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World Cup Latest News

Thurday 21st June

News from the England camp: first big injury in the England team

Just as well it is manager Gareth Southgate who is seriously injured, not any of the players. The manager slipped when he was out on a run during a rest day, and dislocated his shoulder. It shouldn’t stop him managing the team, but it may curtail his goal celebrations a bit.

There has also been confirmation that Dele Alli has sustained a thigh strain in the match against Tunisia on Monday. An X-ray revealed the injury, which although not serious, will probably prevent him from playing in the Panama game on Sunday.

This will probably provide an opportunity for Ruben Loftus-Cheek to come into the side. He impressed with his penetrating runs when he came on as a substitute on Monday and the manager may give him a chance now.

Another player who may be given a chance from the start is Marcus Rashford. He also made an impact when he came on for Raheem Sterling and the Manchester City player must be worried he will now lose his place in the starting lineup. However, if Rashford has a good game, the manager may just stick with him instead.

Elsewhere in the tournament we have two teams in Group A who have already qualified: home nation Russia and Uruguay. All that is to be decided in group A is who will be top. The two teams play each other, and a draw is enough for Russia to do that, whilst Uruguay need the win. Whatever happens they will face a tough opponent in the next round anyway, as the choice will probably be either Spain or Portugal, and they won’t know which one it will be when they play.

In Group B Ronaldo (he seems to play for the whole Portugal team) scored against Morocco to book their first win of the tournament. Morocco created plenty of chances, but the players could not provide the finishing touch.

Iran played a decent game against Spain, who as usual dominated the possession. A single goal, a lucky ricochet off Diego Costa, decided this match. For all of their running and effort, Iran didn’t create any clear cut chances, leaving Group B delicately poised for the final matches next week. Spain and Portugal are on 4 points, and Iran is on 3. Portugal play Iran, and Spain play Morocco, who are already out of the tournament, but who may try to leave with their heads held high.

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Monday 18th June

The first weekend of the World Cup has thrown up some great matches (a 6 goal thriller of Portugal against Spain, ending in 3-3), a real and genuine shock (Germany losing 1-0 to Mexico) and some surprisingly flat play by Argentina (1-1 draw with the Vikings from Iceland), and a poor performance by Brazil in their 1-1 draw against Switzerland.

This has upset the tournament favourite odds a bit, with Spain rising, and Argentina and Germany falling in the favourite order.

Today it is time for a young England team to step up to the mark, and perhaps fill the vacuum that is created by the poor start to the tournament of some of the favourites. The odds of England winning the tournament have strengthened a bit from 16/1 to 14/1 so perhaps some momentum is building.

So what about tonight’s match? On paper this should be an easy one for the English lions. Tunisia are ranked 31 st in the FIFA world rankings, and they are missing their best 2 players through injury. England on the other hand have a young team that seems to gel well, and that is willing to put it all on the line. Perhaps the expectations in the country are a bit lower as well, which may help them progress.

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And we’re off!

Action has got finally underway yesterday in the football World Cup in Russia. The Luzhniki Stadium was full to the brim, and the fans were treated to a riot of colour and activity in a dazzling, no money spared, display. A red suited Robbie Williams joined in the spirit of things, although maybe he got carried away a bit too much in the spectacle when he treated millions of TV viewers around the world to a middle finger when he felt the camera was a bit too close. No matter however, and it all ended well.

Then came the football, and for once an opening match that, although perhaps not of the highest standard, had many goals. Russia treated the home fans to a great 5-0 start to the tournament. A hapless Saudi Arabia almost seemed to not care, or maybe they were just lacking in skill. Their team consists largely of players in the home league, and some of that showed, even against a team like Russia.

Some dodgy goalkeeping by the Saudi Arabian stopper did make things a bit easier for the home team, but they did score some fine goals, in particular the 3-0 by Cheryshev. The rest of the match was played mostly at a very low tempo however, and the footballing quality on display was often poor.

After the first half ended we placed a cheeky bet using Bet2Go, on the match finishing 4-0 at 5/1 on Coral, but we were denied our £60 winnings by a free kick deep into stoppage time. Typically this was the result of poor goalkeeping, and poor positioning of the wall for a free kick.

Onwards now to Uruguay versus Egypt for the other Group A match. It has been confirmed now that Mo Salah will start on the bench. All the omens point to a Uruguayan win. The South Americans come into this fixture on a run of three consecutive victories, while Egypt are without a win in 2018 and are yet to taste victory at a World Cup.

Our bet for this match: Uruguay to win 3-0 is 10/1 on Bet2Go.

World Cup 2018 preview

It’s all kicking off in Russia on June 14. We are talking about the football of course, and not the alleged hooliganism that many predict as a danger.

In the first match tournament host Russia will take on Saudi Arabia in the Luzhniki Stadium in Moscow. The match will kick off at 4PM UK time. Russia will be hoping for a good start to their first game, in Group A, against a team who may not be expected to do much, but who have shocked a few teams in the past. Remember the match against Belgium at the 1994 World Cup?

Despite being the hosts, Russia are not amongst the favourites to lift the trophy. As usual, the predictable teams are at the top of the betting order with Brazil and Germany joint favourites, followed at some distance by Spain (6/1) and France (13/2). England are not expected to do so well apparently, placing 7th favourite at 16/1, just above Portugal.

Much will depend on how Gareth Southgate’s young team adapts to the situation, and whether they can grow into the tournament as a team. Group G also contains Belgium, who rank just above England as favourites, and two teams everybody expects to be the bottom 2 in the group, Panama and Tunisia. Those two teams are likely to play a very defensive game, relying on counters, so it depends on how good England and Belgium are in breaking them down.

The battle for top goal scorer looks a bit tighter, with Messi (10/1), Griezmann and Neymar (both 12/1) topping the table. Harry kane is 6th favourite with odds of 16/1.

We will be following the action, show the results and group tables, and much more throughout the tournament.

For the best betting on the World Cup, both pre-match and in-play, download Bet2Go now.