France (-1) to beat Australia – 8/11
Let’s be honest, at 1/4 in the match betting there’s not much value in backing France to beat Australia.
Didier Deschamps’ side are likely to dispense with the Socceroos with relative ease, but with a handicap thrown in to add some value, the prospect of siding with the French becomes more appealing.
The Aussies aren’t up to much at the back, and you’d expect the likes of Antoine Griezmann, Paul Pogba and Co. to run amok against their opponents.
With that in mind, we’re taking France (-1) at 8/11 as the first leg of our treble.
Denmark to beat Peru – 11/8
Peru are no mugs, despite this being their first World Cup since 1982. But there isn’t a huge amount of star quality in their side, and you’d expect a touch of nervousness from them given the amount of expectation on their shoulders.
They lack a bit of quality at the back, and rely on the pace of their attackers on the break. Denmark, however, are a disciplined and tough, experienced outfit. They’ll be prepared for the Peruvian counter, and have the know-how to neutralise the South Americans.
With Christian Eriksen pulling the strings in midfield and the explosive Pione Sisto punching holes along the flanks, they also hold a genuine attacking threat, as Ireland found out in a 6-0 playoff loss to the Danes.
Peru won’t be pushovers – far from it – but at a very generous 11/8 we’re backing Denmark to get the job done in Samara.
Croatia to beat Nigeria – 4/6
What a sensational match this will be for kit enthusiasts. Famously, Nigeria’s splendid outfit has been making the headlines, while Croatia’s checkered shirts are always worth a glance.
The action on the pitch is likely to be just as entertaining, with both teams very evenly matched. The Draw is interesting here, priced at 11/4, so some of you may fancy making that the third leg of your treble. Nigeria are a seriously talented team, with Premier League names dotted throughout the squad. They’ll take some beating, and it won’t be a surprise if they make it through to the last 16.
But Croatia are relatively heavy favourites for the match at 4/6, and perhaps understandably given their outstanding midfield. Modric, Rakitic, Kovacic et al move the ball with pace and ease – they’d give any opposition the runaround. And with forward threats like Mario Mandzukic and Ivan Perisic ready to capitalise on this creativity, the Croats look a potentially devastating side.
Nigeria are good, but if things go right for Croatia, the Vatreni could go very far in this tournament, so we’re taking them to win three points here.
All odds correct at time of posting