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World Cup: Group Stage B Preview

Argentina is the big team on Group B, but they are not a lock to win it, especailly if they played like they did in World Cup qualifying matches.

Argentina is the big favorite to win Group B posted at -225 and while they have a stacked team and, perhaps the best player in the world, they did not look great in qualifying under coach Diego Maradona. They have a solid offense with Barcelona’s wonder Lionel Messi and one of the best central midfielders in the world in Liverpool’s Javier Mascherano.

Their weakness is their defense and they tend to rely on individual players for success rather than playing a team game.

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Nigeria is at +475 to win the group and they will have the support of the home crowd with the matches being played on African soil. They did not qualify for their fourth World Cup easily, as they needed a 3-2 win over Kenya in Nairobi in their last qualifying match. Nigeria plays a very attacking style of soccer with world-class strikers of Osaze Odemwingie of Locomotiv Moscow, Obafemi Martins of Wolfsburg, and Ikechukwu Uche of Real Zaragoza, so their offense should not be a problem. However, much like Argentina their defense is not a strong one and they do not play good team soccer, but rely on individual efforts.

Greece is at +500 and they are flying under the radar and beat a solid Ukraine team in a playoff to book their ticket to South Africa. Greece has a great defense led by Liverpool’s Sotirios Kyrgiakos and they do not give up many goals. Their offense is not a strong one, as they key on their defense and counter-attacks to score.

South Korea is ranked in the Top 50 teams according to FIFA, but they are the major long shot to win the group at +1100. They did not look impressive in qualifying, but while they lack many big name stars they have great team chemistry and are a very hard working squad. Their defense is small, but solid even though they have trouble on set defense pieces. Their offense is led by Manchester United striker Park Ji-Sung and AS Monaco striker Park Chu-Young, but they have a weak midfield that will have trouble setting these two up.

The first mach of the group is a big one that will set the tone with Argentina facing Nigeria. If all the matches are won the by the favorites the Greece vs. Nigeria match may be the big one with the winner advancing and the loser going home.

Here are the odds to win the Group Stage B at Bovada as of May 5th.

Argentina -225
Nigeria +475
Greece +500
South Korea +1100

More Group B Odds:

World Cup 2010 - Team to Place 2nd in Group B Nigeria +175 Greece +225 Argentina +325 South Korea +450 World Cup 2010 - Team to Place 3rd in Group B Greece +188 South Korea +200 Nigeria +225 Argentina +900 World Cup 2010 - Team to Place 4th in Group B South Korea -110 Greece +225 Nigeria +333 Argentina +1800 World Cup 2010 - Group B Exacta 1.Argentina 2.Nigeria 2/1 1.Argentina 2.Greece 13/5 1.Argetina 2.South Korea 13/2 1.Nigeria 2.Argentina 13/2 1.Greece 2. Argentina 9/1 1.South Korea 2.Argentina 14/1 1.Nigeria 2.Greece 20/1 1.Greece 2.Nigeria 22/1 1.Nigeria 2.South Korea 33/1 1.Greece 2.South Korea 40/1 1.South Korea 2.Nigeria 50/1 1.South Korea 2.Greece 66/1 World Cup 2010 - Argentina Group Stage Total Points Over Points 6½ (-120)o (-110)u World Cup 2010 - Greece Group Stage Total Points Over Points 3½ (-120)o (-110)u World Cup 2010 - Nigeria Group Stage Total Points Over Points 3½ (-160)o (+125)u World Cup 2010 - South Korea Group Stage Total Points Over Points 2½ (-115)o (-115)u

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