World Cup Previews: Portugal/North Korea, Chile/Switzerland, Spain/Honduras

20 June 2010

Chile national soccer team players during training at the Ingwenyama Resort at White River, South Africa, 17 June 2010. (Credit Image: © epa/ZUMApress.com)
Monday at the World Cup sees the final match day 2 games as Portugal squares off against North Korea in the other group G game. In group H, Chile and Switzerland play before Spain looks to rebound against Honduras.

Sunday saw Jeff get all three picks correctly, while Johnathan went 2 wins and 1 loss. We both now stand at 13 wins, 11 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: Portugal v North Korea
Jeff Hash: You can say this for North Korea: they know how to play defensive football.  Their 2-1 loss to Brazil showed a remarkable amount of organization and control by the heavy underdogs.  Portugal, meanwhile, didn't show much of either in their scoreless draw with the Ivory Coast.  Admittedly, North Korea even with their first game performance is no Ivory Coast, and I expect Portugal to act as such.  But if Brazil can't find a way to win against North Korea by 2 goals, I don't really see how the Portugese will either.  This game is a one-goal marginal waiting to happen, so I will take North Korea +1.5 goals at -155.
Johnathan Starling: I don't know how much more I can add to what Jeff said. Portugal were something worse than lethargic against Ivory Coast, while North Korea showed that an rigid, organized defense can also move forward and attack. To put it bluntly, it would not surprise me in the least if this game ended in a draw. That said, I agree with Jeff's pick to take North Korea +1.5 goals at -155. May also want to hedge your bet on the under 2.5 goals as well.

10:00 am on ESPN: Chile v Switzerland
Jeff Hash: This game has me befuddled.  By all rights, this should be a win for Chile.  They had a dominating game against Honduras, and only failed to take ever goal they could from it.  But then again, the fact that this game looks close shows how amazing Switzerland were in shocking European champions Spain.  The possible return of Humberto Suazo would give Chile even more pop up front to take advantage of, and Philippe Senderos being a doubt adds more fuel to that fire.  Chile's more likely to win in my mind, so I'll take them on the 0 (just in case of the draw) at -165.
Johnathan Starling: I am pretty certain that Humberto Suazo is going to start against Switzerland, something that should really worry the Swiss. Then again, why should they be worried about little old Chile after they beat up on the Spanish monster. There's a simple reason why they should be worried: COMMEBOL has yet to lose a match at this World Cup. After the energy spent in beating Spain, combined with the little energy Chile needed in beating Honduras, I don't expect this to be close. My official prediction is Chile to win outright at +120.

2:30 pm on ESPN: Spain v Honduras
Jeff Hash: One thing you can be sure of straight away: Spain wants revenge, as well as try to get back on the right track in this world cup.  This battle feature the two losers of the first match day in Group H.  Spain has got too much talent for Honduras, no doubt, and the possibility of Fernando Torres getting a start just compounds that fact.  Honduras did ok against Chile, but were rather fortunate not to concede more than the one goal.  I expect Spain to run away with this one, and even with the talk of minor discontent within the Spanish camp, I think they will easily win by two goals, with a good chance for more.  So I will be taking Spain -2 goals at -125.
Johnathan Starling: Revenge is a dish best served cold...or so they say. That's what Spain wants, and something they will be determined to get. With Honduras probably being one of the three worst teams in the opening round of matches, expect the South African police to be called to a beating. Yes, I think this will be that bad. Since I won't agree with Jeff just for the sake of doing so, bet the over 2.5 goals at -150. This game just screams 4-0 to me. If it doesn't, you can blame me for being so brash about it the night before.

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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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