The World Cup quarter-finals continue on Saturday and our very own Jones Knows prediction chair digs out some of the most liquid betting angles.
Morocco Portugal, Saturday 3pm
Any winners for Jones Knows in the last 16?
- Morocco to go to Spain on penalties (11/2)
- Seven or more shots South Korea vs Brazil (Evs)
- USA to have two or more first half shots on target (5/6)
- Argentina to win & under 3.5 goals
- Manuel Akanji to have a shot (11/10)
Morocco’s defensive numbers in this World Cup are nothing short of sensational. They have yet to concede a goal from an opposition player – the only goal scored was a Nayef Aguerd own goal against Canada. And when you consider that Croatia, Belgium and Spain played over that sample size, it became ridiculous, even more ridiculous by their goals against the data that receive the actual goals conceded output. In those three matches against the European giants, Morocco averaged just 0.83 goals scored per match and conceded just two shots on target – and that included the extra 30 minutes against Spain. If a team in the Premier League put up those kinds of numbers, you’d want to back them to a top four finish.
My concern is to trust that his true course in this encounter will provide physical movement and revenue that will win Spain. Aguerd and Saiss Romans suffered both injuries in the penalty shoot-to win and lose it at the back of the cohesion because of such a defensive unit in-appearance is a huge negative, when playing such a dangerous side as Portugal, which looked at the reborn horse without shackles. I was overwhelmed by Cristiano Ronaldo on the pitch.
They were quick, fluid and clinical, as they did an amazing 6-1 demolition job in Switzerland. If the attackers repeat such brilliance, then a tired Morocco will not be able to cope. But I would never believe that one would run or do it in isolation. This is certainly just a short look from a betting perspective with so many unknowns in terms of the team news.
Portugal are expected to return to the semi-finals as predicted.
PRESENTATION NOTE: 0-2
England vs France, Saturday 7pm
Even a cynical old goat like me gets rather slippery over this fixture. The game of life indeed.
I’m always reluctant to always play the goals market in a major international knockout football tournament as the 90-minute average goals in this state since 1990 is only 2.0 but I think the price of over 2.5 goals is one goal here at Evens with Sky Bet.
France have yet to keep a clean sheet in this tournament, as their controlled style and counter-point style has been replaced by handbrake off football.
There are huge spaces that can be possessed when France leaves possession, something Poland is limited to attacking, in the first half France’s last 16 gains have been found. They couldn’t cash in.
England, confidently flowing in attacking players, absolutely can.
On the other end you have the French front four who have started an explosive attacking metric in three games together. Yes, their opposition was not much, but to register a per-match average of 2.6 expected goals, 20 shots and three goals a game means that we are dealing with a phenomenal attacking outfit, led by Kylian Mbappe.
England needn’t fear France, though – they have talent that can match Mbappe’s powers.
Harry Kane, Phil Foden and Jude Bellingham are all genuine world-class talents, capable of finishing careers and making important moments on this kind of stage. It is the strength of England’s forward line that gives them a clear advantage going forward in this game.
Gareth Southgate has an impressive arsenal as we saw from his bench in Marcus Rashford, Jack Grealish and Raheem Sterling and with France’s reserves against Tunisia, Didier Deschamps has little clue to turn things around. So in mind, England to win in extra time is 11/1 with Sky Bet and England to win after 14/1 (90 minutes only) is sure to stand out in prices.