Archive:  June, 2014

Russia vs Algeria (World Cup Recap, 26.06.2014)

June 30, 2014 0 Betting, Recaps, Soccer

On June 26 we watched the final Group H matches, which decided the fate of two teams to advance to the Round of 16. As we all know, it will be Belgium, the group’s leader with the total of 9 points, and the runners up Algeria with 4 points.

The main struggle was between Russia and Algeria because both teams had a chance to qualify; it all depended on their performance during yesterday’s match. Eventually, Algeria came from the behind and draw with Russia, thus, making it to the next round for the first time ever.

In two previous matches, Russia scored only one goal against Korea and ended the meeting in a 1-1 draw. The second encounter was won by Belgium (1-0) with Russia not managing to score. The third match against Algeria ended in 1-1 draw; the Russian forward Alexander Kokorin found the net on the 5th minute, while Islam Slimani took the revenge only in the second half (60’). Russia were pretty active during the first half but, as a rule, they are not capable on making the final push. So far, they didn’t win any of three group stage matches and scored only 2 goals.


Sure enough, Russian goalkeeper Igor Akinfeev would be one of those players to enter the World Cup’s history, unfortunately, with a bad record. After the match against Korea, he was widely discussed for his lack of skill as he spilled the ball in his net. This time, he missed the ball because someone from the stands blinded him with a laser. This is pretty much of a scandal and Russia coach Fabio Capello was outraged, “Our goalkeeper was affected by a laser 10 seconds before the goal. He was blinded by a laser, there are photos, films of it. I’m not looking for excuses. I accept defeats.”

Anyway, you might wonder why is it always Akinfeev? Why is he so unlucky? Is that the bad-luck-World-Cup for him? What if there wasn’t a laser, would he punch the ball away?
Of course, Algerians were absolutely excited about their results and, I’d say a bit too excited, as their couch Vahid Halilhodzic stated, “I am very proud but we can play better. Why not against Germany?” Most probably, this is not a right approach to relax and think of Germans as of easily-doable-task. Up till now, Algeria won the match against Korea 4-2, lost to Belgium 1-2 and played a 1-1 draw with Russia at that scoring the total of 6 goals.

In the prediction for this match I wrote that Algeria would win and I expected goals to be over 2.5; unfortunately, I lost my bet as it was a draw with the goals under 2.5. For now, I can only wish Algerians to get seriously ready for the very upcoming match against Die Mannschaft, while Russia have 4 more years to give it a try at the 2018 World Cup.

Result: bet lost

Russia vs Algeria (World Cup Prediction, 26.06.2014)

June 25, 2014 0 Betting, News, Predictions, Soccer

Russia and Algeria will meet in the final clash on Thursday 26th. They will fight for the place in the Round of 16; meanwhile, Belgium, the Group H confident favorite, have already made it through.

Both Russia and Algeria have pretty much the same chances, but the main difference is that Algeria were relatively good throughout the World Cup group stage, while Russia were relatively bad. These two teams met before only once and the match ended in a draw. As long as Korea doesn’t stand any chances against Belgium, a draw works perfectly for Algeria. At the moment, they have three points that they won against Korea (4-2) and if the match against Russia ends in a draw, they will have the total of 4 points. So far, Algeria proved to be very competitive and showed some nice attacking moments.


As to Russia, if they play a draw, they remain with only two points and fly back home. However, if they do go to the Round of 16, most likely they will play against Germany and that brings Russia to the same outcome – going home. At least, they will prove themselves of some value. In order to show positive results, Russia coach Fabio Capello should definitely let out Dzagoev and Kerzhakov play more than 2 minutes. The goalkeeper Akinfeev is also a big concern; he is showing pretty much unstable results and became quite a joke, when he couldn’t properly hold to the ball. Finally, Russians miss a grasp; every time they have a slight chance to net a goal, they do something wrong.

Up till now, I got the impression that Russians ruin everything in the final – most important – moment, so I say that Algeria will win at the bets odds 3.7 at Betfair, with 7 units from us. I also believe that the total goals will be over 2.5 (mostly due to Algeria’s contribution) at 2.26 odds. The odds are good for both bets, so you can choose the one you find more attractive.


June 10, 2014 0 Uncategorized


This Saturday we watched the pretty much legendary Women’s French Open final played between Maria Sharapova and Simona Halep. Everyone agreed this final was spectacular and both players showed the highest level of performance.

Maria Sharapova won her second Roland Garros title with the score 6-4, 6-7(5), 6-4; the first title she got in 2012 when she defeated Sara Errani (6–3, 6–2). All in all, she played 11 French Opens, whereof 3 were finals.

It’s worth mentioning that it was the first 3-set-final played since 2001 (Jennifer Capriati defeated Kim Clijsters). It was an epic battle that lasted for 3 hours and 2 minutes. The first set was full of long rallies and the only thing you could do is holding your breath when the score jumped from advantage to deuce and then once again advantage-deuce.

The second set ended in a tiebreak and was won by Simona, who showed throughout the match unbelievable persistence (keeping in mind that it was her first-Grand-Slam-final-ever). Nobody actually expected this score and many known bookies, such as bet365 and William Hill, predicted that the match would be over in 2 sets; or if it were to be three, they expected Masha to drop the first set as she previously did with Stosur, Muguruza and Bouchard.

So it was a pretty bad start for Halep considering the fact that the last 41 matches played by Sharapova on French Open were won by her from the very first set. The statistic was against Simona but she made an amazing effort and won the second set in a tiebreak.


