Goal spree nets a profit

June 27th, 2018 | Ian Carnaby's Sports News

The first bet in the World Cup came up when England ran riot against Conference South-class Panama and took their goal tally to eight overall, not bad as we needed only seven in their Group G matches to justify a bet at 11/10.

To me, it’s not a vintage competition although, in fairness, the really talented players are soon chopped down when danger threatens. Germany have gone out (I should imagine trouble between various factions had much to do with it, just as internal strife bedevilled Holland and Spain not so long ago) and I can’t for the life of me see that either Spain or Portugal will be good enough. All England have to do is stay solid as a group, listen to a very talented young manager and see how far they can go. As I wrote last week, 16/1 to win outright was a remarkably generous price, though I imagine it’s more like 7/1 now.

The old cynic in me suggests that England v Belgium will end in a draw with few or no injuries; it’s the only way to play if you’re having a bet and I certainly wouldn’t go anywhere near any Harry Kane wagers because there must be a doubt about his full participation.

I backed Johanna Konta at 12/1 for Eastbourne and she went out today to Caroline Wozniacki. It’s a great pity because it was close and I feel sure she would have gone all the way to the final if negotiating this very tricky hurdle against the top seed.

I thought too many opportunities were spurned and Konta’s tactics are not wholly convincing. She wants to be an all-court player and that means going in to the net but doing that against Wozniacki, unless you have her at full stretch, is suicidal. Also, although you have to try to end the rallies against a player who misses hardly anything, Konta was going for very ambitious shots down the line and sometimes returned serve too fiercely. Put simply, she still over-hits at times and it made the difference here. She can still be fancied for Wimbledon but we need to see the draw and try to chip out some value.