On Saturday, the U.S. Men’s National Team met their fate as they were eliminated by the Netherlands.
The Yanks’ Round of 16 exit does not need to spell the end to your viewership of the remainder of the tournament. There are plenty of intriguing matchups remaining as the pressure dials up another degree. For Sunday, I have a pair of parlay wagers that include goals from two veteran strikers.
France and Giroud march on
Color me unimpressed with Poland’s World Cup thus far. Their group stage campaign included a listless draw with Mexico, an unconvincing victory until gifted a goal by Saudi Arabia, and an outclassed defeat to Argentina. It is not getting any better against the defending World Cup champions.
France’s injury list may look as long as a child’s Christmas wish list, but it did not slow down Les Bleus in their first two matches. France looked convincing in wins over Australia and Denmark. I would not read too much into the loss against Tunisia. A heavy rotation and questionable motivation tripped up many favorites in the group stage. Brazil and Portugal suffered similar fates.
Poland will feature a standard 4-4-2. France’s lightning-quick wingers will pin down the Polish fullbacks and create dangerous attacks that pull the center backs over to help. It should open up space for pullbacks and shorter crosses to France’s joint all-time leading scorer, Olivier Giroud, to claim the record all for himself.
- Total Goals Under 3.5 + O. Giroud Anytime Goalscorer (+280)
Harry Kane finds a goal
A quick statistic to begin this preview – African sides have lost eight of the nine knockout round matches against European opposition. The only nation to advance was Senegal in 2002. There is a history behind an upset here. However, I do not see Senegal repeating the feat.
As any US fan can attest to, England’s midfield is vulnerable. With full availability, the Senegalese could control the match in the center. However, they are missing several key pieces. Idrissa Gueye is absent due to yellow card suspension and Nottingham Forest’s Cheikhou Kouyate is doubtful with an ankle injury. The absences are not ideal, but Senegal should still hang tough.
For England, it almost astounds that Harry Kane has yet to find the back of the net. The Golden Boot winner of World Cup 2018 remains goalless in Qatar. He feels due. In a match where I expect a couple of goals from England, I will take a coinflip chance that Harry Kane shoots his way onto the score sheet.
- England Over 1.5 Goals + H. Kane Anytime Goal Scorer (+145)