5 defenders and 4 midfielders), press harshly the opponent after the mid-line and rely on breaks and set-pieces. Now they are getting their own medicine - playing the team which has mastered negative and defensive football. How will they deal in such circumstances?! If I go back to their qualifiers (the CONCACAF hexagonal), CR did look to suffer the most against the openly negative teams - Jamaica and Honduras, while they played much easier against the stronger USA and Mexico, which both played a style suitable to El Ticos. Very crucial factor to consider is that CR star Campbell plays for the Greek champions Olympiacos, and guess what - almost the whole Greek defense consists of Olympiacos players. I assume they will be able to protect him well. Greece to Qualify @ 2.05 (bet365)

  16. Re: Wimbledon 2014 Czech, I saw Wozniacki against Konjuh and was not impressed at all by her performance despite the seemingly convincing victory. Woz was never hitting winners, just returning the ball and waiting for UEs and hoping for her serve to save her out of trouble. Actually, the 17 year old Croat was playing better in 1st set and was hitting some incredible winners, but her inexperience cost her a lot and her many UEs and mental melt-down in 2nd set gifted Woz the victory. I think that if Strycova doesn't do so many UE, Wozniacki can be in big trouble against if she keeps on her negative style of playing.

  17. Re: Last 16 - Brazil v Chile > Saturday June 28th

    "A bag contains red, blue and green balls. 5 times a ball has been drawn from the bag, then put back. There has not been a green ball drawn. There is a good chance the next ball that's drawn is green." Well, football betting is not like that.
    Indeed! It is like betting that Fred will score a hat-trick in the next game because statistically Brazilian number 9s at World Cup finals score at least 5 goals, and Fred has only 1 so far (and disregarding the fact what clueless mug Fred is).
  18. Re: Last 16 - Brazil v Chile > Saturday June 28th

    Chile +1 @1..96 (SBO)
    Bet won. In the first half Chile panicked a lot in the defense and when trying to play the ball outside of their half. Brazil should have scored some more goals. But in 2nd half and ever after that, Chile established their game and they managed to keep Brazil quiet, meanwhile missing two golden chances to execute Brazil. World Cup 2014 Stats: 26 Bets, 18 Wins, 7 Losses, 1 Void + 8.65 Units (1 Unit per bet)
  19. Re: Last 16 - Germany v Algeria > Monday June 30th I forgot something very important. The most important Muslim tradition - Ramadan, has just started today. For one month, all Muslims should fast and not take any food or liquid before sunset. According to info from Algerian camp, most of the players intend to follow the Ramadan fasting. The team has summoned a diet specialist to deal with this problem, but the fact remains - the Algerian players will not ear, neither drink during daylight, starting from today.

  20. Re: Last 16 - Germany v Algeria > Monday June 30th I am with Ameer here, and for me this is probably the bet of the tournament so far. We all know Germany well, so I won't discuss them, but my bet is mainly about Algeria. I think they have piss poor defense, which was not really exposed so far, only because of Belgium's slow start (turned traditional for them in this tournament) and Capello's archaic ultra-negative tactics. Whoever watched Korea - Algeria, should have noticed that in the 2nd half Algerian defense was a complete mess, and Korea was not far away from turning the game around from 0:3. I had the feeling that nearly every long ball and cross into Algeria's penalty area was a goal threat. And Koreans are not particularly famous for their height, or for their attacking sharpness. A little more sharper team than Korea would have turned that game around in the second half for sure. I also remember watching the first leg of the World Cup play-off in zone Africa between Burkina Faso and Algeria. It finished 3:2 for Burkina Faso and once again Algeria's defense was a complete mess and was gifting chance after chance to the home team, also not famous for their scoring abilities. To be fair, their keeper Mbolhi is very good, but that's simply not enough. To have a chance as an underdog against Germany, you need to have a very good defense, and Algeria simply don't. And they don't have a good attack either, to compensate for their poor defense, as Ghana did in the group stage. Last but not least, their team in the moment is too young and inexperienced. They will crumble under the pressure. And I don't think that Germany will be wasting 65 minutes like Belgium did or will try to keep the score as Russia did. I sense that Algeria is heading towards a massacre here. Germany -1.5 @ 1.97 (Pinnacle)

  21. Re: Last 16 - Brazil v Chile > Saturday June 28th

    I think we saw slightly against the Netherlands, who aren't dissimilar to Brazil really in approach that you can nullify Chile - both Netherlands and Brazil rely on one or two players to provide the creativity - they can be made quite impotent if you don't try and go toe to toe with them. They struggled against the tight, suffocating game Netherlands played against them and created little to be honest, a deep defensive line didn't allow them to exploit the usual space behind the full backs. Were they massively motivated to win that game? Probably not, they left a couple out and didn't appear to be going full pelt, they will certainly be up for this one though.
    I don't think we can use the Netherlands game as any reference. It had completely different complexion - Chile had to win, Netherlands had to draw. If Chile had to win and lead the game against Brazil, while Brazilians defend and hit on counters, I would have surely expected Brazilian win. But now it is a very different scenario. Also, having read enough Brazilian supporters mentality, we can expect with high likelihood a very negative reaction from the stands if Brazil plays as defensively as Netherlands did. And also, if the score is not in Brazil's favor, the pressure from the stands won't be on the Chileans but on Brazilians themselves.
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