Gambling, Raffle, Lotto & Sweepstake
World Cup 2006
Preview - Saudi Arabia
Germany will mark Saudi Arabia’s fourth successive appearance at the World Cup but they are still trying to emulate the success achieved in the 1994 finals.
saudi arabia world cup previews, free world cup bets, football, soccer, betting, Gambling, Raffle, Lotto & Sweepstake,
Outright Odds: 1000/1
Group H Winners: 33/1
Germany will mark Saudi Arabia’s fourth successive appearance at the World Cup but they are still trying to emulate the success achieved in the 1994 finals. Their debut in the USA was extraordinary, beating Morocco 2-1 and then Belgium 1-0 to cement a place in the second round. Striker Saeed Owairan also scored that memorable solo goal against the Belgians.
Since then, Saudi Arabia have barely made their mark in the finals, for positive reasons, anyway. The 2002 finals saw them on the receiving end of an 8-0 drubbing against Germany in which Miroslav Klose scored five goals while they also finished bottom of their group in 1998. Since losing to Sweden in the last 16 in the 1994 finals, they have endured five defeats and one draw in six matches.
Perhaps the Saudi Arabian royal family had a point after all as football was banned in the kingdom until as recently as 1951.
Former Argentina international Gabriel Calderon will be keen to make amends after replacing Gerard van der Lem following the Saudi’s poor showing at the 2004 Asian Cup. Saudi Arabia qualified unbeaten in 12 matches, including home and away victories over South Korea.
The side conceded just two goals in 12 matches, helped by highly rated goalkeeper Mabrouk Zaid who is regarded the best in Asia. He is a worthy replacement to Mohamed Al Deayea who recorded a World record 173 caps for his country and is keen on a move to Europe. He won’t have a better shop window than in Germany.
The World Cup will be one final hurrah for veteran playmaker Sami Al Jaber. This will be his fourth tournament and he has represented his country for half of his 33 years. After netting on his debut in 1990, he became the first Asian player to score goals in two consecutive World Cups – scoring the winning goal against Morocco in 1994 to mark Saudi Arabia’s first ever finals win and in the 2-2 draw against South Africa in 1998. Al Jaber, came out of retirement to assist with qualification and scored twice in the 3-0 win against Uzbekistan.
What is likely to prevent Saudi Arabia from qualifying from Group H is an overall lack of experience against top class opposition. Only Al Jaber in his short spell at Wolves during the 2000/01 season and Fahd Al Ghashayan during a spell at AZ Alkmaar have experience of European club football in the country’s history.
The tournament will be a grand occasion to loyal servant Sami Al Jaber but it is likely to be an early exit for Saudi Arabia yet again. The most profitable bet could be for them to lose all three matches and finish bottom of the group. Big hitters will not be put off by the odds-on prices for both Spain and Ukraine.
Spain to beat Saudi Arabia @ 1/4
Ukraine to beat Saudi Arabia @ 4/9
World Cup 2006
Preview - Serbia & Montenegro
Serbia & Montenegro will start in Germany as undefeated in qualifying with one of the meanest defences in international football.
serbia & montenegro world cup preview, football, soccer, betting, Gambling, Raffle, Lotto & Sweepstake, germany 2006
Outright Odds: 100/1
Group C Winners: 9/1
Serbia & Montenegro will start in Germany as undefeated in qualifying with one of the meanest defences in international football. They topped their qualifying group ahead of Spain, Belgium and Bosnia-Herzegovina and conceded just one goal in 10 matches – away at Spain in a 1-1 draw.
The draw in Spain saw their defence breaches for the first time in eight matches, with the preceding seven successive clean sheets setting a new world record.
An almost watertight defence is the key to Serbia & Montenegro’s success, with the backline superbly marshalled by Mladen Krstajic, who plays in Germany for Schalke 04. Such organisation and the ability to “snuff out” any opposing attacks prompted Manchester United to shell out £7 million on defensive partner Nemanja Vidic who was at Spartak Moscow.
