FOOTBALL mad Ben Levene (@BenLevene96) pinpoints two angles to attack in the World Cup goal markets.
Lack of cutting edge could cost Blue Samurai
Since 1998, a third of nations at the World Cup – 52/160 (33%) to be precise – have scored two or less goals in the group stage. Indeed, at least nine teams have produced this feat at five consecutive World Cups.
Japan ended qualification with just one win in four away matches and have failed to score in either friendly under new boss Akira Nishino.
The Blue Samurai lack an out-and-out goal-getter up-top. Yuya Osako is likely to lead the line but scored just four times in 25 games for Koln this season. In fact, he’s scored just 15 goals in 108 Bundesliga games since joining the German outfit.
Backlines containing the likes of Kalidou Koulabily, Salif Sane, Davinson Sanchez and Yerry Mina will fancy their chances of shutting out the Asian giants, who are reliant on the ageing Shinji Kagawa and Keisuke Honda in the final third.
With that in mind, back Japan to score Under 2.5 Goals at 7/4 (Bet365).
Dangerous Danes may hack up
Denmark proved in qualification they have goals in them as they ended qualification scoring at least three goals in four of seven games.
The 2018 Dynamite vintage beat the Republic of Ireland 5-1 in the second leg of their play-off and Age Hareide’s side will be confident about facing Peruvian and Australian outfits – two nations that conceded more goals than any of their qualified regional counterparts this summer.
Thomas Delaney and William Kvist provide Christian Eriksen with a platform to affect the game, and they are a set-piece threat too.
At the last five World Cups, 49/160 (31%) of sides have scored Over 4.5 Goals in the group phase, and Denmark are an appealing 7/5 to enhance that statistic in Russia.