Arguably, one of the best potential games of the opening round of fixtures at Brazil 2014 is one of the final ones to be played, as Germany meet Portugal in a clash of the Group G favourites.
Whilst the game is billed as being one of Germanic efficiency against Iberian flair, history suggests that things may not pan out that way.
First of all, consider that Portugal, despite being favourites to qualify from their group, are only here because they won a two legged playoff against Sweden. They were held to home draws by both Northern Ireland and Israel and the fact was that if Cristiano Ronaldo was not on the top of his game, the Portuguese were not, either.
Then there is the fact that Portugal have not beaten the Germans in a competitive international for fourteen years. That was in the 2000 European Championship, since when Germany have won 3-1 in the 2006 World Cup finals, 3-2 in the 2008 European Championship and, most recently, 1-0 in the 2012 European Championship.
With neither history nor recent form favouring Paulo Bento’s side, the bet here is a German win. However, with that at a best price of only 1.91 with Paddy Power, you might want to search for some value elsewhere. One place might be the winning margin market, where a Germany win by one goal will get you 3.75 with Ladbrokes, with the same bookmaker offering double that, 7.5, on it being a 1-0 victory.
Alternatively, take a look at the over/under market on goals, where fewer than 1.5 will get you 3.55 from 888.com and more than 3.5 will get you 3.75 at William Hill. With recent history suggesting that games between these two sides go one way or the other, there’s potential for a tidy profit there.