By Aidan Elder | Chief Sports Writer
Group b betting preview: Germany v Netherlands
Tonight – 7.45pm Kharkiv, Live on ITV1 and RTE2
International football rivalries don’t come much more tetchy than this. Germany and the Netherlands have a long history of footballing narkiness and this game will hopefully be every bit as entertaining and saliva-filled as the others.
If points were handed out for butchering good chance after good chance, the Netherlands would already be safely in the quarter-finals. Sadly, the opposite is pretty much the case and their shock defeat to Denmark leaves them on the brink of going before they’ve even had the chance to have messy internal hissy-fits.
In true stereotypical German style, Joachim Loew’s men did what they had to do and little else against Portugal. They were about as impressive as a plate of beans on toast, but they were effective and it’s that kind of relentless German-ness that normally sees them through.
If you ignore all the terrible finishing and suspect defending, the Netherlands actually played quite well against Denmark. Since the game is largely about good finishing and adequate defending, you can’t ignore it. The Germans coughed up a fair few chances against Portugal and if you, like me, think the Dutch can’t possibly be as bad in front of goal as they were, the 2/1 for a Netherlands win will be tempting.
A Correct Score stab in the dark
A goalscorer bet to look out for
Robin van Persie seems to have left his shooting boots at the Emirates, so it’s best to look elsewhere for a goalscorer bet. Arjen Robben engineers himself into some good positions, but then ruins it by thinking he can score from anywhere.
With the forward line misfiring, it’s worth looking at Mark van Bommel. He does more than pick up yellow cards, you know. He had a couple of good long range efforts against the Danes and at 9/1 to score anytime, he might be the best chance the Dutch have of a goal.
Something a bit random
There is no chance Mark van Bommel is getting through a game like this without getting a yellow card. He’s 5/6 to get booked at anytime and <strong>8/1 to be the first player shown a card in the game.
Robbie Fowler Says
Germany won without playing particularly well against Portugal. That’s the hallmark of German sides down through the years. Because they know a win will effectively knock out one of their main rivals for this title and they’ll be able to pull out a victory tonight.