Well usually I outline close to 25 tips for the weekend sport, bundle them up into 3 multi bets, all to win nothing as inevitably one out of the 9 legs comes up short. So taking it on board here at WHAB that the fans want more, we are mixing up our last $50 posts (well except for the Captain who is just mixed up). So, instead of the 25 tips I will give you just one with as much conviction as I can.
If you haven't caught the Euro08 fever, then you must be living in a hole. I have to commend the SBS for at least giving us a highlights package each and every game day but is there anything better than the dulcet tones of Martin Tyler calling a game live - 4:30am or not, I don't think so.
Turkey have just progressed after three heart-wrenching come from behind wins, whereas Portugal have stood aside to let an unconvincing Germany side through to another victory and back into favouritism for the title. The question regarding second string sides and what it does for the team is one that Australia must take on board given Portugal's stalled performance against ze Germans. Although the WCQ route for the Australians is a long and arduous one, the impact of a loss on team dynamics can still play a factor, especially when trying to turn the team energy from taking the foot of the gas to motivating them to step it up a notch.
The last two remaining quarter finals pits an unquestionably strong Dutch side against an equally unquestionably strong Dutch coach. Russia, who looked like a different side when putting aside Sweden 2-0 compared to the one that lost to Spain 4-1, will have to find another gear if they are to be considered a threat against the Dutch. The Netherlands, who beat a lacklustre and quite honestly an uninspiring French team, who were deservedly knocked out in the group stages, clinically destroyed an Italian side who weren't allowed to play the kind of football they are known for and was able to field a second string team with depth of quality in the likes of Van Persie and Robben to undo a Romanian side who were growing from game to game and were hot favourite to qualify along with the Dutch going into the final group game. The Dutch have all the cards to play and deserve to be hot favourites to win this one.
Hiddink will have a well oiled Russian side playing a team that he arguably knows more about than his own. But the talent will be against him and if the goals that the Netherlands have scored are anything to go by, so will the football gods. I'm predicting the Dutch to be tested here in a way they are yet to be so in this tournament but they will ultimately come through (paying $1.65) with the final score - 3:1 (paying $13), first to score will be the Dutch (paying $1.60) in Kuyt (paying $9), half/full time to be a draw/Netherlands (paying $4.35) highest scoring half to be the second (at $2.15).
In the other game, the one that will be the one to watch, southern Europe's best are pitted against each other with Spain to take on Italy. I think the wily Italians are going to be too good for the perennial under achievers, Spain. It's not a result I want but can not argue that the Italians know-how in tournaments will get them through over a team that has deserved a lot more silver than it currently boosts. First team to score - Spain (paying $2), and it would have to be in the form of one D. Villa (paying $6.50), half/full time - Spain/Italy (paying $34).
Well I know I said I would give you just one tip and so it must be. I think at $34 you should take a little of the Spain/Italy half/full time action. If you were a cautious man then hedge a little of your outlay on Spain/Draw paying $15. Don't be a douche, catch a little FIFA fever Euro style.