WORLD CUP SATURDAY: The Ultra previews Saturday’s opening set of Round 16 fixtures in the World Cup between NETHERLANDS v USA and ARGENTINA v AUSTRALIA both including a recommended BETDAQ bet.


3pm The FIFA World Cup knockouts arrive on BETDAQ Betting Exchange on Saturday! We’ve already had plenty of shocks at this World Cup, and I doubt many would have got these fixtures right when they predicted what way the draw would pan out! Australia done amazingly well to get out of their Group, and while it was pretty 50/50 between USA and Wales who would finish behind England, USA will see this as a great achievement too. On paper, most football fans will expect Netherlands and Argentina to progress today, but let’s see what happens! We start the day with Netherlands facing the USA, Netherlands come into this clash as the big favourites but they aren’t quite odds on. They are trading 2.02 at the time of writing, and while most casual football fans will see this as an “easy” draw for the Netherlands, when you look at their under-lining numbers at the tournament there are concerns. They faced a relatively easy Group with Senegal, Ecuador and Qatar which they topped, their they just haven’t really fired. Their xG figures were 1.32, 0.11 and 1.72. They were very lucky to get a draw against Ecuador – they took an early lead and basically sat on it, but when Ecuador equalised early in the second half they had at least 30 minutes to create chances to win the game but they didn’t manage anything. While USA aren’t at the same level as the Netherlands, they are very solid and it will be interesting to see what kind of tactical battle we get here.

USA have been involved in great very tight games, but you can’t say they don’t deserve to be here. They were a little lucky against Wales in the sense that they conceded an xG of close to double what they created, but then they fully deserved their draw against England and created the better chances against Iran – their xG was just over double what they conceded. This Netherlands side is very exciting on paper, and they had been banging in goals for fun in qualifying and the Nations League, but they seem to have lost they spark here. Qatar looked so average, it was almost disappointing to only score twice and they offered very little going forward against Ecuador. Perhaps van Gaal has set them up to stop leaking sloppy goals, but that has come at a cost going forward. Netherlands and USA have had Under 2.5 goals collect in all their games so far, and I think we’ll get another very cagey game here. It’s the USA style to keep games tight as possible, and Netherlands just haven’t been playing an open game so far this World Cup. They could have done that against Qatar because they shouldn’t have feared them, but they didn’t exactly go all out. I would definitely lean towards laying the Netherlands at 2.02 because I see a closer game than those odds suggest, but Under 2.5 goals looks the stand out bet here at 1.65. This game should be very cagey – wouldn’t be surprised at all to see it finish 0-0. We could even see some penalties here in the first knockout game!

The Ultra Says:
Four points win Under 2.5 goals at 1.65 with BETDAQ BETTING EXCHANGE.

You can view all markets here ->

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7pm Next we have a massive favourite as Argentina face Australia. Argentina will be fully expected to win this one – they are trading as short as 1.22 at the time of writing – however they were shorter to beat Saudi Arabia and we know how that one turned out! Both sides have produced a remarkable turnaround after losing their opening games – I know Argentina would have still been expected to go through, but Australia were hammered 4-1 by France and they have responded superbly. It was a very tight game against Denmark in their 1-0 win, and although their xG figure was low I don’t think Denmark can say that they were unlucky. Their xG figure was very low too, and they just didn’t create enough to win the game. After shipping four goals to France, Australia have been really solid at the back and grinded out two very tight 1-0 wins. I’m sure they’ll have the same tactics here, but whether or not they are good enough to stop Argentina is another question. After losing to Saudi Arabia, Argentina were under immense pressure but they controlled both games against Mexico and Poland very well. Both games were similar in the sense that they went into half-time 0-0 and then took control of the game in the second half. The scary thing for Australian fans is that Argentina really got better from the Mexico game to the Poland game. They have grown into the tournament – they finished with an xG of 3.72 against Poland and could have easily won 4-0 or 5-0.

What’s been impressive from Argentina too is that they have been rock solid at the back. They conceded two wonder goals against Saudi Arabia but the xG for the whole game was just 0.15. While they conceded only 0.19 v Mexico and then 0.32 v Poland. Many punters will be wary of sticking Argentina in a Betdaq Multiple because of the Saudi Arabia loss, but I can’t see past an Argentina win here and at 1.22 I’d include them in any Acca over the weekend. With Argentina trading so short in the match odds market, we’re going to have to look around the side markets for some value. It was interesting to see Over 2.5 goals trading odds on at 1.8. Australia are going to put XI men behind the ball here and Argentina haven’t exactly started each game on the front foot – I wouldn’t be surprised to see another 0-0 at half-time and then Argentina win 2-0 here. The thing putting off the Under 2.5 goals bet however is the Argentina xG figure against Poland – they are creating a lot and I feel a better bet is Both Teams Not To Score at 1.47. Australia haven’t created a huge amount, and couple that with the fact that Argentina have been so impressive at the back and I can see a clean sheet for Argentina here. I expect them to control the game, and we’ll likely see a 2-0 or 3-0 win.

The Ultra Says:
Three points win Both Teams Not To Score at 1.47 with BETDAQ BETTING EXCHANGE.

You can view all markets here ->

DAQMAN Weds: Kempton NAP
DAQSTATS Weds: Kempton NAP
THE STRIKER Weds: Sunderland v Fulham (FA Cup)
THE EDGE Thurs: India v Australia 1st Test
PAT HEALY blog: The Perfect Festival!
THE WEEK AHEAD: Super Bowl week !!
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