Perhaps just behind Group B in terms of being a weak group comes Group C. It’s a group that holds no fear for top seeds England and, as such, the lack of betting opportunities arise again because of the lack of competitiveness.
However, that won’t stop me having a go a finding some value for Group C.
Algeria: Without a doubt, Algeria are the weakest of the African teams. While the rest of the African representatives have at least a bit of flair about them, Algeria are nothing but grinders. They reached the semi-finals of the African Cup of Nations, but without impressing me at all. Their squad is solid, if unspectacular and they’ll need Madjid Bougherra to be on top form to repel the likes of Wayne Rooney and Frank Lampard, while hoping the USA and Slovenia don’t show any kind of form. Their preparation to the tournament hasn’t been ideal, getting thumped by Republic of Ireland 3-0 in a pre-tournament friendly and I can’t see them doing well at all.
England: One of the tournament favorites and rightly so. They have class over the field and goal-scoring threats from everywhere on the pitch, bar their goalkeeper. At around 4/11 to win Group C, England offer no value to win this group, even though they should win at a canter. They may be tested by the United States and Slovenia, but they aren’t amongst the favorites for the World Cup for no reason. I fully expect 9 point and a slew of goals, especially against Algeria. While other teams might rely solely on a star performer, the English squad have too much depth to worry about relying on Wayne Rooney, as they can get goals from Gerrard, Lampard, Defoe, Crouch and the rest. I expect them to be amongst the final eight.
Slovenia: Slovenia will no doubt be fighting for second place with the United States and the Slovenians aren’t setting the world alight. They came through the European play-offs, defeating Russia on away goals to secure their place in South Africa. Another member of the weak European contingent, without a real star turn amongst them. They’re a solid enough outfit, losing a total of three times in the qualifying stages (including the defeat to Russia), but one of them was to Northern Ireland, the other to the Czech Republic. They’re not notoriously high scorers, although their games against San Marion yielded 8 goals, which is handy. However, they only conceded 6 goals in total before the World Cup and they are a solid Eastern European team who are hard to break down. They should get a result against Algeria, so the match against the USA will be the most important one most of the men will play.
United States: South Africa will have happy members for the United States, after their amazing Confederations Cup run last year, where they saw off the European Champions, Spain and held a 2-0 lead in the semi-final over Brazil. They have one of the most talented squads for a long time, with a lot of their players playing at the highest level around Europe. A lot of players in their squad, most notably Tim Howard, ply their trade in England, which will stand them in good stead to give England a tough match and the same for Slovenia. They’ve had some good results in pre-tournament friendlies and I wouldn’t be surprised to see them nick it from Slovenia to see them through to the second round. However, at around 8/11 to qualify, it’s not worth it, considering they might struggle to break down a stubborn Slovenian team.
Nothing much on offer, but I’m of no doubt that Algeria will finish bottom of the group. They have not impressed me any time I’ve watched them, even in their run to the semi-finals of the African Cup of Nations. They’re bereft of any real talent in comparison to the other countries in their group and they will struggle to score without against some very well disciplined teams. So, with that in mind, we can head over to Bovada to find the best price on Algeria finishing bottom of their group.
Algeria to finish bottom of Group C: 10/11 @ Bovada.