The waiting is finally over and the FIFA World Cup has arrived!
We’re set for a feast of football over the next month or so and fans around the world will be hoping for goals galore.
Hopefully these three games will get the tournament off to a bang!
Mexico V Cameroon. 13th June. 5PM.
After the euphoria of Brazil’s opener against Croatia, Friday’s action begins with the other Group A match between Mexico and Cameroon.
Four years ago the Mexicans surprised France as they progressed to the knockout stage, where they were eliminated by Argentina. Conversely, Cameroon suffered a disappointing campaign as they finished the South African tournament without a single point.
Nevertheless, Cameroon will be equally as confident as Mexico as they head into this clash at the Estadio das Dunas. Both teams will be aiming for three points as they look to gain the advantage in the quest for a runner-up berth, and each will fancy their chances of scoring.
Neither team have particularly strong defences, but both boast prolific strikers in Samuel Eto’o and Javier Hernandez respectively. This will be an intense affair from start to finish and we’d expect both teams to find the target at some stage.
BTTS Yes @ 23/20 at William Hill
Ivory Coast V Japan. 15th June. 2AM.
The first game in Recife sees ivory Coast take on Japan in what could be a very entertaining affair.
Japan reached the last 16 in South Africa and will be hopeful of at least matching that feat in Brazil. If they can claim victory in this opener then their chances of doing so will be strong. However, the Ivory Coast will be determined to bounce back from the disappointment of four years ago (where they were drawn in the group of death) by reaching the knockout stage for the first time.
The Africans boast a number of talented stars amongst their ranks and are spearheaded by the mercurial Didier Drogba. However, their ageing defence could struggle in the intense heat and that could allow for Japan to hurt them.
Samarai Blue have never been prolific scorers, but they do have a knack of finding results. This time, though, the likes of Kagawa, Okazaki and Honda should ensure that they are a much more dangerous proposition in the final third.
Ivory Coast are a strong outfit and you would expect them to score. However, you would never trust the Elephants to keep a clean sheet – particularly against a very capable Japanese frontline.
We’re backing both teams to score.
BTTS Yes @ Evens at William Hill
Switzerland V Ecuador. 15th June. 5PM
Sunday’s clash between Switzerland and Ecuador might not stand out as a headline encounter, but it could be one of the more exciting opening round fixtures.
We saw against England that Ecuador are more than capable of causing havoc in the final third and it is well worth noting that they have a slight advantage on South American soil. La Tri additionally finished above Uruguay in qualifying and will fancy their chances of advancing from a group that also contains France and Honduras.
However, Switzerland are a top seed for good reason and are a very dependable outfit in spite of their evident lack of world stars. Outisde of Xhedran Shakiri and Gokhan Inler, there aren’t that many familiar faces within Ottmar Hitzfield’s team, but that should not detract from their immense ability.
Switzerland notched 17 goals in qualifying, while Ecuador hit 20. Fans should be treated to an exciting match in the capital.
BTTS Yes @ 6/5 with William Hill
A £10 treble returns £94.60 with William Hill.