Why Netherlands can’t win the World Cup

With the 2014 finals just around the corner, Goal is running a series looking at every major nation and arguing the case for each winning the cup. Here we assess Holland

When a country makes it to the final of one World Cup, they are generally among the favourites to go all the way at the next tournament four years later. And when said team qualifies for that next World Cup by recording nine wins and one draw in the qualification campaign, there is usually no further discussion over whether they are among the teams to beat. Yet things are slightly different with Netherlands.

The Dutch hugely disappointed at Euro 2012 – where they crashed out at the group stages after defeats against Germany, Portugal and Denmark – and have since not only replaced head coach Bert van Marwijk with Louis van Gaal, but have completely overhauled their squad as well.

From the team that reached the final in South Africa, only seven players have made the cut again for this summer’s tournament, with just four of them expected to make Holland’s starting XI in Brazil – Nigel de Jong, Robin van Persie, Wesley Sneijder and Arjen Robben.

It’s therefore fair to say Netherlands are no longer the team they were four years ago, and expectations surrounding the team have changed, too. Holland might be one of only five countries to have made it to the World Cup final on at least three occasions – Brazil, Italy, Germany and Argentina being the other four – but they have still yet to lift the trophy and it seems unlikely that they will at last emerge victorious this summer.

Oranje might have arguably one of the best coaches in the world in Van Gaal – who has won domestic league titles in Netherlands, Spain and Germany – but there’s only so much a coach can do. The future Manchester United manager has a squad that seemingly lacks the quality to compete with the best teams in the world, prompting the 62-year-old to change Holland’s famous 4-3-3 formation to a more defensive 5-3-2.

„Netherlands are having a little bit more of a difficult time now than four years ago. We don’t have the 10 or 11 world-class players in our team like before. We have maybe three or four,“ Holland legend Edwin van der Sar recently told fifa.com.

„And those world-class players are getting older, so it’s about time that the young Dutch generation pick up the slack from the older ones and hopefully can achieve, first with their clubs and then the national team, a little more success than over the last three or four years.“

Holland’s impressive qualification campaign might suggest that Van der Sar’s comments are not an accurate reflection of the team’s strength, but there’s no denying that the Dutch starting XI this summer will not be as star-studded as at previous tournaments.

Although Jasper Cillessen has proven to be a good goalkeeper at Ajax this season, Oranje’s No.1 is by no means at the same level as the aforementioned Van der Sar was during his best years and the 25-year-old has very little experience at the highest level.

Cillessen’s C.V would have been less of a problem if Holland had some high-profile names in defence, yet their back five is rather inexperienced, too. Only Aston Villa centre-back Ron Vlaar plies his trade outside of the Dutch Eredivisie and even he plays for a relatively modest club. Daryl Janmaat, Stefan de Vrij and Bruno Martins Indi all have potential, but need at least a few more years to reach their peak.

In midfield, De Jong, Sneijder and Jonathan de Guzman all remain well-respected players, but the latter is by no means among the best in the world in his position, while De Jong and Sneijder are no longer at the level that saw them become key players for Oranje during the 2010 World Cup either.

The Dutch have plenty of quality in attack, though, and Van Gaal is well aware of Robben and Van Persie’s ability to single-handedly decide matches, having made them his only two „untouchables“ after Kevin Strootman was ruled out of the World Cup due to injury.

„Only Van Persie and Robben are sure of their spot, but I’ve said that for a year and a half,“ the Holland coach recently said about his 23-man squad.

With Schalke hitman Klaas-Jan Huntelaar and PSV wonderkid Memphis Depay ready to make an impact, too, attack seems to be the one area where Netherlands can still compete with the best.

Their prowess up-front does not make up for their vulnerability in defence, however, and Van Gaal’s men could face a tough task to even survive the group stages.

„Spain-Netherlands is a very tough opening game. Holland should be happy if they survive the groups. That would already be a good achievement and something I would be satisfied with,“ Dutch hero Johan Cruyff stated last month.

Netherlands have plenty of promising youngsters to support their two true world-class players, yet this summer’s tournament will likely come too soon for the current crop of players. Another disappointing tournament could very well be on the cards for the 2010 World Cup runners-up following their Euro 2012 debacle.

