Portugal vs Ivory Coast betting preview
World Cup odds – Portugal vs Ivory Coast
Not only were all the Ivory Coast hearts in mouths when Didier Drogba landed heavily on his arm under a robust challenge in the friendly against Japan – but the neutrals were also praying the striker’s injury would not rule him out of the World Cup in South Africa.
Best odds for Portugal vs Ivory Coast:
Portugal – 5/4 Willaim Hill
Draw – 23/10 Betfred
Ivory Coast – 13/5 Stan James
This is because the World Cup is the best show designed for the best players in the world and Chelsea’s Didier Drogba certainly fits this bill. So here’s hoping after a successful operation Drogba is able to lead the Elephants out in their opening Group G game against Portugal. Port Elizabeth plays host to this one as Sven Goran Eriksson’s men begin to plot progression through a group which was immediately labelled as the ‘Group of Death’. Quite ironic considering the Cote D’Ivoire four years ago were paired alongside Holland and Argentina. The opposition is no more generous this time around either, with Brazil and Carlos Queiroz’s side favourites to make the last 16 at the expense of the African’s and Korea.
Despite making their first ever World Cup appearance in 2006, Les Elephants could well be Africa’s best hope on familiar home soil in the southern part of the continent. The luck of the draw has been unkind to them but few would be surprised if they toppled the Portuguese in the opener and fought them to the wire for second place in Group G behind likely winners Brazil. For this reason, there is value in the 5/2 Paddy Power offer for an Ivory Coast win and this should see some money. Sven’s men are 7/4 with BlueSquare to finish second in the group which seems worth a bet considering Portugal’s woeful performances in qualifying, which saw them scrape through via the play-offs.
Several Premier League stars will be on show for the Cote D’Ivoire, the aforementioned Drogba will be accompanied by Chelsea team-mate Salomon Kalou, and former Pompey loanee Aruna Dindane. Interestingly the latter fired two goals and one assist in Germany four years ago and if Didier’s fractured arm fails to heal in time, Dindane looks next best to bag the first goal at 17/2 with Bet365; obvious claims are though for Drogba at 11/2 (Paddy Power). Punters are buying the hype around the Ivory Coast this summer and one could argue, but for the draw where they are likely meet Spain in the last 16 if they progress, they could go far this summer. However, a big question mark hangs over the head of Sven-Goran Erikkson and whether he will have had enough time to get to know his new team and get the best out of Drogba and co.
The Portuguese were fortunate to reach South Africa, but they rarely fall flat on their faces at the major tournaments. They have reached the semi-finals in three of the last three competitions and have a habit of winning when it matters. Playing to the level they did in qualifying will not get them far in the World Cup, but if they can turn it on in this crunch opener the winner is likely to proceed along with Brazil. BlueSquare offer the best odds for a Portuguese win at 7/5, but if you fancy the Europeans act quickly because these odds will no doubt shorten if Didier Drogba’s name fails to make the Ivory Coast team sheet. The draw at Nelson Mandela Bay is available at 12/5 (Betfred), but beware because Portugal haven’t recorded a draw in the previous four tournaments, winning eight of those and losing just four.
Surprisingly, Cristiano Ronaldo failed to score a single goal or assist in seven games as Portugal had to play-off for the right to appear in South Africa. Nevertheless, all eyes will be glued to the world’s most expensive footballer and rightly so, he is capable of winning football matches singlehandedly and will be out to prove his performances in qualifying were just a minor blip. There would be no better way to start than netting his country’s opening goal against the Cote D’Ivoire and he’s the favourite to do so at 9/2 with Betfred. The Real Madrid galactico will be on free-kick and penalty duty so this bet looks a steal. Another not to be discounted from the First Goalscorer betting is Sabrosa Simao, he hit four goals in six starts in qualifying and must be respected at 9/1 (Coral).
Portugal vs Ivory Coast betting tips
Ronaldo to score first at best odds 9/2 with Betfred – Get £50 free bet at Betfred
Sabrosa Simao to score first at best odds 10/1 with Blue Square- Get £66 in free bets at Blue Square.
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