Tonight France and Germany will be hoping to book their place in the quarter-finals of the World Cup. After both comfortably topping their respective groups and seeing their prices slashed in the outright market, players, fans and the managers are quietly confident. The two favourites could also brighten up Monday for plenty of Paddy Power punters. It might be the start of the working week for most, but if there’s one thing that can get rid of the Monday blues it’s emptying Paddy’s pockets.
Depending on whether or not your luck’s in, might depend on how you approach tonight’s games. If you’ve struck-out on the dance floor on Saturday night and spent Sunday in a heap thanks to a dodgy kebab, it might be worth to stick to the ‘banker’ double. If you’re on a roll, there’s a couple of value punts well worth considering in tonight’s games…
The Banker: France and Germany both to qualify: 4/11
This isn’t exactly a working man’s price but if you’re looking for what most people would call a ‘certainty’ on Monday night this is probably the one. France are (1/5) and Germany are (1/7) to progress to the quarter-finals in a double that looks as rock-solid as Nemanja Vidic’s head.
- Germany have never played Algeria before – however West Germany have two wins from two games against them. A 2-0 victory in 1964, and the 2-1 victory in the 1982 World Cup
- Nigeria beat France 1-0 in their only previous meeting, however the Super Eagles have own just one of their last eight matches
- The FIFA rankings might be as untrustworthy as Gary Barlow’s tax forms but Germany are ranked 20 places higher than Algeria and France are 27 places above Nigeria – highlighting the gulf in class
The Early-Nighter: France and Germany to win in 90 mins: 10/11
Sunday night was a late one as Costa Rica and Greece went the distance, and with tonight being a school night, plenty of punters will be hoping this is done and dusted in the normal time. France are 1/2 to see off Nigeria in 90 mins and Germany are shorter at 1/3 to dish out the same punishment to Algeria.
- Germany have never lost a World Cup last 16 match – winning seven of seven
- Nigeria have made the last 16 round twice, in 1994 and 1998, but lost on both occasions, to Italy and Denmark respectively
- Similarly to Germany France have a 100 per cent record in the round of 16 matches, winning five of five, whereas Algeria have never been this far in a World Cup
The Cushion: France and Germany both to win (-1): 3/1
Punters looking for a bit more value on the two favourites tonight might be tempted to look at both France and Germany to win by two or more in their respective games. Neither side are short of finding the onion bag and punters can cash in on the European heavyweights to go to town against weaker defences.
- Germany scored seven goals in the group stages, averaging 2.33 goals a game
- France were even more prolific scoring eight in three games, with an average of 2.66
- France’s two wins against Switzerland and Honduras were by three goals, while Germany beat Portugal by four in their opening group game.
The Goal-Getter: France and Germany to win with all four teams scoring: 9/1
Enhanced to 11/1
This World Cup is being talked about as one of the best for years, and we can put that down to the incredible amount of goals and late drama, combined with teams completely disregarding the art of defending. Clean sheets are as rare as some top quality analysis from Paul Merson and punters have been piling in to the both teams to score markets.
- In 58 per cent of the 52 World Cup matches this year, both teams have found the back of the net
- Nigeria have found the onion bag in 11 of their last 15 games, and France have an identical record – their blank against Ecuador in the last group game was the first time in eight matches that they had failed to notch up a score
- Algeria bagged six goals in three group games, scoring in every one of them, and they scored in every single qualifier on the way to this World Cup. Germany averaged 3.6 goals a game in qualifying and aren’t particularly renowned for struggling in front of goal
The Hot-Shots: Thomas Muller and Karim Benzema to score first: 17/1
If you’re looking for a decent chunk of value to kick-start your week, backing two in-form front men may be the way to go. Both Muller and Benzema have been red-hot in front of goal in Brazil making it look easier to score in South America than on a Friday night out in Tiger Tiger.
- Muller has nine goals in nine World Cup matches, and has scored four goals in just 262 minutes of football in this year’s showpiece
- Karim Benzema has three goals in three games in this World Cup – but could have had five if it hadn’t been for a missed penalty and a goal that came seconds after the referee had blown for full-time against Switzerland.
- Benzema is having his most prolific calender year for the national team with six goals in four games during 2014