How to Play the Iron Cross Craps System – Part Two

If one of your place numbers rolls (5, 6, 8), you’ll win $14. However, you’ll lose your $10 in the field, so take $10 and replace the field bet and keep the other $4. On an average hand this will happen several times and 7 will roll, wiping out your place and field bets and you’ll need to start again after the come-out roll establishes a new point. Obviously when the dice are hot and a lot of number are rolling you’ll get paid many times before having to start over. That’s the power of the Iron Cross.

When a front-line winner rolls (the player shoots their point) your place bets will be marked „off“ and you’ll want to hold-off on your field bet until a new point is established. Then your place bets will be marked „on“ again and you can go back to making your field wagers. If a 7-out rolls, you’ll need to start all over with your place and field bets after a new number is established.

If you want to be part of the action and also shoot the dice, make a small bet on the pass line and take double odds on any point. If your point is 5, 6 or 8, make your field bet as usual and place the other two numbers that are not your point. Now you’ve got essentially the same wager going as the standard Iron Cross.
Advanced Iron Cross Play

The Iron Cross is a favorite system for action players because you get a decision (with hope, a winner) on every roll of the dice once a point is established. And, the system keeps players from using their chips on higher house odds bets like the horn and hard ways. And, you can enhance the Iron Cross by pressing your bets a little. Some players wait until they are winning and ready to quit for the evening, but using the advance play is always at the player’s discretion.

The first variation is sometimes called Three and Done and is very simple. The player waits until there are three consecutive field roll winners and then pulls their field bet completely. Then, they either pull their place bets also and call it a night, or they leave their place bets working and keep collecting on them until there is a 7-out, and then they quit.

The second variation is sometimes called Press Till Done and is just what it sounds like. The player begins pressing (raising the wager) their place bets after each place bet wins. As an example, suppose you have $44 in action and a 6 rolls. You press the 6 from a $12 bet to $18 and take the remaining $8 and bet it in the field (you may have to add another $2 to meet the table minimum). Do this with any other 5, 6 or 8 rolled two more times, pressing your place bet one unit and making the $10 wager in the field. Once you have reached three total presses, bet the field only one more time, then quit.

At this point you will have just your place bets working and won’t make any more field bets. Each time a 5, 6 or 8 rolls, you get paid and keep the chips. Do this until a 7-out rolls and the hand is over. If you happen to catch a good hand, you’ll have a nice stack of chips in front of you. If you are feeling wild after getting a few more payoffs, you can always continue pressing each time 5, 6 or 8 rolls and not stop until the 7-out finally comes. Again, if the shooter throws a big hand, you’ll have a big winner! Welcome to the Iron Cross Craps System!

How to Play the Iron Cross Craps System

Learning how to play the Iron Cross Craps System won’t take a reader more than a few minutes to grasp the concepts. Remembering the strategy employed may take a session or two at a live casino craps table, but using advanced play isn’t tough either,it’s just a matter of putting the ideas into action!

Like all gamblers, craps players are always on the lookout for a new system. The Iron Cross isn’t a progressive program like the Colonel’s craps system, but it does take advantage of the field wager, which covers the numbers 2, 3, 4, 9, 10, 11 and 12.

How the Iron Cross System Works

The Iron Cross is sometimes called the No Seven system, because the player covers all the possible numbers on the table except the dreaded 7. Most players bet the pass line and therefore root for a seven on the come-out roll, or the first roll with a new shooter. Rather than go against an entire table of players, the Iron Cross player usually waits until a pass-line number is established and then makes a wager in the field and also places the numbers 5, 6 and 8, to cover everything but 7. When you first try the Iron Cross, start with small wagers, but let’s assume you are playing at a $10 craps game so your field bet must be $10.

If you already know how to play craps, then you know the place bets are wagers on specific numbers, and you know the wager on the number 5 will be $10 and the wager on 6 and 8 will be $12 each. You should get your four wagers down before the next roll of the dice. Tell your inside dealer you want the 5, 6 and 8 for $34 total, then place the $10 bet in the field yourself. By doing this you have covered every number, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 8, 9, 10, 11 and 12, except 7. You’ll win on every roll now except the 7, which will cost you your entire $44 in bets.

