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Nic Ladds 8th Jan 2010 - 10:04

World Cup 2010: Group E

Group E only contains one real heavyweight in The Netherlands; they look clear favourites to qualify from the group but do they have the quality to go on and win it? The real test here is guessing who will join them in the knockout stage.


Netherlands Denmark Japan Cameroon
FIFA Ranking 4 36
45
19
Appearances (Last) 8 (2006)
3 (2002)
3 (2006)
5 (2002)
Best result Runners-up (74,78) Quarter final (98)
Second-round (02)
Quarter final (90)
-v- Netherlands - P27 W6 D10 P1 W0 D0 P2 W0 D1
-v- Denmark P27 W11 D10 - P1 W0 D0 P2 W1 D0
-v- Japan P1 W1 D0 P1 W1 D0 - P4 W0 D1
-v- Cameroon P2 W1 D1 P2 W1 D0 P4 W2 D1 -
Coach Bert van Marwijk
Morten Olsen
Takeshi Okada
Paul Le Guen
Star man Robin Van Persie
Nicklas Bendtner
Nakamura
Samuel Eto'o
To win Group A
4/7 (1.67)
9/2 (5.50)
11/1 (12.00)
4/1 (5.00)
To lift the cup
14/1 (15.00)
125/1 (126.00)
250/1 (251.00)
100/1 (101.00)

 

Netherlands

Holland start the group stage as clear favourites to top Group E but the 4/7 still seems a good price. It seems a better price when you consider the impressive form they showed in the qualification stages, winning all eight matches and topping European Group nine. Although they have never won the World Cup, they are twice finalists and their squad looks able to at least compete with the big guns this year.

Bert van Marwijk has some real big names to play with and you have some equally big prices for top-goalscorer market. Robin van Persie (20/1) and Klaas-Jan Huntelaar (50/1) probably have the best opportunities but as you can get 1/4 odds on the first four by betting each way, Robben at 40/1 could represent some value if the ex-Chelsea man brings his goal scoring boots.

At 14/1, The Netherlands maybe won't be everyone's hot tip to lift the trophy but with a seemingly clear run out of the group stages you have to think, with the undoubted quality they have, the number three ranked team in the world could surprise everyone this year.

 

Denmark

With the Dutch likely to top the group, the battle for the second qualification spot looks set to be an intriguing battle as all three would fancy themselves to be contenders. Denmark are 9/2 to win this group, they got here by topping their qualification group, even after suffering with a lot of injuries - using 40 players in the process. Finishing above the more fancied Portugal and Sweden shows Denmark are serious and capable enough to give anyone a game.

Some players you may have heard of are Stoke's Thomas Sorensen, Liverpool's Daniel Agger and Arsenal's Nicklas Bendtner. They will be looking for their strikers to bag plenty of goals as their defence will no doubt leak enough, with ex-AC Milan striker Jon Dahl Tomasson maybe the most likely threat, 150/1 tournament top scorer.

Denmark may have a chance of causing an upset and finish top of this group, with the head coach Olsen celebrating nearly 10 years in the job - they certainly have consistency. However at 125/1 to lift the cup, you've got to expect a team with more quality to see them off in the knockout stages with relative ease.

 

Cameroon

The Lions Indomptables (Indomitable Lions) would expect themselves to lead the challenge against The Netherlands for top spot and, at 4/1 for them to do so, if you agree you can get a decent price. Ex-Rangers coach Paul Le Guen got Cameroon to the group stages by topping his qualification group and they are one of the strongest and most experienced African teams going in to the tournament.

They'll be confident going into the World Cup for two reasons. Firstly playing an Africa Cup of Nations tournament in January will help team building and training no end and then come July, playing in South-Africa will give them a home advantage of sorts.

The team will be built around the goal scoring force of Samuel Eto'o, an impressive 50/1 to get the most goals overall.  With Assou-Ekotto, Song and Bassong all from the Premiership in the back four you would expect the back to be just as solid as the front and with Kameni in goal they don't look like they'll concede many.

Cameroon are certainly a force to be reckoned with in this group and look like the biggest threat to The Netherlands with the quality they have across the park. At 80/1 for the tournament it could be worth an each way punt but having never done better than the quarter-finals, you can't really place them amongst the front runners once the knockout stage arrives.

 

Japan

Rounding off Group E is Japan. Finishing as runners up in their qualification group, Japan might struggle against the sides in this group that are technically and physically stronger than them, namely all of them.  Although one of the strongest teams in Asia, the 11/1 to top this group seems about right as the others do have more quality.

With no Premier League players in their ranks, they will rely on the former Celtic man Shunsuke Nakamura to chip in with some goals from midfield and Shinji Okazaki, the Japanese J League player, with 15 goals in 20 appearances for the national team. Although realistically, their best ever place of a second-round finish in 2002 had a lot to do with it being on home turf and other than that their World Cup record is not amazing.

At 250/1 to win the thing outright I think you'd best be looking elsewhere, and Japan will do well not to finish bottom of this highly competitive group.

 

 

 

 

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