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StevieDay1983 last won the day on February 3

StevieDay1983 had the most liked content!

About StevieDay1983

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    The Welsh Moderator
  • Birthday 09/26/83

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  1. Germany vs Sweden Well, well, well, who foresaw this set of circumstances. Germany heading into their 7pm BST kick-off with Sweden this Saturday at the Fisht Olympic Stadium in Sochi with the potential scenario that a defeat could eliminate them from the World Cup after just two group games as reigning champions. It seems unthinkable right? Germany suffered that poor 1-0 loss to Mexico in the opening game. The critics were quick to pounce on Joachim Low and his decision to leave out Leroy Sane. Personally, I'm not sure Sane would have made too much difference with those tactics but the sentiment is understandable. A win is mandatory here otherwise it'll be a very tough job to qualify for the next round. Especially if Mexico beat South Korea. Sweden pulled off a workmanlike performance against South Korea to sneak the 1-0 win thanks to a penalty. Make no mistake that Sweden will be up against it here. Germany are dangerous enough but when you remember that they've only once failed to qualify from the first phase at a World Cup and that was in 1938... well, you start to feel they'll bounce back with a vengeance here. It's clear Sweden are an awkward side. They are physical, tenacious, and hard-working. Unfortunately, you need a clinical edge if you're to beat Germany and that's something they are lacking. They will need to suffocate the space across the pitch to prevent Germany from picking them apart. Sadly, they don't have a game-changer such as Hirving Lozano or Javier Hernandez like Mexico. That is where they may come unstuck. This could well be a very dull affair. Sweden will be looking to kill play across the pitch. A draw will do them and even though their head coach Janne Andersson will deny that's what they will set up to achieve I fully expect them to defend for their lives. I just think Germany will hit back after the Mexico defeat and Sweden don't have enough in their locker to stop them. Sweden AH +1.25 @ 1.74 with 888Sport Total Goals Scored Under 2.5 @ 2.00 with SunBets
  2. South Korea vs Mexico Group F enters its second round of group matches at 4pm BST on Saturday afternoon when South Korea play Mexico at the Rostov Arena in Rostov-on-Don. South Korea know a defeat will not end their tournament but it will put them with a very tough task to stay alive. Mexico are certain a win will put them on the brink of the last 16. Coming into the tournament, I wasn't expecting much from South Korea. This is far from the best team their nation has sent to a World Cup. Merely avoiding finishing bottom of the group would have been seen as a success. Their performance against a solid Swedish side showed glimpses of promise but I still think unless Heung-Min Son has a stormer then they are short on quality performers. Mexico shocked the world with their superb performance against Germany in their opening group match that resulted in a 1-0 win. It was Mexico's first win in 90 minutes against Germany. It also puts the Mexicans in a great position after one game. Personally, I think we saw enough in that first game to show us that Mexico have what it takes to reach the last 16 and win this game. This could prove to be an exhilarating game. South Korea know they must take the initiative because a draw or defeat would mean they would likely need a win against Germany. Mexico will be happy to let South Korea come at them and pick them off. The pressure is firmly on the Asian nation here. Juan Carlos Osorio will need to ensure his players don't under-estimate this South Korean side and he'll also be keen to ensure his players fully recover from their exploits against Germany. A hangover from that game is possible but I think they should win by a goal or two. Mexico to win @ 1.73 with Betway Total Goals Scored Under 2.5 @ 1.76 with Blacktype
