21st November 2018

WORLD CUP KNOCK OUTS BEGIN

KNOCK OUTS BEGIN

30th June 2018

The World Cup always ends up as a battle between Europe and South America and the first knock-out games reflect that.

First up is France v Argentina at 3.00 pm with the European side favourites at 6/4, the draw best at 21/10 and Argentina 5/2 outsiders.

Argentina needed a late goal to secure their place in the last 16 after a desperate group campaign - rumours of player revolt - Lionel Messi picking the team etc have done nothing to give punters confidence they can beat France.

In contrast, the French sailed through their group and have looked to be a smart outfit, with Pogba, Griezmann, Giroud, Matuidi all posing a threat on goal.

The Argentina rely heavily on Messi to deliver for them - but at the odds that may be the best bet. Argentina will defend deep and try and hit France on the break. For sure they will; not allow them to play free-flowing football as they were able to do in the Group games.

Aguero looks to be on the bench and Messi will have to take the few chances he gets -but he is by far the best player in the game and is worth punting to score first.

The other game sees Uraguay face Portugal. Like Argentina, the Portugese are over reliant on their best player in Ronaldo - but Uraguay will simply play him out of the game.

They have the speed up front to trouble Portugal's ageing defence - and Luis Suarez and Edinson Cavani look the best attacking pair in the competition.

There is no easy route to the final for these sides but Uraguay look as solid as anyone and might be worth punting to win outright.

Joe