There are a total of 36 ways that the dice can total a number on the craps table. Seven is the easiest number to make, and can roll in six ways (1-6, 6-1, 5-2, 2-5, 4-2, 2-4). There are 30 ways another number can roll, so the odds that you will see a winning total on the next roll are 30 to 6, or 30 out of 36. However, you also get an extra payoff when the dice total 2 or 12, since most craps games pay double on the 2 and triple on the 12 for any field bets.

However, regardless of how many times you’ll win, the house still holds the advantage. You can expect that edge to be 2.48 percent if the casino pays double on 2 and triple on 12 (or vice versa) for field wagers. The way your play works is fairly simple.

When you have your $44 in action and a field number rolls, you’ll be very happy, because you’ll get a full payoff on the field and your place bets will stay up and require no more attention. Your $10 wager in the field will win $10 on 3, 4, 9, 10, 11. When 2 rolls you’ll win $20 and when 12 rolls you’ll win $30. Take your payoff and leave your original $10 bet where it was.

El Clasico predictions: Real Madrid v Barcelona tips, lineups, odds and free bets (Liga – March 23, 2014)

Real Madrid and Barcelona, two of the biggest and widely recognized football clubs in the world, will collide once again for the El Clasico. Find here our complete El Clasico betting preview, with predictions on Real Madrid v Barcelona, probable lineups, tips, best odds, free bets and+ no deposit bonuses!

EL CLASICO: REAL MADRID v BARCELONA BETTING PREVIEW

Should Real Madrid beat Barcelona at the Bernabeu then Barcelona’s chances of winnings La Liga will be all but over. Just one win in five Liga games on the road is one of the reasons for the 10 point swing at the top of the table that has seen a six-point advantage over los Blancos become a deficit of four.

Paddy Power Betting BonusThe current Spanish champions have lost only two matches during the current campaign and are setting the Champions League alight following a comprehensive 9-2 demolition of Schalke over the two legs of the Round of 16.

Carlo Ancelotti has received some good news this week as both Karim Benzema and Pepe resumed full training, meaning they are likely to start.During the week Jese ruptured his anterior cruciate ligament, meaning his season is over. Khedira and Arbeloa are still sidelined.

Barcelona have lost four games in La Liga since the end of November and currently lie in third place, behind Real and Athletico Madrid. They go into this game after thrashing Osasuna 7-0 last week and overcoming a tame Man City in the match before that.

Interestingly, Neymar returns to the starting line-up for Barcelona. Gerard Pique returns from injury and is likely to be reinstated into the starting XI. Carles Puyol is unlikely to recover in time to make the match squad, whilst Isaac Cuenca and Jonathan Dos Santos are long-term casualties.

The recent history is against Barcelona for this fixture. They haven’t beaten the capital side on their home ground since 2012, but Tata Martino’s men will be encouraged by the previous meeting between the two in October, where they won comfortably.

EL CLASICO: REAL MADRID v BARCELONA LINEUPS

Real Madrid (4-2-3-1): Diego Lopez – Carvajal, Pepe, Sergio Ramos, Marcelo – Xabi Alonso, Modric – di Maria, C. Ronaldo, Bale – Benzema (Morata)
Barcelona (4-3-3): Victor Valdes – Dani Alves, Pique, Mascherano, Jordi Alba – Busquets, Xavi, Iniesta – Neymar, Messi, Pedro

West Brom vs Fulham: Back Baggies to beat frail Fulham

West Bromwich Albion are enjoying a superb campaign, and Kevin Hatchard expects them to rack up another three points against struggling Fulham.

West Bromwich Albion vs Fulham, New Year’s Day 12:45 BST, Live on Sky Sports 1

Match Odds: WBA 2.02, Fulham 4.1, the draw 3.7

As someone who has regularly covered West Brom games for the past few seasons, I have no shame in saying that it’s nice to see them doing so well. Head Coach Steve Clarke has built on solid foundations laid by Roberto Di Matteo and Roy Hodgson, adding his own sprinklings of tactical fairy dust. Albion have their strongest squad for many seasons, and they lie seventh in the table, just three points behind fourth-placed Tottenham.

The strength of Albion’s squad has been tested by a long injury list, and a host of key players face fitness tests before Fulham arrive at The Hawthorns. Key midfielders Claudio Yacob and Youssuf Mulumbu could both miss out, while imposing centre-back Jonas Olsson is struggling with a groin injury sustained against QPR. It’s tempting to think that Albion will struggle if all of these players are missing, but a patched-up side battled well in a 2-0 defeat at Manchester United, only conceding the second goal in stoppage-time. That defeat followed impressive 2-1 wins over Norwich and QPR.