  3. Belgium vs Tunisia Group G is up for its second round of matches this coming Saturday with tournament dark horses Belgium set to play a potential banana skin fixture against a resilient Tunisia in a 1pm kick-off at the Otkritie Arena in Moscow. Can Roberto Martinez's side take a big step closer to qualifying for the last 16 or will Nabil Maaloul's team cause an upset? It turned out OK for Belgium in their opening game against Panama with a comfortable 3-0 win. Panama held on until half-time but it was the second half when the wheels came off. The first half did pose a series of questions about Martinez's tactical competence. His defensive tactics were once again questionable and the decision to persist in playing Kevin De Bruyne so deep remains a mystery. Tunisia came very close to holding England to a draw. It can be argued that they wouldn't have deserved it. England could have been 3-0 or 4-0 up within the first 20 minutes. Throw into that the fact that Tunisia's penalty was their only real chance on goal and England should have had a penalty or two for the man-handling of Harry Kane at set-pieces in the penalty area. This really should be a business-like win for Belgium. Even taking into consideration Martinez's tactical weaknesses there is enough talent in this Belgium side to win a game like this. Tunisia disappointed me in the first game. I expected a bit more solidity at the back. I also thought they were have more courage to their play. Their performance has made me uncertain they can even beat Panama such is their lack of threat up top. My opinion of Belgium hasn't really changed from 2014 and 2016. A set of cracking individuals that simply cannot play as a team. Martinez is undoubtedly more capable than his predecessor Marc Wilmots but I can't see this Belgian team progressing further than the Quarter-Finals. They should see off a very average Tunisia side here though. Belgium to win to nil @ 2.05 with Betfred Romelu Lukaku to score anytime @ 1.91 with Paddy Power
  4. I honestly can't believe how poor Argentina were. The vast majority of that squad should return to Argentina with their heads hung low in shame. Jorge Sampaoli is trying to pass it out from the back with crabs in the defence. Their strengths lie in the attacking midfield and striker areas yet they seem intent on not being direct and adopting a more progressive style. It's killing them. They have one of the greatest players of all-time in their starting line-up and he is probably one of the least involved players in their side. Yes, I get he was triple marked at times but he's used to that. Even if you can't get the ball to him because the avenues are shut off then make more effort off the ball to penetrate those gaps that those pre-occupied players have left. It was embarrassing. Unless they make serious changes to their strategy against Nigeria in their final game then they will exit this tournament at the group stage. I can't see Sampaoli shifting to a less attractive plan B though. I think he'll persist and it won't work. Interested to see the odds Argentina are given in their final group game. I am still confused how such a great footballing nation can have such a shambolic defence. In a country of over 43 million surely there must be a goalkeeper and four defenders that are more effective than those pathetic excuses for international players?
  5. Serbia vs Switzerland If there was one game at this tournament where I really couldn't separate the two sides based upon what I had seen in their opening group game then it is this one. Serbia versus Switzerland in a 7pm BST kick-off this Friday night at the Kaliningrad Stadium in Kaliningrad. Serbia secured a tight 1-0 win over Costa Rica in their opening game but it was deserved. The opposition might have been lacking but, as I suspected, Serbia got the job done with another solid defensive display. The midfield shut the creative game for Costa Rica down and it allowed them to sneak the win with Aleksandar Kolarov's superb free-kick. Switzerland showed little attacking intent against Brazil but managed to get an unexpected 1-1 draw. It was a display that didn't really tell us a lot about how Vladimir Petkovic's men will handle a team on their level but it did show they know how to shut up shop when needed so Serbia had better hope they don't go a goal down in this match. A lot of chat in this thread about backing a red card in this game. @waynecoyne, that's a great shout on Aleksandar Mitrovic to be sent off. Surely worth a small punt. I think suggesting the red card bet sums up how many of us think this game could be. It'll be progressive, it'll be dour, it'll be a battle, and it's more likely than not going to end in a draw. Mladen Krstajic's side come into the game as narrow favourites but I feel that's not warranted. It's almost impossible to pick a superior side after one game. If anything, I still feel that Switzerland might just have a bit more about them. I am just finding it very hard to pick an outright winner so I'll have to recommend a draw. If I had to pick a correct score I'd say 1-1 or maybe a single goal deciding it. Don't expect anything thrilling here. Total Goals Scored Under 2.5 @ 1.53 with SunBets Total Corners Under 9.5 @ 2.05 with BetStars
