There’s been a buzz in this World Cup that many fans and players are not used to. It has come from the African fans constantly playing their vuvuzelas, the plastic trumpet that has strained the nerves of many fans and players.
In fact, that is the only buzz we have had from this year’s World Cup. It definitely hasn’t come from high-scoring, exciting matches. While there were many close contests, we haven’t seen much scoring. Only four teams have scored more than one goal in the tournament – South Korea (2), Germany (4), the Netherlands (2) and Brazil (2).
With many teams playing for the draw in their first match, we haven’t seen much action. This will hopefully change with teams that drew or lost in their first match having to come out with a more offensive strategy later in the group stage.
We have seen some surprises. South Africa opened with an unexpected draw against Mexico; the US came through and got the draw with England; Japan shocked Cameroon, and New Zealand surprised with a goal in injury time to draw with Slovakia.
There are three matches scheduled for Wednesday, with Honduras and Chile opening the action. Chile comes in as the heavy favorite here. Rightfully so. The squad is favored to end up in second place of Group H behind a very strong Spanish team.
Chile finished second in their qualifying group in one of the toughest regions there is, the CONMEBOL. They ended up only one point behind record World Champion Brazil and finished ahead of Paraguay and Argentina. They have won nine of their last 11 matches and lost only to Mexico and Brazil.
Honduras has some talent, but they are not good enough to beat Chile or Spain. With the way the matches have going, we could see another low-scoring affair, but even if Honduras weathers an early storm by the offense-oriented Chileans, I don’t see them having a chance to draw or win. This match is a pass for bettors.
Spain and Switzerland face off in the second match of the day. The Spaniards are the clear-cut favorite here and they should beat the Swiss handily. Spain has been playing the best soccer out of any of the European teams as of late. The US ended their 35-match unbeaten streak from 2007 to 2009, but they are working on a new one. They have won their last 12 matches, and haven’t even surrendered a draw since the 2-0 loss to the US in June 2009.
Switzerland hasn’t shown the consistency they need to be successful at the World Cup. They surprised with a win against Portugal at Euro 2008, but lost to a far inferior Luxemburg in an early qualifying match. They play a very defensive style of soccer and will try to keep the Spanish side from scoring.
I don’t see this happen and I think Spain will dispose of the Swiss without any problems. You would have to lay down between $325 (Pinnacle) and $400 (Bodog) to win a hundred bucks. I would stay away from this one.
The third matchup of the day marks the second match for host South Africa. After surprising Mexico in the opener, they are facing Uruguay at 2:30pm ET. Going into the tournament, I would have called this an easy one for Uruguay, who managed a draw with France.
After seeing the solid play from the host in the opener – especially the solid goalkeeping of Itumeleng Khune, I think this will a close match. While Uruguay did what it needed to do in their first match, they didn’t show much on the offensive side.
The bookmakers see this as a close one, but they do have Uruguay going in as a favorite. I think South Africa can continue its success here and at least gain a draw. If you are with me, go to Bodog for a +220 line on the draw. If you think South Africa could come away with the victory here, go to 5Dimes for a +231 line.