The World Cup final, the pinnacle for any professional footballer. The chance to perform on the biggest stage of them all and grace the entire observing world with beauty and elegance. The spotlight that every professional craves for and works towards, the chance to immortalise the name on the back of your shirt.
France held potentially one of the most offensively gifted sides to an xG count of 0.53, emphasizing the defensive masterclass that Didier Deschamps and his backroom staff constructed tactically. An element that is being vastly being overlooked, as the French have only conceded xG counts of 0.53 (versus Belgium), 1.01 (versus Uruguay) and 0.86 (versus Argentina).
N’Golo Kante and Blaise Matuidi continued to thwart the Belgian counterattack, which has proved to be absolutely devastating. That devastation was evident as Belgium covered 94-yards in under ten seconds to cripple the Japanese in the ninety-fourth minute, which booked their place in the quarter-finals.
Although Belgium possessed a significant amount of ball possession (64.00%), that percentage was constructed of meaningless retention. Plagued by significant periods of the game in-which the ball was continuously moved from touchline to touchline in areas of the field that signify very little in offensive productivity.
France handled the Belgian game-plan brilliantly and seemingly left Roberto Martinez defiant in his style of play and although the scoreline suggests it may of been a tight game, in the end it was a comfortable victory for the French.
(Quote from my analysis of England’s game with Croatia, reiterated in my piece for England’s game against Belgium).
“Although Croatia found themselves behind early after a wonderful set-piece from Kieran Trippier, they went in at halftime having only allowed an xG count of 0.35 with Trippier’s fifth-minute strike making up 31.42% of England’s xG total within the first half.
Croatia created nothing of significance in the opening forty-five minutes, as England contained Zlatko Dalić’s side to a first-half xG total of just 0.17. Southgate’s side seemed comfortable defensively, yet they could be described as fortune heading into halftime with the lead.
The Croatian pressure was a continuous flow of build-up play narrated by Luka Modríc and Ivan Rakitić, yet it was Ivan Perišić that continued to pester Southgate’s defensive line.
The twenty-nine-year-olds creative brilliance came to fruition in the sixty-eighth minute as Stones and company were caught on their heels, allowing the quick thinking Perišić enough space to find Croatia’s equaliser.
It was a performance of significance from Perišić and it will be looked back upon as arguably one of the greatest individual performances of the 2018 World Cup.”
The market’s opening implied probability of 51.28% on France winning the World Cup final within ninety-minutes, has remained steady in the opening hours. Yet, there has been some early support for the ‘Under 2.0’ goals line. Which opened with an average price in the region of 1.90, consequently the early support has seen the price contract into an average of 1.83.
In 51.12% of the previous 1,825 games when the market has possessed a favourite with an implied probability of between 50.00% and 59.88%, resulted in three or more goals occurring. Furthermore, the side that possessed the most significant part of the market share has covered the -0.5 ‘Asian Handicap’ line in 55.45% (1,012 of the previous 1,825 games).
As a result, indicating two opportunities that appear to possess significant potential upside within the market. Therefore, with 1.95 currently available on France covering the -0.5 ‘Asian Handicap’ line it appears to be a fantastic opportunity in-which to become involved within the market.
In addition, with the market currently offering what appears to be highly overinflated odds on the ‘Over 2.5’ goals line. The current margin that is being offered seems far too generous to turn away.
Asian Handicap Betting Recommendation: France -0.50 at 1.952
Asian Total Goals Betting Recommendation: Over 2.50 goals at 2.860
Preview by: @gscurftrader.
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