  6. Nigeria vs Iceland Well, this has suddenly become a very interesting group after the first round of games. Nigeria come into this game against Iceland at 4pm BST on Friday afternoon at the Volgograd Arena in Volgograd needing to avoid defeat to keep their realistic hopes of qualification for the last 16 alive. Nigeria fell severely short of expectations in their opening game against Croatia as they suffered a 2-0 loss in a very poor game in terms of quality. The Super Eagles had been praised for their attacking threat coming into this tournament but it was effectively nullified by a Croat side that showed every bit of their experience to get the win and the clean sheet. Iceland entered World Cup folklore with the 1-1 draw against Argentina in their opening game. Yes, Heimir Hallgrimsson's team only had 22% possession and were fortunate that Lionel Messi missed a penalty but it was a draw their efforts and defensive organisation deserved. It now means that a win here could potentially put them on the brink of a place in the last 16. This will be a fascinating game. Iceland will undoubtedly sit back and look to hit Nigeria on the counter. It's a tactic that has seen them get this far. Nigeria will not have the same attacking threat as Argentina so Iceland can be quietly confident that they can sneak the win here by being patient. I wasn't sure Iceland's defensive strategy would cope against Argentina and Croatia but I did feel they could win against Nigeria. I think Nigeria lack the discipline and cutting edge needed to get out of this group. Self control, discipline, and patience is where this game will be won and lost. My gut instinct was tempted to back a draw but I actually think Iceland could get the win here because they are the better team unit. Iceland to win @ 2.83 with Unibet Total Goals Scored Under 2.5 @ 1.69 with Blacktype
  7. Brazil vs Costa Rica Group E gets its second round of games underway on Friday afternoon at 1pm BST when tournament favourites with the bookies Brazil play Costa Rica at the Krestovsky Stadium in St Petersburg. Bizarrely, Tite's side know anything but a win would seriously jeopardise their hopes of qualifying for the last 16. It's unthinkable right? The opening game 1-1 draw with Switzerland was not expected by many Brazilian fans. It was the first time since 1978 that Brazil had failed to win their first game at a World Cup. In fact, the lack of penetration Brazil showed against a stubborn Swiss defence asked a lot of questions regarding how Neymar et al might handle defensive teams throughout the competition. Costa Rica will be disappointed that they didn't take anything from their game with Serbia. Los Ticos reached the Quarter-Finals in 2014 against all odds and even though they matched Serbia in terms of their stats they looked well short of the quality possessed four years ago. Brazil looked slightly short on ideas on the weekend but we shouldn't take anything away from Switzerland. The European side performed very well. It wasn't pretty but it was effective. It was also managed in a way that Costa Rica are unlikely to replicate so expect the likes of Neymar, Gabriel Jesus, and Philippe Coutinho to get a bit more space and more opportunities to score. There is a feeling that Costa Rica won't boast the defensive stability that Switzerland had in their opening game. Brazil will not only be keen to make amends for the draw on Sunday night but they should have more openings to exploits against this Costa Rica side. I'm predicting Brazil to stick 2 or 3 on their opponents and Costa Rica will do well to carve out any real openings. Brazil -1 @ 1.75 with SunBets Brazil HT/FT @ 1.83 with Ladbrokes
  8. Annoyed by that game. The amount of clear cut chances that were snatched at or not converted was unreal. On another day that could have been over 3.5 or even 4.5 goals let alone 2.5 goals. As if Portugal hadn't destroyed my life enough already by knocking us out of the semi-finals at Euro 2016!
