All eyes on South Africa
By Will Webb.
How can the Confederations Cup help our FIFA World Cup Betting?
That’s right the Confederation Cup. First held in Saudi Arabia, of all places, the Confederation Cup has now been taken over by FIFA. Held every four years and one year before the most widely viewed sporting event in the world it is a dress rehearsal for the World Cup. This makes the Confederations Cup an important part of any World Cup Betting guide in 2009.
* Picture above curtesy of http://www.online-betting.me.uk/
The cup comprises the winners from the six confederation championships, Africa, South America, Europe, Asia, and Oceania (New Zealand and various islands in the pacific). Also invited are the World Cup winners and the world cup host country. So, that’s eight of the world’s best national teams slugging it out.
In the past the bigger teams may not have taken the confederation cup seriously. Previously with teams bowing out it reduced the benefit of using this as a tool in our tool box of betting aids.
But….in 2009 the teams are taking this tournament seriously. Lets look at who we have playing; Spain (Euro 2008), USA (2007 CONCACAF Gold Cup), Brazil (Copa America 2007), Iraq (2007 AFC Asian Cup), Egypt (2008 African Cup of Nations) and New Zealand (2008 OFC Nations Cup). Furthermore, these teams have virtually got full strength squads.
The line up is quite impressive. To mention just a few you have Kaka, Robinho, and Luca Toni; the Spanish greats Xavi, Cesc Fabregas, Fernando Torres, and others. This presents a great opportunity for us to see how well the teams and key players are performing in competitive football.
Coupled with the information we can get from pre-tournament friendly matches we have a great resource to help mould some really good bets for the Football World Cup in 2009.
So what are the best bets for the World Cup?
Since 1990 there has been a trend in World Cup football. The 1990 World Cup isn’t one that burns brightly in the memory. Despite Gazza’s tears and Roger Milla’s wiggle – it wasn’t a feast of attractive football. Despite the fact that all previous champions were present, very few teams played attacking football, not even Brazil.
The trend in question is from defensive football to a more attacking style. This is shown by a gradual increase in the number of goals scored during the tournament, from 1990 to now. That said, World Cup goal bets and World Cup corner bets are good betting markets to start with.
From pre-tournament friendly matches, the Confederation Cup and qualification stages of the World Cup we can gather some really good data for our bets. Look at goals for and against, corners for and against, and performance against teams of equal stature. This last one is difficult because you rarely get pre-tournament friendly matches played between equal teams. Herein lies why we need the Confederations Cup because we can see how well Brazil and Spain are playing. However, if the players have not changed significantly you can also use results from the Confederation Championship tournaments.
If you are talented at analysing the form of the teams entering the World Cup you may want to have a tournament bet; a long term bet on which team will win the tournament. The long term nature of these sorts of bets should ensure you get some good odds (ensuring larger gains if your prediction is correct). It may be more advisable to take a bet on who will reach the last four of the semi finals (reducing your risk of losing).
Group winners or runner up bets are also good. Selecting winners and other qualifiers in the first round group stages can be profitable. It’s best to take your bets as early as possible to get the best odds. If the odds are too short, as is often the case with the favourites don’t bother, you can find better value bets elsewhere.
In summary take a close look at the Confederations Cup. Use the host of information available not only from this tournament but from all pre-tournament matches. After the squad has been chosen for the World Cup teams you can discard information from games where the squad has changed significantly. Armed with the information you have collected (which doesn’t take ages) you can choose from a range of Football World Cup bets available.