StevieDay1983

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StevieDay1983 last won the day on February 3

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About StevieDay1983

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    The Welsh Moderator
  • Birthday 09/26/83

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  1. 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!
  2. 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
  3. The way this game has started this could be 3-3 by half-time!
  4. 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
  5. 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
  6. 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.
  7. 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
  8. 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
  9. Portugal vs Morocco The fate of these two sides could be a lot closer to being decided this Wednesday afternoon when Portugal and Morocco go head-to-head in a 1pm BST kick-off at the Luzhniki Stadium in Moscow. It is probably fair to say that it's hard to look past Portugal after their thrilling opening game with Spain last Friday night. Portugal were tipped by many to struggle to progress past the 2nd Round but many were still confident they would ease through this group. Cristiano Ronaldo reached the peak of his powers in their 3-3 draw with Spain and if he was able to tear that Spaniards apart that easily with a hat-trick then it's disconcerting what he might do to this Moroccan side. Morocco suffered a disappointing 1-0 defeat to Iran in their first game so they need a win here. A draw might well keep their hopes of reaching the next phase alive by a thread with a result then likely needed against Spain but realistically anything less than a win all but ends their involvement in this tournament. In fact, a win for Portugal and Spain in the second round of matches in this group would end Morocco's hopes of progressing from the group. Unfortunately, Morocco are a side that base their entire approach on their stern defence and a progressive style of play. Iran's injury time winner was a gut-wrenching blow and it's hard to see any hope for them. Portugal will lap up Morocco being more attacking against them. I fear we could see Morocco come undone here. Portugal to win and continue on their expected path to the last 16. I think this experienced Portuguese side will pick Morocco off as the game goes on. Portugal to win @ 1.64 with Bet365 Total Goals Scored Over 2.5 @ 2.38 with BetVictor
  10. Interesting stat, Colombia have never won a game at the World Cup when they have gone behind. That includes actually losing the previous six. Still, they have done well to come back from behind so why not back them at those odds?
  11. Russia vs Egypt This Tuesday evening at 7pm BST we come full circle with the second round of group game fixtures beginning at the Krestovsky Stadium in St Petersburg when host nation Russia look to build on their stunning opening game win over Saudi Arabia against a capable Egypt side. Russia tore Saudi Arabia apart with a 5-0 victory in the first match of the tournament. It was an unexpected performance from the Russians with many, including myself, having tipped them to have a dour tournament. However, it has rejuvenated the hopes of a nation with many now backing them to get something from this game as well. Egypt were without Mo Salah in their opening game of the tournament and succumbed to a late goal against Uruguay. It was an abject display by the South American side with Luis Suarez coming under particular criticism for his display. The Egyptians will be ruing not taking something from that game and it now puts more pressure on them to win this game. Personally, I don't think Russia will play better than they did last Thursday. It was a freak performance against a very poor Saudi Arabia side. I think Egypt will be a much more dangerous team going forward with Salah back and will also offer a more resilient back-line. There won't be much in this game. My favour swings between Russia and Egypt. Home advantage might just see Russia get the draw they'll be satisfied with. BTTS @ 2.25 with SunBets Total Corners Under 9.5 @ 1.81 with Unibet
