Soccer Picks: Confederations Cup Nigeria vs. Uruguay

Mike Richardson

Wednesday, June 19, 2013 3:42 PM GMT

Thursday night's match sees Nigeria take on Uruguay after a very impressive -if somewhat one-sided- six-goal stunner against Tahiti on Monday night.


After a storming 6-1 display against Tahiti, Nigeria is seen as one of the big guns of the Confederations Cup. However, they have yet to take on Uruguay, who are fighting for survival, so it will be no walk in the park. Let's take a look at which team will bring more value to your soccer picks.

As it stands, Spain and Nigeria are both sitting on three points after one game; while a defeat for Uruguay on Thursday night would all but guarantee their exit from the competition, at this early group stage.

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Spain will still be seen as clear favourites to win the group and probably to hoist the tournament as well, but with a +5 goal difference, Nigeria is the team people are talking about now.

Soccer odds have Nigeria winning at +350, a draw at +250 and a win by Uruguay stands at -125. It’s surprising that the bookies fancy Uruguay as Nigerians have yet to be defeated in their last six games. They are looking at three victories and three draws in that run, with three clean sheets in those half-dozen matches.

Uruguay by comparison have only won two of their last five games and most recently were being beaten 2-1 by Spain. Still, even a consolation goal against Spain is nothing to be ashamed of. They have managed to keep just two clean sheets in their last five games but they failed to score more than one goal in any of those. 

Nigeria don't look like they know how to lose games. They’ve haven't been overly prolific in terms of scoring, notching only a single goal per match in four of their previous five games before their match against Tahiti. However, it does start to look like they are saving their best football for this competition.

I certainly wouldn't blame you if you bet on these sides drawing this game. The line for a score of 0-0 is available at +900, 1-1 is at +550 and 2-2 is +1400. You might think that 1-1 is a lot more likely as that score has reared its ugly head twice in the last six games for Nigeria and once for Uruguay, and I would have to agree with you.

The magic runes tell me not to bet on a draw. They tell me to back a clear winner and I'm going against the bookies on this one.

I don't think that they’ll keep a clean sheet though as they only managed one out of their last six games too. Uruguay have scored in four of their last five games and were only completely locked out by Chile back in March.

Free picks: Nigeria wins 3-1, available at +4000 with Bet365