Albion’s home record this term has been outstanding, with seven wins, a draw and two defeats. The Baggies have scored a respectable 16 goals in front of their own fans, conceding just seven (no PL team has let in fewer goals at home). To give Baggies fans further hope, midfielders Chris Brunt and James Morrison are on excellent form.

Fulham started the campaign brightly, but a run of one win in 12 games has seen them dragged into the relegation melee. The Cottagers have lost four of their last six matches, and they’ve kept just two clean sheets in 16 games. Dimitar Berbatov is by far their best player – he has scored six goals and has created a further three. Fulham always look capable of scoring (no-one in the bottom half has netted more than their 30 goals), but their defence is fragile. Stand-in goalkeeper David Stockdale was at fault for both goals in the weekend’s 2-1 home defeat to Swansea, and the Cottagers will be praying that first choice Mark Schwarzer can recover from injury.

It’s not just the goalkeeping department which is a worry. Fulham’s defence looked desperately poor in a recent 4-0 thrashing at Liverpool, and normally dependable players such as Aaron Hughes and Jon Arne Riise have been making mistakes. Given the firepower available to West Brom (Peter Odemwingie, Romelu Lukaku and Shane Long are all available), I suspect Fulham’s rearguard may be in for a torrid start to 2013.

I think West Brom are decent value for the home win at 2.02, especially against a Fulham side low on confidence. That said, I fancy Fulham to score, so I would also look at backing Over 2.5 Goals at 1.93.

Recommended Bets: Back West Brom to win at 2.02

Back Over 2.5 Goals at 1.93

EPL Week 19 – Newcastle vs Arsenal preview with free tips

Newcastle bagged a handful of goals in its recent 5-1 defeat of Stoke in Week 18 of the EPL. Arsenal defeated the lowly West Ham 3-1. Arsenal has reclaimed its top position on the ladder as a result of the victory, but is just one point clear of its nearest rivals Manchester City. Newcastle is in sixth position, just three points from the top four.

  • Newcastle has three wins, one draw and one loss from its last five matches.
  • Arsenal has three wins, two draws and a loss from its last five matches.
  • Arsenal dominates the head to head history between these two teams. The sides have met 38 times with Newcastle winning just nine and Arsenal winning 19. There has been 10 draws.
  • Of its nine away matches, Arsenal has won six. Newcastle has won five of its eight home matches.
  • Arsenal has only had 18 goals scored against it and scored 36 goals. Newcastle has leaked 23 goals and scored 29.

Newcastle vs Arsenal Prediction

Newcastle came from behind to defeat Stoke 5-1 Admittedly, most of Newcastle’s goals were scored against a Stoke side that was reduced to nine men. Newcastle ended up with 58% possession and had 27 shots, eight of which were on goal.

Arsenal also had to come from behind in its match and once it gained the ascendancy, there was no turning back. West Ham played well in the first half but Arsenal clawed back possession and created plenty of opportunity for shots on goal.

Newcastle has lost just one home match this season and it has performed well against the top sides with well executed game plans. Newcastle has drawn 2-2 with Liverpool, defeated Chelsea 2-0 and away wins against Tottenham and Manchester United.

I expect the in form Newcastle side to really take it up to Arsenal at St James’ Park and think the draw is a top chance.

Head-to-head Betting Odds & Free Tips

Newcastle Head to Head: $4.00
Arsenal Head to Head: $1.91

I have tipped the draw at $3.50, which is the ‘second favourite’ in this head-to-head betting market. Arsenal has opened as the $1.91 favourite in this market.

Handicap Betting

Newcastle (+1): $1.83 with IASbet.com
Handicap Draw (+1): $3.60
Arsenal (-1):$3.50

With the draw tipped then Newcastle with the one goal advantage looks the logical bet in this market. If you think Arsenal will win by one goal then you should place your bet in the handicap draw market. If you think Arsenal will win by more then two goals then your bet should be on Arsenal.