  12. Poland vs Senegal Now, here is one of the most interesting group games of the World Cup with Poland taking on Senegal at 4pm BST on Tuesday afternoon at the Otkritie Arena in Moscow. If you are looking for two evenly matched sides then they don't come closer matched than these two. Adam Nawalka ensured that his Polish side cruised through qualifying. It was an impressive display when you consider they finished 5 points ahead of Denmark, 9 points ahead of a tricky Montenegro, and 12 points ahead of a potentially dangerous Romania in their qualification group. An experienced back-line, a midfield that includes the likes of Grzegorz Krychowiak, Kamil Grosicki, and Jakub Blaszczykowski, plus a strike force of Robert Lewandowksi and Arkadiusz Milik. It's a talented squad that will certainly have expectations of reaching the last 16 at the very least. I have a personally affiliation with Senegal. My first World Cup winning bet came when I backed them to beat France in the opening game of the 2002 World Cup. It's great to see them at this tournament and it was only when I was doing some research that I realised how seriously they need to be taken as a squad. In terms of natural ability, it could be argued that this side has more about it than the squad that reached the Quarter-Finals 16 years ago. Just take a look across their squad line-up and it includes Napoli's Kalidou Koulibaly, Anderlecht's Kara Mbodji, Schalke's Salif Sane, Everton's Idrissa Gueye, West Ham's Cheikhou Kouyate, Liverpool's Sadio Mane, Amiens' Moussa Konate, and Bursaspor's Moussa Sow. The list goes on. It's no surprise they breezed through qualifying unbeaten against Burkina Faso, Cape Verde, and South Africa. I genuinely cannot separate these two sides. I would argue that maybe Poland have the more experienced side but there's a lot of pace in this Senegal side. Poland have a few ageing players at the back that might struggle to deal with that. However, if Poland can nullify Mane then that's a major threat dealt with. I just think the most potent striker in European qualification, Lewandowski, could save Poland here. If pushed, I'd back a draw. I'm not that brave though. BTTS @ 2.20 with William Hill Senegal Double Chance @ 1.65 with BetStars
  13. Yeah, I can't express how awful I thought Panama were against Wales. Undoubtedly, the worst team I've seen play at international level that are ranked inside the world's top 75 teams. I caught them in their 6-0 pasting against Switzerland. Again, very poor. Maybe they save their best performances for when I don't see. I'd back Belgium to win to nil as well.
  14. Southgate seems to fully appreciate how much of a challenge this game will be and that's half the battle won. I think you're spot on with those correct score suggestions.
  15. Colombia vs Japan Group H gets underway on Tuesday afternoon when dark horses Colombia play underdogs Japan in a 1pm BST kick-off at the Mordovia Arena in Saransk. This group is arguably one of the most open but, for me, it contains one of the weakest teams in the tournament in Japan. Colombia had many believing they could go all the way in 2014 with James Rodriguez leading the charge. It was not to be as they succumbed to host nation Brazil in the Quarter-Finals. It feels that their golden chance to win an unlikely World Cup has now passed but that's not to say they won't go far here. Jose Pekerman's side just about squeaked through qualification automatically by 1 point ahead of Peru after failing to win any of their last four qualification games. It was what appeared a formality suddenly turning into a nervous finale. Peru would have pipped them had they not been held to a draw in their final game. Japan have long promised to become a strong football nation with a large population, a sound financial infrastructure, and the supporter base to make it happen but, for whatever reason, the promise has yet to be fulfilled. This is their sixth consecutive campaign after their debut in 1998. However, having failed to get past the last 16 so far it feels like this will be another lacklustre World Cup with a squad that isn't to the standard of previous squads they have had. Akira Nishino can call on a fair number of experienced players but these are players that are solid top flight European league players at best. They hardly possess a player that can change a game. The likes of Gotoku Sakai, Maya Yoshida, Keisuke Honda, Shinji Kagawa, and Shinji Okazaki will be familiar to European football fans but are they of a high enough quality to match those players that will turn out for Colombia, Senegal, and Poland? A win is vital for Colombia here and I think they know it. Japan are my tips to prop this group up. I just feel their squad lacks the energy and clinical edge up top with a defence that has conceded 8 goals in their past 4 matches against very average opposition. Colombia should really win this game comfortably so I'd tip them for a 2-0 win. Japan might huff and puff but they won't blow Pekerman's house down. On a sidenote, I'd back Rodriguez to score here. He loves the big stage and without a goal in Colombia's last five games he's due one. Colombia to win @ 1.70 with BetBright James Rodriguez Anytime Scorer @ 3.25 with Paddy Power