World Cup Group A betting preview
World Cup Group A odds, tips and free bets
Group A consists of four fairly well-matched teams; France, Uruguay, Mexico and hosts South Africa making it a tough group to call. Saying this, the clear favourites to progress as group leaders are 2006 finalists France at 11/10. In recent times, France have regularly been seen as one of the main contenders for any major international tournament. However, the current French side seem to lack the intimidation factor held by some of their predecessors. They struggled through qualification despite being drawn in, on paper, a fairly mediocre group and only just scraped through in the infamous play-off against Ireland. Odds of 3/1 are available on France not qualifying from the group which may be worth a couple of quid.
Mexico are slight favourites over Uruguay to qualify from group A with odds of 10/11 available, compared to Uruguay’s best price of 11/10. Uruguay, similarly to France, only just scraped through qualification with the help of a play-off match, beating Costa Rica 2-1 on aggregate. Their qualification campaign wasn’t the greatest with only 6 wins out of their 18 group games. The only positive, other than qualifying, they may take out of the campaign could be the fairly impressive 28 goals they scored, only bettered by Brazil and Chile. This is in no small part down to star striker, Diego Forlan, whose goals may well be vital in progressing into the second round.
Mexico finished 2nd in their final group in the North, Central America and Caribbean qualifying section. Again though, they were only 3 points clear of 4th placed Costa Rica who had to play in a play-off. Despite mixed fortunes in the qualification campaign, Mexico are always a dangerous side at the big tournaments. This was again proven in the last world cup where they pushed the favourites at the time, Argentina, all the way to extra-time in the 2nd round. Odds of 4/1 to win Group A may well offer great value given France and Uruguay’s recent problems.
Hosts South Africa complete Group A. At 81st in FIFA’s world rankings, it seems that South Africa have little chance of qualification to the 2nd round. However, they do have one major advantage over the other teams competing, the fact that every game is effectively a home game. Hosts of major international tournaments always seem to over-achieve. A perfect example of this was when football minnows, South Korea, reached the semi-finals in the 2002 world cup (hosted by South Korea and Japan). Given this, South Africa may well be dangerous opponents and could provide some shocks in this group. Odds of 9/4 on South Africa qualifying for the 2nd round can be found.
Tips for Group A
Mexico group winners- 4/1 (Coral)
France not to qualify- 3/1 (888sport)
Top 3 in following order, Mexico/France/Uruguay- 17/2 (SKYBET)
Click here to view all World Cup free bets from online bookmakers