Belgium v England
Very little to play for but the battle for third place remains one of the last games at every World Cup; -the only reason England and Belgium remain in Russia.
Important or not, I am sure the bragging rights carry both Southgate and Roberto Martinez’s ambitions ahead of this game.
Belgium did not need extra-time to resign from the Tournament but England took the longer route did not bring anything different. Now, the 2-sides meet for the second time in another meaningless after the first meeting ended in favor of The Red Devils.
Roberto Martinez may not ring many changes in the team.But, Southgate (used to experiments) might be looking to make a few.
Southgate’s youthful side suffered a physical blockduring their last game leavingJordan Henderson, Kieran Trippier and Kyle Walker subject to late fitness tests ahead of the Three lion’s final game. And still, some of his forwards may need to be rested.
Belgium remainfavorites and are likely to benefit from an extra day of rest.
Verdict: Go for a goals-galore (over 2.5), and Belgium to win.
France v Croatia
A final of teams with histories at the contrasting ends as France take on Croatia in the final of the 2018 World Cup final.
While it’s Croatia first final in five (1998, 2002, 2006, 2014 and 2018), France have won one(1998), finished second(2006) from a number of feats; – one of the teams with the most appearances (14), including the inaugural Tournament in 1930.
You realize Croatia were making their first appearance at the World’s Premier Tournament as France were winning their first of a life-time. And now, 20-years later, the two sides cross paths.
Now the debate hangs around who should and who is more deserving to win this year’s. France have reached two major finals in a space of 2-years and one would argue they have been seen making the effort while Croatia’s 2014 exploits under Niko Kovac can only be fascinating to a rational observer.
Never the less, Croatia look to be a more complete side with better experience and stronger mentality as compared to France. While Croatia boast of the better team almost in all positions, World Cup and Euro winning coach, Didier Deschamps could be the patch to his side’s gap.
France are not expected to have any changes from the side that beat Belgium in the semi-finals and so are Croatia, although the latter, like England, have many tired legs.
DjibrilSidibe is still a doubt for les Bleus but Blaise Matuidi should be fine to start on Sunday.
Mario Mandzukic should recover in time to start the final and should Ivan Strinicwho also limped off on Wednesday night. Sime Vrsaljkoremarkably recovered from a knee injury he suffered on Wednesday and should start.
It was unfortunate for France to lose to first timers, Portugal at the Euros in 2016, and there was no mistake in Italy winning their fourth past a better team in 2006.
Croatia are the first team to go to extra-time in all three of their knock-out matches up to the final, an illustration of stronger character. However, the tired legs resulting from Wednesday could be a big game changer.
Winning the World Cup for a first timer may be a step too far with such ease for Croatia but incidences of lightning striking the same place twice (losing a second Final to a first timer) cannot be ruled out.
Verdict:Place-It safe. Go for both teams to score. But you can still trust France to win the World Cup.
Here is the summary of more games to this week’s Value category.
FC Astana v ShakhtyorKaragandy- 1
FC Smolevichi v BATE Borisov – 2
Legia Warszawa v Arka Gdynia – 1
Lambton JaffasFC v Valentine Fc – 1
Ross County v Elgin City – 1
Falkirk FC v Montrose – 1
Philadelphia Union v Eintracht Frankfurt – 2
PSG v Chambly – 1
Weder Bremen v Pribram – 1
Bologna v La FioritaMontegiardino – 1
Atalanta v Chiasso – 1
Braga v Millwall – 1
Brasil De Pelotas RS v Juventude RS – 1X
FK Aktobe v Atyrau – 1
Albirex Niigata FC v Tampines Rovers – 1
Dalkurd FF v Trelleborgs FF – X2
FC Minsk v Luch Minsk – 1X
FC Zürich v AtromitosAthinon- 1
FC Sevilla v AFC Bournemouth– 1
Dinamo Moscow v Arminia Bielefeld – 1X
FC Nordsjaelland v Esbjerg FB – 1X
Sao bento v Ponte Preta – X
LDU de Quito v Deportivo Municipal
Please Note that with effect from today, we won’t be giving the ‘RISKY PICKS’ Tips so we give more concentration to the VALUE and REGULAR PICKS.
NOTE: GG – Both teams to score, 1 – Home Team win, 2 – Away Team loss, X – Draw, 1X – Home team’s win or Draw, X2 – A draw or Away team’s win, NT – Risky to place your Bet on
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