Double Chance

Newcastle and Draw: $1.84 with IASbet.com
Arsenal and Draw: $1.20
Newcastle and Arsenal: $1.26

This market is an interesting one and can offer up a leg of a multi bet. I like the draw and given Newcastle is playing at home, I would be putting a bet on “Newcastle and Draw” at $1.84. However, if you like Arsenal or a draw you can bet on “Arsenal and Draw” or if you think the draw is no chance the option of “Newcastle and Arsenal” is available.

Winning Margin

Newcastle to win by exactly 1 goal: $5.50
Newcastle to win by exactly 2 goals: $12.00
Newcastle to win by exactly 3 goals: $36.00
Newcastle to win by 4 or more goals: $101.00
0-0 Draw: $10.00
Score Draw: $4.33 with IASbet.com
Arsenal to win by exactly 1 goal: $3.60
Arsenal to win by exactly 2 goals: $5.50
Arsenal to win by exactly 3 goals: $11.00
Arsenal to win by 4 or more goals: $19.00

There are two options available in this market if you agree that a draw is the most likely outcome in this match. Personally, I think that both teams will at least score one goal so my preferred bet would be the “Score Draw” at $4.33. There are plenty of other options available in this market if you think that either Newcastle or Arsenal will win outright.

Napoli v Inter Milan Betting Preview

Match Preview :

 

Despite winning 2-0 against Arsenal in the midweek’s Champions League, Napoli are now out of the competition and will at best be playing in the Europa League only. That is because Dortmund managed to beat Marseille which meant Napoli needed to win by 3 goals and they failed to do that on the night.

Napoli’s form hasn;t been great in Serie A recently. The 3-3 draw against Udinese saw them lose more points at the top and given the pace set by Juventus and Roma it looks likely that they can only hope to settle for third spot in Serie A this season.

Napoli are still four points clear of Inter in third spot largely because Inter Milan have repeatedly failed to take advantage of Napoli’s poor form. This game becomes important for both sides as neither would want to lose here.

Bentiez will miss out on Marek Hamsik while both Goran Pandev and Pepe Reina are in a race to get fit for this match. Dries Mertens should slot in behind Higuain with Lorenzo Insigne making the bench.

Interestingly, Benitez and Mazzarri will want to do well against their former teams whom they departed from in less then ideal conditions. So both coaches will want to get the better of their former employers here.

Inter Milan meanwhile will not want to lose this match but at the same time have drawn their last three games, where they have been expected to win them. Mazzarri knows the pressure is mounting on him as well as the players with each passing week.

The good news for Inter is that Mauro Icardi and Diego Milito will at least be on the bench for this match. Walter Samuel is still a doubt but Yuto Nagatomo could come in at left-back instead of Javier Zanetti.

For the record, Inter have not won at the San Paolo Stadium since 1997, but this is the Napoli side that Mazzari was in charge of so he will know the team pretty much inside out. But Bentiez will want to get another win after beating Arsenal in midweek so it will be an explosive match that is for sure.

Form:

Napoli – W L L W D

Inter – W W D D D

Possible lineups

 

Napoli:

Reina; Maggio, Albiol, Britos, Revellieire; Behrami, Inler, Callejon Pandev, Mertens; Higuain

Inter:

Handanovic, Campagnaro, Rolando, Juan Jesus; Jonathan, Kovacic, Cambiasso, Alvarez, Nagatomo; Guarin, Palacio

Prediction:

Go for this match to end in a draw.

Betting fatigue – the worst enemy

You would think that the biggest enemies of the betting punters are the bookmakers or the unpredictability of football matches. Actually they are not. The biggest enemy is hiding somewhere else. If you think more deeply you will find out that the advantage of betting houses is not more than 5%. However, there are many ways this advantage to be compensated. The unpredictability of football matches and other sporting events is not such an overwhelming thing too. You need a careful analysis and monitoring. If you do that it is possible to achieve sufficiently strong success rate, which will beat the five percent advantage of bookmakers.

Actually, the biggest enemy of every punter is the fatigue. Mental and physical fatigue because of all this thinking and pushing to find the best matches to bet on. Constant fear that this game may not be accurate is also strong enough to cause dangerous fatigue. The fear that you will lose money is another thing to consider. betting fatigueAll this leads to the accumulation of mental fatigue, which affects directly the efficiency of the punters.

