The dust has now settled on World Cup qualifying and in ante post betting for the finals in Russia next summer Portugal are the same price as England to become soccer champions of the world. To win the World Cup you need a talisman, one player that dominates the side and is a world class performer. Step forward Cristiano Ronaldo who inspired Portugal to win the European Championship finals in 2016.
England will continue to produce turgid football while four things are not right: players, manager, performance and format. It’s all very well winning a forgiving group with dyer efforts but it’s then impossible to suddenly go up a level and become genuine contenders in the finals. If something happens to Harry Kane its curtains.
I suppose the same could be said of Ronaldo and Portugal. However, they have had a decent qualifying campaign and there are some young players coming through to share the load. Ronaldo went off injured early in the final of Euro 2016 and his presence on the sidelines inspired his country to 1-0 win against hosts France. PORTUGAL are a good bet at 20/1 with William Hill to win the World Cup.
There are four race meetings in Britain today offering a total of £191,000 in prize money over 30 races. That works out at an average of £6,700 each race which is derisory when you consider how much it costs to own and run a race horse. The funding of British racing requires an overhaul but things will get worse before better if the maximum stake on Fixed Odds Betting Terminals is slashed to £2. There must be a compromise to reduce the current maximum from £100 but not to a nominal figure so perhaps £25 would satisfy both parties.
The most lucrative meeting of the day is on the All Weather at Chelmsford City tonight. There is an interesting conditions race (7.15) in which Red Verdon has the best form. The horse was not totally outclassed in Group 1 company last season and that makes him the form pick. There have been some disappointing efforts this season but RED VERDON can bounce back and win at Chelmsford. (11/2 with Ladbrokes)