It is International mania right now, with World Cup in Brazil drawing nearer and nearer. For this weekend we have focussed on three matches where we feel there is plenty of cheddar to be made. Take a look.
Chile v Egypt – 1.30am Saturday
Advised Bet: Chile -1 asian handicap is 11/12 with Ladbrokes
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Chile will want to get preparations exactly right going into the World Cup as they find themselves in the “Group of the Death” which is also known as Group B. Joining Chile in the initial stage is Spain, Netherlands and Australia.
This is the penultimate match for the South Americans before they travel to Brazil, and on home soil, they will be confident in putting on a strong display in front of their fans.
Chile will however be conscious of two disadvantages this weekend, one is Arturo Vidal who is out injured and is arguably their best player, and they will also be wary of the threat that danger man for Egypt, Chelsea’s Mohamed Salah brings. Salah will provide some much needed quality as Egypt come into the tie without any players from the main two clubs domestically, Ahly and Zamalek.
Chile will be treating this game as if it was the World Cup with the likes of Gary Medel, Eugenio Mena, Felipe Guttierrez, Eduardo Vargas and Alexis Sanchez all expected to start. With the rest of the players playing for their positions in the starting eleven, motivation should be a lot higher than their African opponents.
Cardiff’s Gary Medel has also been quoted telling the media in the build up to this match- “If you will not go with everything, better you go home. We will play to attack, that’s our style and we will prove that on the pitch.” Expect a serious Chile performance.
Norway v Russia – 3.00pm Saturday
Advised Bet: Russia to win is 6/4 with SkyBet
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Morale in the Norway squad must be pretty low after the thrashing they received by the in form France at the Stade de France on Tuesday which means they have conceded nine goals in their last three games. It is also fair to say that this is the poorest Norway squad we have seen in the last decade with the likes of John Carew, John Arne Riise and Steffen Iversen failing to be replaced.
The recent World Cup qualification campaign also ended poorly as they finished third from bottom in a poor group, with Switzerland, Iceland and Slovenia all finishing above them. When you look through the Per-Mathias Hogmo’s squad I struggle to see where goals are going to come from and they are going to find themselves up against another decent side this weekend with any sort of upset appearing unlikely.
Russia need to start hitting the sort of form which has seen them move amongst the big countries in International football over the last few years if they are to make an impact this summer in Brazil.
Last Monday Alexander Kerzhakov scored a late winner for Fabio Capello’s men to save their blushes as they came up against a lowly ranked Slovakia, although this did extend their winning run to three games.
Manager Fabio Capello will not be satisfied though and will be expecting a big performance here in Norway. Russia captain Roman Shirokov and Vladimir Granat are both on their way back from injury and may feature from a squad made up of solely domestic players apart from Reading’s Pavel Pogrebnyak. Russia will be looking to up the intensity this weekend which means bad news for Norway.
France v Paraguay – 8.00pm Sunday
Advised Bet: France -1.5ah is 6/4 with BetVictor
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France demolished Norway 4-0 in Paris during their last friendly, with Olivier Giroud scoring twice with one being an exquisite finish to get the French World Cup warm up games off to a great start. Matthieu Valbeuna assisted three of the goals too, in what was a morale boosting triumph.
France have a fairly comfortable couple friendly games left, one being here against a struggling Paraguay and the other verses a low ranked Jamaica side before heading to Brazil. The recent form of Les Bleues is one to be admired, including the Norway result, six of their last seven games have seen France win by two goals or more.
Paraguay miss out on this years World Cup after failing to qualify and recent results have been less than impressive having lost to Costa Rica 2-1 in March and the South American side haven’t registered a win in their last four games. Not only that but Paraguay play Cameroon in a friendly on Thursday evening, giving them little rest for Sunday.
France will start as favourites in Group E at the World Cup which consists of themselves, Switzerland, Ecuador and Honduras, and the nation will be confident of at least a Quarter Final place where they are likely to meet Germany. Against Norway, Karim Benzema, winger Franck Ribery and goalkeeper Hugo Lloris were rested and they are expected to be included by Didier Deschamps here against Paraguay so i expect a very strong line up which should result in a comfortable win.