Iago Aspas clinched Spain top spot in Group B, after a sumptuous finish in the ninety-first minute. However, it didn’t go without controversy after Ravshan Irmatov wrongly ruled out the Spaniard’s goal, only for the video assistant referee to offer assistance and correctly overturn the decision. It was a result that ‘La Roja’ certainly deserved, arguably they offered more offensively and appeared unfortunate not to leave Kaliningrad with all three points. Fernando Hierro’s side posted an xG rating of 3.15, significantly more than Morocco’s xG of 1.27 in a game that we witnessed another outstanding performance by Francisco Román Alarcón Suárez (Isco).
Fernando Hierro spoke after the game “We knew well that it was going to be a difficult match against a strong team.”
“They deserved much more at this tournament. Though they couldn’t qualify from the group mathematically, we knew it was going to be difficult. Our first conclusion after the match, even though we are top of the group there is plenty of work ahead. We have conceded five goals at this tournament, it is bad. We need to face the truth.”
Brutally honest words from Hierro, yet the truth in the matter is his side have only given up xG rating of 1.27 versus Morocco, 0.72 versus Iran and 1.27 versus Portugal. Although ‘La Roja’ have conceded five goals under Hierro, it certainly isn’t time to panic especially with offensive xG outputs of 3.15 versus Morocco, 2.08 versus Iran and 1.67 versus Portugal and although Spain only managed to secure five points from their three group encounters, they could be considered unfortunate not to be sitting aloft with nine points and a goal difference in the region of plus four. If the Spanish are to continue with their offensive and defensive outputs, they will make it difficult for any side in this year’s World Cup. As recent results do not reflect the dominance in-which the Spanish have possessed over their opponents thus far.
Russia were chastised by a rejuvenated Uruguayan side, as the hosts could only raise an xG rating of 0.16. Stanislav Cherchesov’s side were quickly behind after Luis Suarez converted a free-kick from just outside of the eighteen-yard box, chalking his second goal of the tournament after a disastrous opening performance against Egypt. Thirteen minutes later, Russia were two-nil down after Denis Cheryshev put the ball past Igor Akinfeev and seemingly secured all three points for the Uruguayans. Yet the situation deepened as Igor Smolnikov was given two quick-fire yellow cards, to leave Cherchesov heading into the break two-nil down with only ten men on the field. A truly disastrous opening forty-five minutes from the Russian’s and although they managed to withstand any further embarrassment for the majority of the second half, Edinson Cavani sealed the victory with his first goal of the tournament ensuring that Uruguay qualified as top seeds in Group A.
After the defeat, Cherchesov insisted that his side had gifted the win to Uruguay “It was a difficult match because we made it difficult.”
“It was difficult to begin with and we made it worse because of our own mistakes and the red card.”
“It was difficult to play with ten men, we made changes, strengthened the centre and brought on another forward to try and score.”
Yet all the major statistical departments are indicating that a repeat of the performance produced by Russia prior to the red card, will generate a potentially embarrassing situation for the hosts.
Spain v Russia
The implied probability currently attached with Spain is evident throughout their data history. However, those implied probabilities have come against the likes of Colombia, Italy, and Chile in recent times. So it seems intriguing to observe the current price attached with Spain within the ‘Match Odds’ market, which on first impression seems an attractive entry point.
Is the market underestimating this Spanish side due to their recent results against Portugal and Morocco?
By utilizing the market data from Spain’s previous encounters, the information extracted will help us determine the true probability on an event occurring. Therefore, identifying whether there are any discrepancies that exist in the current prices being offered.
Spain v Colombia
Spain v Italy
Spain v Chile
The perception that the market has created can be observed on numerous occasions within Spain’s historic market data, similarities are evident in their previous encounters with Colombia, Italy, and Chile. The average implied probability extracted from the three market examples indicate an average closing price of 2.04 for the -1.0 handicap line, demonstrating an early indication that in its current state the -1.0 handicap line is offering a small amount of potential. However, the average implied probability extracted from the closing prices within the ‘Over/Under’ market, indicate the current perception surrounding the ‘Over 2.25’ goals line should be significantly shorter than what is currently being advertised.
Is the markets current perception of the ‘Over 2.25’ goal line distorted due to Russia’s recent offensive inefficiencies?
If we are able to analyze Russia’s historic market record in a similar fashion to that presented. We should be able to identify whether the current prices available are in fact correct.
Russia v Brazil
Russia v France
Russia v Spain
The current perception attached with Russia is evident throughout their historic market data and it comes as no surprise to observe market support for their opponents once more, after opening prices in the region of 1.68 the support on Spain is gradually beginning to gather momentum. The six-game average implied probability extracted from both Spain and Russia’s previous price point data, indicates an average price of 1.99 on Spain covering the -1.0 handicap line. As a result emphasizing a fairly significant discrepancy within the current market. Only seven months ago Russia hosted Spain in an international friendly in-which the market possessed a closing price of 1.85 with the -1.0 handicap line, again emphasizing the price currently available on Spain.
The efficiency of the ‘Over/Under’ market must be called into question, as the current perception has attached an implied probability of 52.91% with the ‘Over 2.25’ goals line. Although Russia were lethargic in their transitions and lacking conviction in the final third against Uruguay, the price currently available on the ‘Over 2.25’ goals line doesn’t appear to be in correlation with previous market data. The average implied probability for the ‘Over 2.25’ goals line from the six market examples, indicates an average price of 1.69. Therefore with the current perception of 1.89 being freely available on the ‘Over 2.25’ goals line, the market has seemingly overreacted to Russia’s recent mishap and with Spain demonstrating offensively qualities that may be going unnoticed due to recent results. It would come as no surprise to witness both sides finding the back of the net, in what should be an intriguing match-up.
Asian Handicap Betting Recommendation: Spain -1.0 at 2.150
Asian Total Goals Betting Recommendation: Over 2.25 goals at 1.930
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