WORLD CUP SUNDAY: The Ultra previews Sunday’s four World Cup games between JAPAN v COSTA RICA, BELGIUM v MOROCCO, CROATIA v CANADA and SPAIN v GERMANY all including a recommended BETDAQ bet.
JAPAN V COSTA RICA
10am We have another superb day at the World Cup in Qatar on BETDAQ Betting Exchange this Sunday. All eyes will undoubtedly be on Spain v Germany later as the highlight fixture, but we have some very interesting situations before we get to the final kick off. We start the day in Group E as Japan take on Costa Rica. Japan caused one of the shocks of the tournament so far when beating Germany in their opening game, and now they have a superb chance to make it two wins from two and really put the pressure on Germany later. It’s actually going to be a fascinating situation in Group E – a win here for Japan would effectively make the Spain game a must win fixture. Costa Rica arrive into this fixture having been battered 7-0 by Spain earlier in the week, and obviously morale will be low coming here. They finished the game with an xG of 0.0. I know they lost 7-0 and that was embarrassing enough, but that fixture really just highlights again just how poor they were. Germany fans will say that they were unlucky to lose 2-1 to Japan considering they finished the game with an xG of 3.81 but Japan created an xG of 2.06 themselves and took their chances. It was always going to be a difficult game for Japan, and to grind out a win in dramatic fashion at the end was incredible for them.
They now have a huge chance to getting through, and they must win this game. It’s hard to actually see past the Japan win here, and they are a very tempting bet at 1.48 considering how average Costa Rica looked in their opening game. You’d have to say that, on paper, this isn’t the strongest side Japan have ever brought to a World Cup but you have to admire the way they handled themselves in the Germany game. Costa Rica were very lucky to get to this World Cup as I highlighted in the Spain preview. They finished fourth in a very weak CONCACAF qualifying and the general feeling was they were lucky to get past New Zealand in the playoff afterwards. We probably saw what level Costa Rica were at in their opening game, and there’s a definite gulf in class between the sides here. It’s hard to go near the goal markets as I expect Costa Rica to try and sit back, but they made so many errors in their opening fixture I’m not sure that will mean anything putting XI men behind the ball. I can only see a clear Japan win here, and 1.48 is good value in my opinion. I’d have them closer to 1.4 and the 1.48 is worth a Max Bet.
The Ultra Says:
Five points win Japan to beat Costa Rica at 1.48 with BETDAQ BETTING EXCHANGE.
You can view all markets here -> https://betdaq.biz/JapCos
BELGIUM V MOROCCO
1pm Next we go to Group F as Belgium meet Morocco. On paper, everything went smoothly for Belgium in their opening game – they recorded a 1-0 win over Canada and sit top of the Group. However, when you dig a little deeper you see obvious issues. They came into the tournament with a very strong squad, and Canada were assumed to be quite average coming from a weak qualifying system. Canada were known for being solid at the back, and that turned out to be true. They kept Belgium down to an xG of just 0.98. However, the eye-catching stat of the game was Belgium conceded an xG of 2.90 to Canada. That was clearly a very poor performance, and they were very lucky to win the game. Alarm bells would be going off if I fancied Belgium – when Kevin de Bruyne got awarded the man of the match award, even he said he only got it because of his “name” rather than performance. That is true, because Belgium were so average – especially in the first half. Once again there is a gulf in class between the sides here, but the price of 2.04 on Belgium probably fairly reflects how poor they were in their opening game. If they were odds on I’d happily lay them. It will be very interesting to see their performance levels here.
Morocco will be tough to break down, however they offered very little going forward against Croatia in their opening fixture. They finished that game with a 0-0 draw, but their xG was just 0.54. A draw wouldn’t have been a bad result for Morocco, and they probably would have shook hands on a draw before kick off. I was happy to lay Croatia at around 2.16, and although I was very disappointed with the Belgium price I feel the 2.04 is a fair reflection of their chances here. I don’t see any value in the match odds market, and I’m happy to look around the side markets for some value. Under 2.5 goals jumps off the page here in my opinion – Morocco are going to sit back and put XI men behind the ball again, and they did a pretty successful job of that in their opening game. With Belgium not creating much in their opening game, I can see a pretty dull affair here. Maybe Belgium grind out another 1-0 win, but Under 2.5 goals at 1.82 looks a very nice position.