Maybe you have noticed that when you start betting in the first two or even three weeks almost everybody has success. You know what people call it – beginner’s luck. Actually it’s not about luck. It’s about strong concentration and huge interest in the game.

Unfortunately, we cannot keep ourselves constantly focused. At one point, we will inevitably lose concentration and this will be disastrous for our bets. The time given to find exact matches to bet is decreasing and this decreases our results too.

To make things worse, by lowering the success rate naturally we lower our confidence in our own abilities to find the best matches and thus our results worsen too.

This is precisely the reason for the failure of most bettors. Unfortunately there is no remedy against this phenomenon in betting. It is not very clear whether there will ever be a solution.

Naturally, the simplest solution is to monitor the results. Then when they fall below a certain percentage of success to take a pause. However, this requires extreme discipline that is not within the reach of everyone. Another option is not to bet too often, but if you do that you surely will have a fall in the profit because of small number of bets you have made, despite the higher success rate.

Whether you will be able to find a solution to the problem of fatigue, the least you can do is keep it in mind when making your predictions. This will surely help you in betting and limit your losses.

How to choose the correct bookmaker?

This is an essential question when we talk about betting because it can give us the so needed advantage to beat the bookies.

Every bookmaker has a small advantage compared to every punter and this advantage is called margin. A margin is the difference between the correct odds and the real odds given by the bookie. If you have a match with two possible outcomes every of which with 50% probability to happen the correct odds must be 2, right? However, the bookie is giving just 1.91. The difference is the called margin and it is the advantage that the bookie has compared to the punter.

So, if you chose a bookmaker who uses a smaller margin you will have more chance to win. It is simple. If you have 5 bookmakers where you bet you will have even bigger chances to win because the odds are not the same for betting-slipthe different bookmakers. You will take the best odds and you will minimize the margin which will give you more chances to win. This is a must in betting.
Another important thing to consider except the margin when you are looking for betting houses is the bonuses you are going to get when you register. If you make a proper research you will find that most of the betting houses offer great starting bonuses. Some of them offer even a free bet option. This will help you start with your betting without risking your money. At least it will help you to bet more than you can afford in the beginning. The part with starting bonuses is important because if you make registration on five different bookmakers and take 50 pounds free money from every of them this will give you 250 pounds cash and this is a great option.

There is huge difference between fixed odds bookies and spread betting house. In the video below you will find some advices about these kind of houses

The final advice which I can give you when we talk about betting houses is – choose as big houses as you can. These bookmakers hold on to their names and will do whatever is necessary to keep their names clean. I am sure you will have no problems with them and if you have some they will be solved smoothly.

Wish you luck with your betting.

Who will be the new Euro champion – Italy vs Spain

Italy and Spain will decide which football team is the best in Europe in a clash which is a must see match. The final of the European championship is tonight at 20.45 and I will bet for Italy on this one. Here is why. I know Spain is the favorite here, but I believe Balotelli, Pirlo and co may surprise the Red armada.

Both teams already played in the group stage of the championship and the match ended with a draw 1:1. Italy’s defense made everything perfect in this match and held the Spanish midfielders so nothing threatened bet on italy against spainBuffon. The goal for Spain was made with a 20 meters shot which could be described as luck.

What will happen tonight? Well, I believe that Spain will play again with false nine with Fabregas in this role. Could it be an advantage for Spain? I don’t think so. Italy’s defense is more than capable to hold them with their perfect covering. The ball will be close to Italy’s net, but there will be no goal in it.

Italy’s defenders managed so far successfully to cover every empty space in front of Buffon and they do it perfectly. Without a heavy center forward for Spain like Torres, who to rip and attract defenders to him it will be very difficult for the Iberians to break the blue defense in this match.

The question seems to be – Is Italy able to score a goal or not? The problem is that Italy depends too much on Pirlo and if the Spaniards succeed to hold him harmless, the threat to their net will be really small. When we have such a situation, the quality of the attackers comes to the fore. Mario Balotelli and Antonio Cassano are not the people who use even the half chances, but Manchester City’s striker showed so far that this is his championship.

So after comparing the two defenses and the ability to score of Balotelli and Fabregas, I will go for an Italian victory in the match. Moreover, the coefficient for Italy as a final champion is more than good – 2.1, which makes me put my money on Italy as the new European champion.

Here is how Italy reached the final this year