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Jon Riley 21st Jun 2010 - 13:13

By Zeus! Greeks need hand of their God to win!

Group B has followed its script to a tee with participants Argentina, Greece, Nigeria and South Korea all playing out their roles as expected.

Argentina have dominated affairs and top the group ahead of their less illustrious. This has left a scramble for second place for that elusive qualification spot.

The only way that La Albiceleste can fail to qualify is if they suffer a heavy defeat the hands of the Greeks and South Korea hand the Nigerians a thrashing. Considering that the last time Argentina conceded more than one goal in a World Cup match was in the 1998 quarter final against the Netherlands, then I think we can safely assume they'll be extending their stay in South Africa for a while longer.

Greece did manage to win their first ever World Cup match against Nigeria in their previous outing and can take some heart from their comeback. However, it must be said that until Sani Kaita's ridiculous sending off for kicking out at Torosidis in the first half, Greece had been woeful. Nigeria had dominated, peppering the Greek goal from the offset.

But as it was, the Greeks came from behind and won the match 2-1 and still have a chance of qualifying.

Argentina's emphatic 4-1 scoreline against South Korea in their previous game slightly flatters the men from South America as Korea had a terrific chance to equalize at 2-1 but couldn't take it. What it does highlight though is the attacking power of the Argentines, Messi has been playing really well but without the reward of a goal and Higuain took his hat-trick with clinical precision.

Regardless of which team Maradona puts out to face the Greeks they should be far too strong and skilful for their European opposition. Priced at 4/7 on the 90 minutes market the Argentines will look to their last World Cup meeting with the Greeks for some kind of omen. In the 1994 World Cup they won 4-0 thanks to a Gabriel Batistuta hat trick and a goal by Diego Maradona, his last ever for the Albiceleste.

The Ethniki can be backed at 11/2 to defeat Argentina in Polokwane and record only their second ever victory at the World Cup.

When looking at the first scorer's market I was immediately drawn to the blue and white of Argentina given the plethora of attacking flair at Maradona's disposal. Messi (3/1 first goal, 8/11 anytime) is vying for attention with Higuain (9/2,6/5) and Tevez (9/2, 6/5). Diego Milito, the scorer of both Champions League final goals for Inter, is unable to break his way into the team under Maradona but could be worth a punt as the 4/1 last goalscorer.

Greece's goalscorers against Nigeria were Dimitrios Salpigidis (12/1 first scorer) and Vassilis Torosidis (33/1). If they are to get anything from this game I believe they'll also need the likes of Georgios Samaras and Theofanis Gekas (both at 14s) to be at their most dangerous.

Argentina have won their last seven internationals, their best run since 1998, and I cannot see anything other than them making it eight. The Greeks were hugely fortunate to get anything, never mind a win, out of their encounter with Nigeria.

I would be looking at Argentina/Argentina in the Double Result market at 8/5 for some kind of value in this game.

I also cannot see the Greek attack troubling the Argentine defence too much and Argentina to win to nil at 5/4 looks pretty decent.




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