The Ultra Says:
Three points win Under 2.5 goals at 1.82 with BETDAQ BETTING EXCHANGE.
You can view all markets here -> https://betdaq.biz/BelMor
CROATIA V CANADA
4pm We stay in Group F as Croatia meet Canada. If Belgium beat Morocco in the earlier fixture, the pressure is then on these two with the winner putting themselves in the box seat to qualify. Croatia have to play Belgium in their final Group game, so fair to say they need a win here after only drawing with Morocco. Canada come into the second round of fixtures sitting bottom of the Group, but they put in the best performance of any team in Group F against Belgium. They finished the game with an xG of 2.90 and only conceded 0.98 – they should have won the game. Morocco set out to defend against Croatia, and although Croatia have an powerful midfield they really had no answers. As I said in my preview of that game, if you can just stop the Croatia midfield you stop the whole team. They don’t have a natural striker to create chances, and they only managed an xG of 0.90. It will be interesting to see what they can create here considering that Canada are known for being solid at the back. They do come from a pretty weak qualifying system, but they topped their table and you couldn’t help but be impressed by the performance against Belgium.
We were able to land a nice lay on Croatia to beat Morocco at 2.16, and I feel we can do the same again here. They are trading very similar odds – currently 2.18 at the time of writing, and I just expect a closer game than those odds suggest. Croatia have gone backwards a lot since reaching the World Cup Final in 2018, and while they will say they made progress recently I still feel they have a lot of issues creating chances. Of course with Croatia struggling for goals and Canada being solid at the back, it is tempting to back Under 2.5 goals at 1.79. Indeed, I couldn’t put anyone off that bet but I do feel there is more value in the Croatia lay at 2.16. Canada were very impressive against Belgium, and I wouldn’t even be surprised if they could win this game. I wouldn’t be surprised to see Croatia drift a little before kick off either, but I’m happy with the 2.16 lay.
The Ultra Says:
Three points lay (liability) Croatia to beat Canada at 2.16 with BETDAQ BETTING EXCHANGE.
You can view all markets here -> https://betdaq.biz/CroCan
SPAIN V GERMANY
7pm We finish Sunday with a blockbuster fixture in Group E as Spain take on Germany. Every German fan will be watching the Japan v Costa Rica game earlier in the day cheering on Costa Rica, but the reality is that Japan should win that game and that would leave Germany in a terrible position. A win for Japan would leave Germany needing to win here, as Spain will very likely beat Japan in their final game. Even a draw for Japan and a draw for Germany would leave them in a goal difference situation, but Germany would very likely win that given they play Costa Rica in their final game. What a dramatic situation though – pre-tournament everyone felt these two will go through without drama, it was just a case of who finished first and second! As I said above, German fans will say that they were very unlucky, they finished the game with an xG of 3.81 but the thing is that they conceded an xG of 2.06 and when you play such an open game sometimes you’re going to get burnt. They were no doubt shell-shocked the way things panned out late but over all they came into this tournament as a team in transition and now it looks like another disappointing major tournament after exiting Euro 2020 early too.
Germany getting knocked out at the Group stage would certainly be a big shock, and would likely see the manager go too. Considering he came in after they exited Euro 2020 and made decent progress, that would leave Germany in no mans land really. They did lose to Hungary in the Nations League though, and it is hard to see them winning against this Spanish side. Spain started the tournament in superb fashion with a 7-0 hammering of Costa Rica, and although it shouldn’t come into it that puts them in an ideal position goal difference wise. They have an excellent attacking side, and they make a lot of appeal here at 2.44 given how many chances Germany concede. They must be full of confidence after a 7-0 win too, and they have been the much more impressive side over all coming into this tournament compared to Germany. I felt Spain would top this Group in my Outright preview, with Germany second but that might not happen now! However, I’m going to stick to my Spanish prediction and I’m happy to take the 2.44 here.
The Ultra Says:
Three points win Spain to beat Germany at 2.44 with BETDAQ BETTING EXCHANGE.
You can view all markets here -> https://betdaq.biz/SpaGer