World Cup: Group F Preview

Italy is the defending World Cup champion and they were lucky to be in one of the easiest groups of the tournament.

Italy (-333) won the World Cup in 2006 and they are the major favorites to win Group F. The Italians did not do well at the European Championships is 2008 or at last June’s Confederations Cup, but they have a good squad with a great defense.

Italy did not have a tough time in World Cup qualifying and they are trying to repeat as champions for the second time.

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The main strength for the Italians is their defense led by the Juventus trio of Giorgio Chiellini, Fabio Cannavaro, and G Gigi Buffon, who is probably still the best goalie in the world. Italy will have to repeat their 2006 performance when they won the World Cup with their defense, as they no not have a high-scoring offense.

Paraguay (+350) is making their fourth consecutive World Cup and finished in third place in the South American qualification process. They have a solid defense and they only allowed 16 goals in 18 World Cup qualification matches.

They are solid in the air and get many of their goals of their stellar counter-attack. Their weakness is that they do not control the ball often waiting for their opponents to make a mistake.

Slovakia (+1000) is making their first appearance in the World Cup, but made eight when they were a part of Czechoslovakia. They did not have a very tough qualification pool and they won their group.

The defense is the strength of the Slovaks led by G Jan Mucha and central defender Martin Skrtel of Liverpool. Their offense is solid as well, as in their qualification group they scored the most goals. Slovakia does not have many big name players and their lack of top international experience is a weakness.

New Zealand (+5000) is a massive underdog to win Group F and they are only making their second World Cup appearance and the first since 1982. New Zealand qualified by winning the Oceana region and then Bahrain in a playoff.

The Kiwis are a big team that is solid on set pieces and they will not be out-muscled to the ball by anyone. Ryan Nelsen of Blackburn is the anchor of the defense and New Zealand has a couple of solid strikers in Leo Bertos and Chris Killen of Celtic. The glaring weakness of the Kiwis is their lack of top-flight talent on the squad.

Here are the odds to win the Group Stage F at Bovada as of May 11th.

Italy -333
Paraguay +350
Slovakia +1000
New Zealand +5000

Here are some Group F prop bets at Bovada.

World Cup 2010 - Team to Place 2nd in Group F

Paraguay +130
Slovakia +210
Italy +250
New Zealand +2200

Team to Place 3rd in Group F

Slovakia +120
Paraguay +250
New Zealand +333
Italy +750

Team to Place 4th in Group F

New Zealand -350
Slovakia +500
Paraguay +800
Italy +3300

Group F Exacta

Wager is on which teams will place 1st and 2nd in the group.

1.Italy 2.Paraguay 3/2
1.Italy 2.Slovakia 3/1
1.Paraguay 2.Italy 4/1
1.Slovakia 2.Italy 8/1
1.Paraguay 2.Slovakia 12/1
1.Slovakia 2.Paraguay 18/1
1.Italy 2.New Zealand 20/1
1.Paraguay 2.New Zealand 100/1
1.New Zealand 2.Italy 150/1
1.Slovakia 2.New Zealand 200/1
1.New Zealand 2. Paraguay 300/1
1.New Zealand 2.Slovakia 500/1

Italy Group Stage Total Points Over/Under 6
   
(-135)o
(+105)u
   
Paraguay Group Stage Total Points Over/Under 4
   
(-125)o
(-105)u
   
Slovakia Group Stage Total Points Over/Under 3
   
(-160)o
(+125)u
   

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