The second set turned out to be a shock for Sharapova and she took a break to put it all together. When Masha returned to the court, she was ready to win. While Simona looked like the pressure finally got to her: unforced mistakes, double faults and Sharapova taking too much time to deliver a serve (eventually, she got a time violation warning for that; however, many would say in Masha’s defense that the sun was too bright and it was all hot and humid during that day).

To make a long story short, Sharapova nailed it even though she made a plenty of double faults (her weakest point on which she has to work before Wimbledon). Still Simona played at her best; no one could say that she didn’t put everything in that match. Yes, she was the underdog but it was a great starting point in her career. Now it’s just a matter of time for Simona to win her first Grand Slam title.

In an allegorical way, this match was a battle of present and future; Masha stood for the present and proved herself as one of the best players of today, while Simona – the future – showed that we should wait for great achievement from her and we can be safe and sound about the younger tennis generation (that could not be said about men’s tennis, where the “old-school” rules).

Only two weeks left until Wimbledon and everyone waits in anticipation to see what results will show Sharapova and Simona on grass courts; and do not forget about Serena Williams, who is the Wimbledon’s no.1 favorite, even though she dropped out of Roland Garros so early.


June 6, 2014 0 Uncategorized

This year, Roland Garros has brought many surprises and one of them is that Serena Williams and Li Na didn’t even get to the semifinals at that making Maria Sharapova the number-one-favorite of the tournament.

Simona Halep is the biggest breakout of the French Open; she showed great performance and reached the finals without dropping a set (last time it was done by Justine Henin in 2007). Just one year ago Simona was ranked world No.57 and today she’s seed No.4 and plays Roland Gaross finals against Maria Sharapova.

In semi-finals Halep won against Petkovic in two sets 6-2, 7-6; her fastest serve was 175 KMH and she made 20 unforced errors. Comparing it with Sharapova’s semi-finals against Bouchard (4-6, 7-5, 6-2), we see pretty much the same fastest serve – 172 KMH, but Sharapova made more unforced mistakes – 35. However, Masha has a rather weak second serve and according to statistics she won only 41% of them.

The interesting tendency about French Open, is that Sharapova drops the first set and then she gets a second breath and wins over her opponents as it was with Bouchard (4-6, 7-5, 6-2), Stosur (3-6, 6-4, 6-0), and Muguruza (1-6, 7-5, 6-1). The same scenario happened one month ago during the Madrid Open when Sharapova played in finals against Halep and won (1-6, 6-2, 6-3). As Maria explains it, she is very competitive and by losing the first set she gets it all together and becomes more concerned about winning the match. “When you’re forced to be in those situations when you’re either not playing well or you find yourself in a losing position, I just don’t want to give up, because I work too hard to just let a match go,” Sharapova said.


It’s quite clear that Halep wants to take the revenge for the lost match in Madrid, and to tell the truth, she made a great work over the last year. Foremost, she has a chance to be the first Romanian to win in the Grand Slam finals since 1978 (by the way, Halep’s manager Viriginia Ruzici was the last one to win Roland Garros; she played on the same venue Simona will play tomorrow).

Of course, Halep is all on the edge because it’s the first Grand Slam final she’s going to play. She had never been so close to win a major before and up till now her best performance was the quarter-finals at Australian Open 2014.

Tomorrow Halep sees as a great chance for revenge, as she says, “I have to take that revenge. I will fight for this one. I played a really good match in Madrid first set. I started really well. I was very fast on court, and I opened the angles very well. But she came back very, very well and she hit strong, stronger than me at that moment. Now, I have to be aggressive again, to play fast, like my style, and to stay there with the nerves. It will be a tough moment for me.”

But what are the chances? Maria, 27-year-old, is older and thus more experienced tennis player, who won 31 titles, Simona, 22-years-old, won only 7 titles; Maria plays her 9th Grand Slam final, while Simona would be there for the first time; Simona moves faster, but Maria has stronger groundstrokes; her serve is powerful but it is very inconsistent, and her second serve is poor; while Simona has served better than Maria over the last two weeks. Sharapova definitely has to improve her serve. As to Simona, she has to take a hold on herself and play the way she did throughout the whole Roland Garros. Simona also would want to attack Maria’s second serve, which is proved to be rather weak; and in general, she has to take the game straight away and not give Maria a change to “get aggressive”, otherwise we will see the same outcome as with Bouchard and others. Final tip for Halep is to play deep balls because any ball that falls in the middle would be hit back by Sharapova as hard as possible.

At the moment, bookies have the odds in Sharapova’s favor; for instance, bet365 has 1.53 that Masha wins, while Simona gets only 2.50. bet365 also predicts that Maria wins in 2 sets (1.57) with the score 2-0 (2.50). Another bookie Betfair has slightly different odds but also in Maria’s favor; Betfair gives 1.6 that Maria wins. The highest odds (1.73) are that there will be two sets with the exact score 6-3 (5.7).

The thing is that these are only odds based on the previous performance and a lot depends on Simona. Yes, she is a Grand Slam rookie, and she might go down because of nerves OR she might be one of those newbies, who seize the moment as it was at Wimbledon in 2004 when mighty Serena Williams dropped the finals to a Russian teenage player – Maria Sharapova.

So according to the way both Sharapova and Halep have recently played, we are going to bet 7 units on Simona Halep to win the first set with 2.2 odds from bet365.