Davis Cup Semi Final Betting: Murray and Goffin to guide GB and Belgium to victory

Murray can lead GB to the final, where they may well face Belgium
Murray can lead GB to the final, where they may well face Belgium

Andy Murray is looking to bounce back from his US Open disappointment by guiding Great Britain to the Davis Cup final this weekend and Sean Calvert returns to preview both semi-finals...

"So, it's GB and Belgium for me this weekend, with Murray and Goffin holding all the aces for the hosts and the Belgian side look the bet at around 1.501/2."

Back Belgium to beat Argentina at 1.51/2

We signed off from the US Open with a winner when Novak Djokovic defeated Roger Federer in the men's singles final on Sunday and while it's a well-deserved week off for those two Andy Murray has no such luxury.

Murray will carry the weight of a nation on his back yet again this weekend when the Scot tries to secure Great Britain's place in a first Davis Cup final since a thrashing at the hands of Argentina in 1981.

Argentina only used two players - Guillermo Vilas and Jose Luis Clerc - that weekend in Buenos Aires and didn't drop a set in a 5-0 whitewash of a GB team that fielded Buster Motttram, Richard Lewis, Andrew Jarrett and Jonathan Smith.

This time around it will be GB, who face Australia, who may as well only bother fielding the one player - Murray - such is the near total reliance on the world number three by this British side.

The task facing Murray is to beat two from Bernard Tomic, Sam Groth, Thanasi Kokkinakis and Lleyton Hewitt in singles and then he'll probably pair up with brother Jamie for the doubles.

There is no Nick Kyrgios for Australia and no James Ward for GB after both were dropped and Ward even snubbed for Dan Evans when his original replacement Kyle Edmund became injured.

So, Evans is handed the role of plucky underdog in the second singles, and unless Ward is also injured that is some snub for the Londoner, who in fairness to Leon Smith has been in dire form of late on tour.

It hands an unexpected opportunity to GB bad-boy Evans, whose career has had numerous ups and downs and he has that sort of unpredictability that could upset Tomic and co. After all Evans did beat Tomic at the 2013 US Open.

Lately, Evans, whose other big wins have been against Kei Nishikori and Philipp Kohlschreiber, has been playing at Futures level, but since losing in Wimbledon qualies he's gone on a run of 16-2, latterly beating Radek Stepanek in Vancouver.

The streaky Brummie is likely to be more confident than Ward, who is 0-9 since a fortunate draw at Wimbledon, and his last match was a straight sets loss to world number 430 Ilya Ivashka.

This one will be held, perhaps fittingly, in Scotland at the Emirates Arena in Glasgow on an indoor hard Green Set surface and this tie depends on Murray's state of mind after that US Open loss to Kevin Anderson.

Personally, I would expect this to be the perfect opportunity for Andy to get over that loss quickly and he'll most likely never get a better chance to win the Davis Cup for GB.

And that should be a big inspiration for Murray, with GB's last Davis Cup triumph coming way back in 1936, and having his name in the record books again after a similar drought-ended Wimbledon win should be enough for Murray to get pumped.

Beating the Australians virtually single-handedly and leading his side to a first final since 1978 when Mottram and John Lloyd were taken apart by John McEnroe in California.

I expect this to be another heroic effort by Murray and the 1.625/8 about a GB win looks the call here, but it's a bit short for my liking, and I'd like around 1.84/5 on the Brits here, particularly given that Murray missed the team photo call last night due to illness.

I'll be in Brussels for the other semi final, which features Belgium and Argentina and I'd rather back the hosts at 1.51/2 than Britain at a slight bigger price, as this one looks winnable for the Belgians.

David Goffin has been in good form over the summer and although he had to retire at the US Open with a stomach bug he looks good to win his two singles on indoor hard against Leo Mayer and Federico Delbonis.

Only Mayer is really comfortable on a hard court of that quartet and he's bang out of form right now, so it will only need Steve Darcis or Ruben Bemelmans to win one singles rubber or a doubles victory to win this tie.

The back-ups of Diego Schwartzman and Carlos Berlocq are likely to be of little use on indoor hard and the hosts look solid here unless Goffin chokes it away.

Since Juan Martin Del Potro and David Nalbandian became unavailable through retirement and injury Argentina have won only one tie on hard courts (3-2 against Israel in the USA) and it's rare they play away from clay.

Both of their wins this campaign have come on clay and they have a shocking record in Davis Cup semi finals, having won only three of their last nine in the last 14 years.

Belgium's reward for winning this will be home advantage in the final and with Goffin in good form and Bemelmans having made the last-32 of the US Open and played well against Stan Wawrinka they should have enough to take this one.

So, it's GB and Belgium for me this weekend, with Murray and Goffin holding all the aces for the hosts and the Belgian side look the bet at around 1.501/2.

Recommended Bet
Back Belgium to beat Argentina at 1.51/2

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