Friday, September 4, 2009

For the Punters: Choice World Cup Qualifiers (updated)

By El Chupa

Czech Republic at Slovakia
: [What can we say? A GREAT match. The draw was probably more likely, but we like to throw the dice as much as anyone, as long as it's within reason. Hats off to the Czechs for coming back and salvaging the draw]. We think this may be the best bet of the weekend. The Czech Republic absolutely must win this game to keep their hopes alive of qualifying for South Africa. They are at the bottom of their group with a mere 8 pts, while Slovakia sits atop the group with 16. Yet the Czechs are rated higher than the Slovaks in the FIFA rankings, in spite of the fact Slovakia has already beaten the Czechs on the road at Prague. Dr. Bumba says the Czech rating is a result of previous efforts and does not reflect where the team really is at this point. The Slovaks now get to face the Czechs at home. Lest you think the Slovaks with 16 pts in the bag are unmotivated, remember that these two countries were once a single nation, and only a fool would underestimate just how tense the rivalry is between these two countries. This is war by another means, folks. The Czechs must attack, which might make them vulnerable to a Slovakian team that can clearly score. Currently, the books have + odds for both teams, with a bet on Slovakia to win coming in at +160. Folks, it doesn't get much better than this. If you can somehow watch this game, watch it; it should be outstanding football. For the Punters, honestly, this is some sweet action. Slovakia to win. El Chupa prefers IPAs and Porters, but would certainly enjoy a good true Pilsner while watching this match. Word.

Brazil at Argentina - This is another bitter rivalry. Security at the match will be crazy. Argentina needs a win badly both to keep them in the top four and for national pride. Dunga will most likely send Brazil out in a formation Maradona has never seen before. Dunga has pointedly built the Brazilian team to forgo beauty for defense and for results, but Brazil can and will score, and they will not concede three points easily, or even play for the draw unless they are behind late in the game. Messi chose not to play in Barca's first La Liga match so he could prepare with the Argentinian National Team. But Argentina has clearly not gelled yet under Maradona. Dr. Bumba thinks a Brazilian win is a good bet.

El Salvador at US - Dr Bumba is unequivocal in his belief that the US will beat El Salvador and beat them badly. The El Salvador is playing a US team that is motivated both to make up for the last two games against Mexico, and to make up for their poor performance in a draw down in El Salvador in the early summer. Take the US to win as part of a parley, and quite possibly take the over if it pays well.

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