Tenner On: Our writers' best bets for the first round of matches
Armed with nothing but a £10 stake and their own judgement, the Insider editorial team fight to be crowned the World Cup's top tipster.
Spain to beat Portugal - £10 on at 21/20*
Losing your manager on the eve of the tournament isn’t ideal preparation, but I don’t think the Spanish lads will be fazed. They’re too experienced and, crucially, talented.
I don’t rate Portugal and have tipped them to not make it out the group. Spain to win is a nice price at odds against and should ensure I get off to a profitable start.
Argentina and Croatia both to win and under 3.5 goals: £10 at 3/1*
Both of these sides are big favourites to win their opening matches, and rightly so.
Iceland and Nigeria have each lost three and drawn one of their last four friendlies, and are unlikely to upset either of the two teams most people already have pencilled in to reach the last 16.
They’re not going to get thrashed, though, given Argentina mustered just 19 goals in 18 qualifying matches and Croatia 15 in 10.
A couple of routine wins, even allowing for a surprise consolation goal, ought to get us off to a winning start.
Romelu Lukaku and Harry Kane to score anytime: £10 at 2/1*
In a group that should be dominated by two sides, I fancy Romelu Lukaku and Harry Kane to make their mark on Monday.
Lukaku has scored 13 goals in nine matches for Belgium, while Kane has scored eight goals in his last seven England games.
BTTS: No in Peru v Denmark, Croatia to win to nil – £10 at 100/30*
Peru are an attacking side but they keep plenty of clean sheets, too, having let in just one goal in their last seven games.
Don’t expect a thriller in their opening game against Denmark, who have kept four successive clean sheets.
I fancy Croatia to win Group D, and they should get off to a good start against Nigeria, who have lost three of their last four, with the exception a draw against DR Congo.
Morocco and Spain both to win: £10 at 7/2*
Morocco have won seven of their last eight matches and are unbeaten in 18, so I’m making the most of them at the right side of evens.
Spain’s price has understandably lengthened following the sacking of Jolen Lopetegui, but I’m still confident they’re good enough to claim three points against a suspect Portugal side.
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