World Cup Previews: Groups E and F Conclude

24 June 2010

New Zealand national soccer coach Ricki Herbert during a training session. (Credit Image: © EPA/ZUMAPRESS.com)
Due to the lateness of these getting up, our previews will be shorter than usual. However, since I have enjoyed doing these, I figured it would be flat out wrong to skip a night.

On Wednesday, both Jeff and I had 2 wins, 1 loss, and 1 no result. Jeff's record now stands at 19 wins, 14 losses, and 7 no results. Johnathan's record now sits at 18 wins, 17 losses, and 5 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.

10:00 am on ESPN: Slovakia v Italy
Johnathan Starling: Am I the only one who thinks it is insane to have Group F play before E? Oh well. I don't think it matters anyway; expect the Diesel engine known as Italy to finally start playing like we're use to at the World Cup. Prediction: Italy to win outright at -225.
Jeff Hash: Is this the day the Italian team sees their World Cup end?  Honestly, I don't think so, since Slovakia has yet to show it has the ability to hold out for a solid 90 minutes against better sides.  But I will go with low-scoring instead due to a lack of overall punch on both teams: my pick is under 2.5 goals at -140.

10:00 am on ESPN2: Paraguay v New Zealand
Johnathan Starling: As much as I would love to say that New Zealand advances to the round of sixteen, I think their dream comes to an end. Paraguay just looks like they have gotten better as the competition has progressed. Prediction: Paraguay -1 at -150.
Jeff Hash: This will also be the last bow for the All Whites in this tournament I'm afraid.  Its a shame, as they have been a joy to watch, and at least at the end they get taken out by one of the better teams so far.  I'll take Paraguay -1 goal at -150.

2:30 pm on ESPN: Denmark v Japan
Johnathan Starling: Simply put, it's winner take all. Both sides didn't look so hot against Holland, while Denmark looked slightly better against Cameroon. Japan can play for the draw, but I do think there is going to be a winner in this. I would recommend covering the draw though. Prediction: Denmark on the 0 at -200.
Jeff Hash: A game where both teams fates will be decided on one field?  I'm definitely game.  I think Japan will be too, only needing a draw to hold on.  Denmark will up the aggressiveness, but I don't think they can break down Japan hard enough.  I'll opt to go with low-scoring again: under 2.5 goals at -150.

2:30 pm on ESPN2: Cameroon v Holland
Johnathan Starling: Cameroon only have pride to play for. Holland just need a point to secure first place. This just has Argentina/Greece written all over it. I think Holland wins, but it will be of the 1-0 or 2-0 variety. Predicton: Under 2.5 goals at -140.
Jeff Hash: The road ends here for Cameroon, while the Dutch move on to bigger things in the knockout stage.  I don't see a victory for the African side here, plain and simple.  The pick is Netherlands to win outright at -145.

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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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