  9. Argentina vs Croatia One of the stand-out games in the group stage of the 2018 World Cup comes this Thursday evening at 7pm BST from Nizhny Novgorod Stadium in Nizhny Novgorod when Argentina play Croatia. The game now has an extra bit of spice after Jorge Sampaoli's faltered unexpectedly against Iceland in their opening match. I had tipped Argentina to struggle at this World Cup. I still thought they would sneak a win against Iceland though. It appears they now have an over-reliance on Lionel Messi and that's disconcerting. Unless he has a magic moment then I'm not sure where the goals will come from because the current tactics are being too easily stifled. Croatia are a step up from Iceland. Zlatko Dalic's side made a business-like start to their tournament with a 2-0 win over Nigeria. However, that might suit Argentina more. Croatia will certainly be more confident about taking the game to Argentina but that might well hinder them at the same time. The more I think about this game, the more I feel that both sides would take a draw. Argentina will fancy their chances against Nigeria in their last game. A draw here and win there would give them 5 points and that should be enough to qualify. Is that Sampaoli's mentality though? Or will he demand a win here? Funnily enough, even though Croatia won their first game and are in the superior position it might be the Croats that take the initiative. They know how hard Iceland are from their qualification group. That said, they did beat Iceland 2-0 at home and only lost 1-0 to a 90th minute goal in the away match. So maybe they will fancy their chances. Dalic will certainly be keen to get the job done as soon as possible though. I think on the face of it that a draw is the most likely outcome here. Argentina are missing something. I'm not sure what it is but it's just not clicking. Maybe it'll happen at the right time. They could amble through the group stages then get progressively better as the tournament goes on. I'm not seeing anything right now that has me thinking they have what it takes to go further than the 2nd Round and they'll be lucky to reach that stage. They need Messi to pull them through but even he looks short of something special. It's a tough game to call. Croatia remain hard to judge based on their game with Nigeria. It was a typical inconsistent display by the Super Eagles. Argentina might well feel like a wounded animal. I still think they have talented attacking players and a quality head coach. It has to click at some point, surely? Will it click on Thursday though? I just think Croatia have the quality to suffocate them. I'm keen to see how much influence Ivan Rakitic will have over how Croatia play against Messi. Being a player that plays close to Messi at club level, is there a better scout and informant to have? BTTS @ 2.00 with Ladbrokes Draw @ 3.45 with Unibet
  10. The way this game has started this could be 3-3 by half-time!
  11. France vs Peru Straight onto the next game in Group C and we have France versus Peru kicking off right after the previous game at 4pm BST from the Central Stadium in Yekaterinburg. Can the Euro 2016 finalists take a huge step towards the last 16 and potentially even have that spot confirmed with a win against the South American side here? Didier Deschamps will be concerned at how laborious his team were against Australia in the opening game. Take nothing away from the Australian performance but had it not been for VAR controversy then it might well have been a game that France would not have won. In contrast, Peru will be pleased with their overall performance in the opening defeat to Denmark but it will be the result that Ricardo Gareca's side will be kicking themselves about. It was a game they really could have won and a defeat here could well see their tournament all but ended. The big nations have struggled in the tournament so far but I expect the likes of France to start picking their performances up a bit now. Peru will no doubt provide resilient opposition again. They will want to savour every minute of this World Cup and will fight until the bitter end. Unfortunately, I just don't think they will beat France here. A draw is possible. If they have that bit of luck then it's not out of the question. I just think France have too much quality and will have heeded that warning from the opening game. Total Goals Scored Over 2.5 @ 2.05 with Betway Anytime Scorer: Antoine Griezmann @ 2.30 with Bet365
  12. Denmark vs Australia Every World Cup has a number of games when the draw is made that really make you think "I won't bother tuning in for that one!" and it can be argued that Denmark versus Australia in Group C was one of those matches. Oh, how that has changed after just one game. When both teams meet in a 1pm BST kick-off on Thursday afternoon at the Cosmos Arena in Samara it will be a simple case of their fate at this World Cup being on the line. Denmark prevailed victorious against an exciting Peru in their opening game. The 1-0 win was one that they will be delighted to have earned. It now means that a win in this game will put them on the brink of qualification. It is now a case of seeing how they approach this game. Does Age Hareide attack Australia to try and get the win or will he play a progressive game similar to that performance against Peru and be satisfied with a point but hope for snatching a win? Australia were desperately unlucky not to take something from their opening game with France. The VAR controversy over Antoine Griezmann's penalty continues to rage on. It just felt like a game where the luck balance was certainly not in Australia's favour. I saw enough from Australia to make me think they could cause problems for Denmark here if they keep their heads. The one thing currently favouring Denmark right now is the ability to get results. Their team has got into the habit of grinding opponents down. The ball is also in Australia's court to come at Denmark and that could play into Denmark's hands. The Socceroos will be hanging on by the skin of their teeth if they draw and a defeat could see them eliminated if France don't lose to Peru. My feeling is that Denmark will sneak this. They have the better set of players and they are in an ideal position going into this game. They will put the initiative with Australia and pick them off with counter attacking play which is when they are at their best. You only need to see how they destroyed Ireland in Dublin in that second leg of the play-offs as proof of that. Correct score of 2-1 or 2-0 to Denmark for me. Denmark to win @ 2.00 with SunBets Denmark to score first @ 1.73 with BetStars
  13. So @Marek76 and @dziabac, how are you feeling after yesterday? You've got to be confident you can still beat Japan after they stumbled over the line against 10 man Colombia. However, that Colombia game could prove crucial. I still think this group is wide open. In fact, yesterday's results have only added even more unpredictability to proceedings.
