World Cup Preview Day 9: Holland/Japan, Ghana/Australia, Cameroon/Denmark

18 June 2010

Dutch Wesley Sneijder performs during his team's training session at the Princess Magogo stadium in Durban, South Africa, 18 June 2010. (Credit Image: © epa/ZUMApress.com)
Day 9 at the World Cup sees Group D conclude it's second day as Ghana and Australia square off. Group E will also play their second set of matches as Holland and Japan open the day and Cameroon face off against Denmark to close the day.

Friday saw Jeff lose all three games, moving his record to 9 wins, 10 losses, and 4 no results. Johnathan went 1 win, 1 loss, and 1 no result on Friday, moving his record to 11 wins 8 losses, and 4 no results.

Note: If we're using the handicap line, we will include what the spread is. If it spread is 0, a draw will mean no result. If we use the Over/Under line, just add the total number of goals scored in a match. Please note that this will all be based on the scoreline at Full Time (90 minutes). For betting purposes, only the result after 90 minutes are counted. Our odds are courtesy of Centsports.

7:30 am on ESPN: Holland v Japan
Jeff Hash: Brazil was substandard in beating North Korea, Germany lost to Serbia, and Spain lost to Switzerland.  Outside Argentina, the Netherlands is the only other favorite who seems to be enjoying a good start to this World Cup after a solid 2-0 win over Denmark.  Not only that, but the Netherlands ability to get teams in trouble in a variety of ways was shown in winning without the hot-footed Arjen Robben.  Japan, after a terrible warm-up campaign, stunned everyone in taking out Cameroon 1-0, and they look to have a great new midfield talent in Keisuke Honda.  That said, this won't be the day Japan punches its ticket to the round of 16.  I expect the Netherlands to dominate again, but without being too sure about the margin of victory, I'll instead go with my other expectation, which is goals.  The pick here is over 2.5 goals at +105.
Johnathan Starling: The only thing Holland can be upset about after their first match was the fact they didn't beat Denmark by a bigger margin. Japan looked listless for large stretches against Cameroon, something they can't afford to do against Holland. With the upsets we have seen over the past few days, the easy thing to do would be to bet Japan +1.5 goals. However, I think we will see the same performance Japan had against Cameroon. With that said, I think Holland turns on the style, and finds the goals, and leads me to predict Holland to win, on the spread line of -1.5 goals at +125.

10:00 am on ESPN: Ghana v Australia
Jeff Hash: Ghana looked very good in defeating a well-respected Serbia 1-0 in their opener, representing the best result of the African teams so far.  Australia, on the other end, looked absolutely miserable in losing 4-0 to Germany, though they were victims of an unfortunate red card on Tim Cahill.  That red card doesn't mask the reality though; Australia did not look good in that game and are now in serious trouble.  And I don't see much of a reason to think this one is going to be any better.  Ghana is well organized, and Australia doesn't have much to break such organization.  I believe Ghana will be the better side of the day, so I'll go all the way and take Ghana to win outright at -110.
Johnathan Starling: As Jeff said, this boils down to who is better organized. Ghana showed they can be; something they used well in defeating Serbia. Australia looked like they forgot they were playing at the World Cup. With Tim Cahill not eligible to play, I think this gets ugly and ugly quickly. While I think Ghana will beat Australia 2-0, I am going to agree with Jeff here and say bet Ghana to win outright at -110. If you want to parlay that with the under, it's something I would recommend.

2:30 pm on ABC: Cameroon v Denmark
Jeff Hash: Both teams are looking for their first points in this competition, but come from different directions: Denmark losing against the always tough Dutch, while Cameroon took a hard fall in losing to Japan.  My concern in this game is how Cameroon will respond to their defeat, and so far, it seems they're not handling it well.  Also, will Eto'o get his head on straight regardless of position and give this team the 90 minutes it needs to compete?  Denmark could see Jon-Dahl Tomasson and Daniel Jansen make the field after missing last time out, and between that and the questions about Cameroon's mindset, I think the Danes will carry the day.  But I will take some insurance, so my pick will be Denmark on the 0 at -140.
Johnathan Starling: Did Cameroon realize they were playing in the World Cup? I ask that question seriously after putting out one of the five worst performances of the first group games. Denmark were looking for damage limitation against Holland, something they didn't exactly get in giving up a late goal. To put it bluntly: if Samuel Eto'o is playing on the wing, and not in the middle, just run to your bookie and bet Denmark to win. That's exactly what I think will happen. While I think Denmark will win this game, my bet is on the under 2.5 goals at -210. If you wanted to parlay that on a Denmark outright win, I'd do so.

What are your thoughts on these games? Let us know in the comments below.

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Johnathan Starling, the self proclaimed 'most brutally honest man on the net, dishes out his own unique brand of opinions, and analysis on the Premier League, Bundesliga, and all things US Soccer.

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