Russia to beat Egypt: £10 at 23/20*

Only a late Cristiano Ronaldo free-kick denied me a profitable start in round one, so I see no reason to change my pragmatic approach.

Russia’s 5-0 win over Saudi Arabia flattered them, but they are good enough to beat Egypt, who were fortunate to only lose 1-0 to Uruguay and have scored just once in their last five matches without Mohamed Salah.



Portugal to win or draw and BTTS, Uruguay and Spain to both win to nil: £10 at 5/1*

I was a Lionel Messi missed penalty away from landing my double in the previous round, so I’m not reading too much into one bad result.

The same goes for Morocco, who had gone 18 games unbeaten before gifting Iran a late win last Friday.

I don’t think they’ll win, but, needing a result to stay alive in the group, I do fancy them to at least score against Portugal, who shipped three against Spain.

I’m also backing both Uruguay and Spain to win to nil later that day in order to squeeze out a bit more value.

Saudi Arabia and Iran only managed five shots on target and one fortuitous own goal between them last time out, and are unlikely to get much of a sniff against two significantly stronger sides.



BTTS in France v Peru and Argentina v Croatia: £10 at 3/1*

Backing goals in the World Cup is brave, but two of Thursday’s matches look the likeliest of the entire group stage to produce them.

France looked vulnerable against Australia on Saturday, while Peru were far better against Denmark than a 1-0 defeat suggests.

Argentina clearly have the individual ability to score against Croatia, but were shambolic at the back against Iceland.



Brazil to win to nil, BTTS: No in Nigeria v Iceland, Switzerland double chance: £10 at 11/4*

After opening the tournament with a tidy 100/30 double I’ve decided to play it safe again this time around.

Brazil had kept five successive clean sheets prior to their 1-1 draw with Switzerland on Sunday, and I can’t see them conceding in what should be a routine win over Costa Rica.

Nigeria never looked like scoring against Croatia, so BTTS is unlikely when they play an Iceland side that prefer to play on the back foot.

Switzerland impressed me in their 1-1 draw with Brazil. They’ve now avoided defeat in 17 of their last 18 matches, and should do so again against Serbia.



Brazil to win to nil and under 2.5 goals in Nigeria v Iceland and Serbia v Switzerland: £10 on at 5/2*

Switzerland’s equaliser on Sunday was only the fifth goal Brazil have conceded in their last 20 games, while they have won 17 of their last 22 matches.

It doesn’t look good for Costa Rica, who have lost seven of their last nine games and failed to score in five of those defeats.

Nigeria and Iceland managed a combined total of just four shots on target in their respective matches on Saturday, so they are unlikely produce a goal-fest.

Switzerland’s 6-0 friendly win over Panama was the only game in their last eight that has seen over 2.5 goals, while seven of Serbia’s last 10 matches have gone under.


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