  14. Iran vs Spain Could there be the chance of a major shock on Wednesday night when Group B leaders Iran play 2010 world champions Spain in a 7pm BST kick-off at the Kazan Arena in Kazan? Well, to put it bluntly, no. However, this could be a slightly more intriguing game than many expect. Iran saw their awesome defensive record shine once again in their opening match as they sealed a fortunate 1-0 win over Morocco. It was a win that I tipped in the face of many backing Morocco. I'm not confident we will see another clean sheet here though. Carlos Queiroz has his team finely drilled and it's not going to be easy for a Spain team that were clearly looking a bit unsure of themselves during large periods against Portugal in their opening game. The big question is how the stubborn Iranian defence will deal with the aggressive nature of Diego Costa and the creative ingenuity driving towards them in the Spanish midfield? Spain will be looking to build on their 3-3 draw with Portugal in the opening game. It was a match that saw three points wrestled from their grasp by Cristiano Ronaldo but it is unlikely to hit their confidence. This is a Spanish side packed with experience and quality. Even with the drama surrounding Julen Lopetegui's departure and the appointment of Fernando Hierro, I'm certain we will see an assured Spanish display here. Iran know that a draw would keep their hopes alive going into the final game with Portugal. Some could argue that they stand a decent chance of getting something from that Portugal game. So I don't expect the Iranian approach to change here. Even if they concede, I anticipate they will look to keep the score-line down so we might not see a classic. Spain to win but it might be a dull affair. Total Goals Scored Under 2.5 @ 2.04 with Unibet Spain to win to nil @ 1.62 with BetVictor
  15. Uruguay vs Saudi Arabia Two teams that were very disappointed with their opening game displays come face-to-face on Wednesday afternoon at 4pm BST when Uruguay play Saudi Arabia at the Rostov Arena in Rostov-on-Don. How will both of these teams react to those first match performances? Uruguay were far from impressive against a Mo Salah-less Egypt but got the job done in fortuitous circumstances. It was late and lucky but they'll take it. It means a win here could well see them confirm their place in the last 16 and you'll struggle to find a punter who isn't backing them to win. Luis Suarez appeared to be well out of sorts against Egypt. Was it end of season fatigue? Illness? Or was he bribed by a dodgy Russian gangster? You decide! Personally, I think it was simply an off day for Suarez and he'll be looking to hit back here. It might even be worth backing him as an anytime scorer. Saudi Arabia were quite frankly appalling against Russia. They made a very bland Russian side look like world beaters in that opening match of the tournament. Some of the defending on display was Sunday League standard. In fact, as a former manager of a Sunday League team, I never witnessed my team defend that badly! I actually expect Saudi Arabia to tighten up for this second match of their group campaign. They will be keen to make amends for that first game humiliation. Don't get me wrong, I still think Uruguay will win this game but they'll come up against a more resolute Saudi team. It's worth backing Uruguay to keep a clean sheet. I can't see Saudi's attack troubling the Godin and Gimenez partnership down the centre. Uruguay to win to nil @ 1.70 with Ladbrokes Luis Suarez Anytime Scorer @ 1.56 with 888Sport