It’s finally here. The World Cup begins on Sunday afternoon and FIFA will line their pockets again.
It’s been a shame to hear the stories from Qatar about this World Cup, but I’m not going to change things by moaning, am I. The games are on at an ideal time for trading in the UK, and I’m sure everyone will forget about the issues once the tournament starts.
We have a bit of an underwhelming start as Qatar takes on Ecuador. If this wasn’t a World Cup fixture we wouldn’t be trading it! But liquidity will be flowing and the casual fans will want a bet on the opening game… it should be an interesting start.
I think anyone would be lying if they told you they were an expert on Qatar or Ecuador but there are a couple of angles to explore from a trading point of view.
Qatar v Ecuador Trading Options 4 pm:
Qatar is only here because they are hosts. They play at a pretty low level, and would usually need to qualify through AFC. It’s worth keeping in mind that they finished bottom of their qualifying group before the 2018 World Cup with only seven points from ten games. The other sides in that qualifying group were Iran, South Korea, Syria, Uzbekistan and China. The Infogol preview I read through this week gives them a good chance of getting zero points, and I’d have to agree. This is their best chance to get anything though so I would expect them to play for a 0-0 draw – they do have an experienced (for their level) side, who will know how to waste time etc, the usual tactics when you set out for a 0-0.
Ecuador came through qualifying with the likes of Brazil and Argentina, so they are battle-hardened. I’d be surprised if Ecuador didn’t win here, but at the moment the market doesn’t seem to like them. They have been drifting the past few days – when I checked they were around 2.2 and now they are nudging out towards 2.5. Anyone user of the Football Course will know that you don’t want to spend the game fighting the market, but I’ll be looking for any stalling points to get on Ecuador – perhaps as the game goes on into the second half.
There are a couple of angles here…
The first one is getting on Ecuador to win at the right time. Even if we missed an early goal I think they would offer value at some stage later on – I don’t expect Qatar to create that many chances. I do expect a very cagey start from Qatar, and Ecuador isn’t going to go chasing the game early too. This gives us an ideal opportunity to trade Under 2.5 goals early as it ticks down, gets in and out for a few scalps too along the way. It’s trading at 1.54 at the moment which is a low starting point, but I see it going in a few ticks fast. At the starting point of mid 1.5’s, we don’t want to hold onto it for too long – think of it as a quick trade with a dull start.
In the second half, I will mainly be focusing on trying to find the right moment to get on Ecuador, but we’re going to see fast time decay here too if we get a very boring game without many chances. There will be a lot of opportunity on the draw price in that scenario. I feel the casual football fan will view this game as “boring” and that will drive the market to remember. Not a game to go mad about as we start the tournament, but certainly some angles to play…
Have a good tournament, and don’t forget to check back for daily updates on the blog!
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