We’re just a mere few days away from the biggest tournament in international football, but despite the hype around the World Cup and Rio 2014, there is still something missing today. For those many accumulator punters who love their long lists, today is a bleak day, it feels as if there is a void in your weekend. A black hole.
Traipsing around a garden centre or while visiting your Nan, you have a quick look at Livescore on your phone. Then it hits you. There’s no 3pm accas today. And despite being less than a week away from the most exciting football tournament in the world, you can’t help but feel blue.
Well there’s no need to worry, because this Saturday there is a feast of international friendlies and a long-list that screams accumulators. Alright, they might be kicking off in the evening so you have no excuse to skip that trip to the shopping centre with the other half, but it gives you something to look forward to in the pub later.
Backing the six favourites in the following games tonight pays out 13/2, which might not be the worst way to boost the bank balance before Rio.
But if you fancy a bit of spice in your life then we’ve picked out three better value punts to brighten up your weekend.
Romelu Lukaku to score first 5/2 (Belgium v Tunisia)
Lukaku finished the Premier League season with two goals in last two games for Everton and he hasn’t showed any signs of stopping on international duty. He has four goals in Belgium’s two warm up games and has opened the scoring in both.
In the Premier League he converted 21 per cent of his chances this year and despite suffering with injuries and a lack of form at the start of 2014, the striker appears to be back to his best and well worth having on side. Belgium have failed to score just twice in their last 20 matches, and although Tunisia kept South Korea out last week, this is a different class of opposition.
Spain to win 3-0 6/1 (Spain v El Salvador)
Plenty of punters will be expecting Spain to demolish El Salvador tonight, but it might be wise to err on the side of caution with good reason. The Spanish are expected to win comfortably but they rarely go to town on weaker opposition in friendlies. In their last nine friendly games they have only scored more than two goals on one occasion despite playing considerably weaker teams such as Haiti and Equatorial Guinea.
Even last week they had 70 per cent of the possession against Bolovia and won just 2-0, with the second goal six minutes from time. El Salvador are ranked one place below Bolivia by FIFA, but limited Ivory Coast to just two goals on Thursday and can prevent a complete rout against the Champs.
Carlo Costly to score at anytime 7/2 (England v Honduras)
England fans will be in uproar at the mere suggestion that a lowly Honduras side will be able to score past the mighty Three Lions, but I’m doing it anyway. If we’re honest England have hardly looked watertight at the back, handing Peru a fair few chances and then conceding twice against an Ecuador side who normally don’t get results unless the game is being played at a ridiculous altitude.
Carlo Costly plays his club football at Real Espana and has seven goals in just 13 games. He can also boast of being one of Honduras’ most prolific players with a strike rate of a goal every 2.2 games. He currently has six goals in his last nine international appearances and has enough quality to test England’s wobbly defence.