Neither player was a household name and neither were Dynamo Kiev’s Goran Gavrancic or Ivica Dragutinovic of Sevilla who made up the back four, or goalkeeper Dragoslav Jevric, currently at Turkish outfit Ankaraspor, but they will be in the minds of their Group C opposition managers.
However, Serbia & Montenegro may be the side that causes a spanner in the works for the more fancies teams in the group, rather than one which enjoys success themselves. While they are resolute at the back, they suffer from a lack of creativity and do not score many goals.
They scored 16 goals in qualifying, although half of them came against San Marino across two matches. Goalless draws at home to Belgium, Spain and Bosnia-Herzegovina suggest they won’t be threatening much in Germany. Former Chelsea striker Mateja Kezman, with five goals in qualifying, is their most obvious threat.
However, Nikola Zigic, at 6 foot 7 inches also poses a towering presence and can cause problems in the opposition’s box. He also possesses great awareness and created Kezman’s winning goal in the final qualifier against Bosnia-Herzegovina which clinched their place in the finals.
Inter Milan midfielder Dejan Stankovic is one of the few recognisable faces in the Serbia & Montenegro side and at 27, is one of the oldest, as manager Ilija Petkovic has successfully put his faith in young talent to replaces the retired likes of legend Predrag Mijatovic. Petkovic is himself a former international who coached the old Yugoslavia for two months in 2001.
Serbia & Montenegro have based their recent, undefeated success on being solid at the back and a hard team to break down. This may see them claim a few “shock” draws but a lack of goals could see them miss out on a place in the second round. Back them to claim a draw against Argentina in their second match.
Argentina vs Serbia & Montenegro draw @ 5/2
World Cup 2006
Preview - South Korea
South Korea shocked the football world four years ago when they beat Italy and Spain to reach the semi-finals of the 2002 World Cup.
south korea world cup preview, free world cup bets, soccer, football, betting, Gambling, Raffle, Lotto & Sweepstake, germany
Outright Odds: 250/1
Group G Winners: 10/1
South Korea shocked the football world four years ago when they beat Italy and Spain to reach the semi-finals of the 2002 World Cup. It was a remarkable achievement. In the group stage, an opening match win over Poland and a shock 1-0 triumph over Portugal ensured they became the first Asian team to qualify from the group stage since Saudi Arabia in 1994.
In the second round they defeated Italy in extra time, a result which saw winning goal scorer Ahn Jung-Hwan sacked by his employers at Serie A club Perugia. They edged past Spain on penalties in the quarter finals before a narrow 1-0 defeat against Germany in the semis brought their fairytale run to an end.
Expectations have risen considerably since then and Guus Hiddink is a hard act to follow. During qualification Korea went through two coaches before fellow Dutchman Dick Advocaat took over in preparation for the finals in Germany.
South Korea were far from convincing during qualification and Hiddkink’s successor, HUmberto Coelho, lasted just two qualifying matches. He resigned after an embarrassing goalless draw against the Maldives whose recent pedigree includes a 12-0 defeat to Syria and 17-0 hammering against Iran.
Jo Bonfrere took over and despite guiding the team to their fifth successive World Cup finals, quit in August 2005 following lacklustre performances. Korea finished as runners up in their qualifying group but endured home and away defeats to Saudi Arabia and an away draw to lowly Uzbekistan.
While Hiddink enjoyed nearly half a season with the team four years ago in preparation for the 2002 finals, Advocaat, by comparison, has barely had a chance to get to know his squad.
South Korea will no longer be seen as an unknown quantity and a number of players are excelling at club level in Europe. Hiddink took a number of quality players with him to PSV Eindoven following the last tournament while Park Ji-Sung secured a move to Manchester United.
It can also be argued that Korea have struggled defensively since some of their veteran defenders retired since the last World Cup. Notably former captain and defensive lynchpin Myung Bo Hong who participated in the 1990, 1994, 1998 and 2002 finals, eventually retiring with 135 caps.
Following an exceptional run four years ago, South Korea could revert back to their old ways of not making it past the group stage. Expectation is at an all-time high but they could suffer a shock against Togo in their opening match who could be good enough for a draw.
Togo vs South Korea draw @ 9/4