Friday World Cup Bet Builder tips: England can shine while Dutch may falter
- Day six at the World Cup on Thursday features Netherlands and England
- Defensively-minded Ecuador can make life tough for the Dutch
Our daily Bet Builder column continues with selections from Friday’s World Cup fixtures, including a victory for one European heavyweight while another looks set to struggle.
Dutch unlikely to delight
Bet 1: Back Ecuador or draw double chance
Both the Netherlands and Ecuador recorded 2-0 successes in their opening Group A assignment, with the Dutch overcoming Senegal and La Tri silencing hosts Qatar.
However, there was a laboured look to the Netherlands’ performance until their opening goal and they were perhaps flattered by the final scoreline.
And they may be in for a tougher test against Ecuador, who will be full of confidence following their opening salvo.
The 2-0 victory over Qatar means they have now lost only one of their last 16 internationals, a run which saw them avoid defeat to both Argentina and Brazil in World Cup qualifying.
The Netherlands’ two goals against Senegal came from just three shots on target and they had been goalless until 84 minutes, so Ecuador should be optimistic about their chances.
Bet 2: Back Under 2.5 Goals
Ecuador’s win over Qatar featured their seventh consecutive clean sheet and they have the defensive discipline to frustrate the Dutch.
There have been two or fewer goals in 13 of Ecuador’s last 14 internationals and the low-scoring trend may continue against their European opponents.
Each of the Netherlands’ last three games, including their World Cup opener, have also rewarded backers of under 2.5 goals.
Bet 3: Back Matthijs de Ligt to receive a card
Dutch defender Matthijs de Ligt was shown a yellow card in his World Cup opener with Senegal and another booking may follow against Ecuador.
If there is an area in which centre-back De Ligt can be exposed it is with pace and power and the presence of in-form Ecuador striker Enner Valencia, who netted a brace against Qatar, could see him in for a difficult evening.
Three Lions can maintain perfect start
Bet 1: Back England to win
England ran riot in a 6-2 hammering of Iran in their opening game in Group B and they should also be eyeing maximum points against the USA.
Gareth Southgate has an array of attacking stars - including Harry Kane, who has been confirmed fit after a scan on his ankle - and his side should have the ammunition needed to see off the Americans, who drew their first match 1-1 with Wales.
That game was a tale of two halves as USA dominated the first period before Wales roared back, and the Three Lions are also expected to finish this match the stronger.
Gregg Berhalter’s team started that fixture with Wales full of intensity but those energy levels dropped off in the second half as tiredness kicked in.
The USA have won only one of their last six internationals and it is unlikely they can live with the pace and hunger of this youthful England side.
Bet 2: Back Bukayo Saka to score
With Kane possibly not at 100%, England may be relying on Arsenal youngster Saka for their inspiration.
The 21-year-old should be one of the first names on the team sheet after his involvement against Iran, as he bagged a brilliant brace and was a constant attacking threat.
His performance was no surprise, though, as he has been superb all season in the Premier League and now has seven goals in 21 appearances for club and country this term.
Bet 3: Back Tyler Adams to receive a card
The USA picked up four bookings in their 1-1 draw with Wales and the way in which they approach games, with high-energy and effort, almost guarantees more will follow.
Tyler Adams managed to avoid being disciplined by the referee in his first match at the World Cup, but he may not be so fortunate against England.
The Leeds defensive-minded midfielder has collected four yellows in 13 games for his Premier League side this term and the presence of Jude Bellingham makes his job difficult.
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