Andrew Hughes thinks Belgium will easily see off England in Saturday's third-place play-off and help to land another weekend multiple in the process
“Usually third-place play-offs are not a reliable betting proposition, but in this case we can make an exception.”
For those not swept up in the hysteria, watching England at this World Cup has been a strange experience. They are well-organised, likeable, and finally have a manager who understands that lumping the ball forwards 40 yards from every goal kick is not likely to be a winning strategy at a major international tournament.
But their on-field performances, as well as their results, didn't quite match the hype. The absence of creativity, persistent vulnerability to simple crosses into the box and lack of a Plan B was all strangely familiar. They beat the teams they were expected to beat but that was their limit. By the end of the semi-final, Croatia's midfield maestros had taken control of the game, as expected, and normal service had resumed.
Usually third-place play-offs are not a reliable betting proposition, but in this case we can make an exception. Within minutes of the end of the semi-final, Roberto Martinez said he wanted to win this one, and even if there are multiple changes, we've already seen how England B versus Belgium B works out. As Dave Tindall points out in his must-read Preview, Gareth Southgate's men were the worst of the four semi-finalists, and Belgium can claim the consolation prize at England's expense.
There's plenty of rugby league action this weekend and you can catch all the latest previews and tips on the Betting.Betfair rugby league pages.
In the NRL, old rivals Manly Sea Eagles and Melbourne Storm both go into this clash in good form. Manly beat Penrith before their bye weekend, while the Storm thrashed St George Illawara to move up to third in the table.
That win against the Dragons was particularly impressive given that the reigning champions were without six key players on State of Origin duty, including Billy Slater, Will Chambers and Josh Addo-Carr. Now that they are back to full strength, they will take some stopping and I'm backing them to edge this one.
NSW Warratahs have struggled against overseas opponents in Super Rugby this year, winning just two out of eight, but their record against their Australian Conference rivals is strong and they can extend their run on Saturday.
So far they have a 7-0 win-loss stat against their four Conference rivals and victory in this game would give them a perfect home and away record as they prepare for their first play-off campaign in three years. They will be unchanged after recording a 75-25 victory over the Sun Wolves last time, and although the Brumbies need to pick up a bonus point to reach the knock-out stages, the incentive of an Aussie derby will ensure that the Waratahs won't lack for motivation. Back the home side for the win.
Total Odds for this multiple:[5.45] Remember, multiple prices are based on our Sportsbook product, so any winnings are exempt from commission.
2018 Weekend Multiple P/L
Staked: 50 pts
Returned: 70.42 pts
P/L: + 20.42 pts
2017 P/L: + 0.99 pts
2016 P/L: + 20.99 pts
2015 P/L: - 0.51 pts
2014 P/L: + 12.69 pts
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