World Cup hard to call

  • Last Updated: July 6 2014, 11:01 BST

The bookies are struggling to find a favourite for the World Cup after the semi-final line-up was set.

Neymar will miss the rest of Brazil 2014
Neymar will miss the rest of Brazil 2014

Argentina beat Belgium 1-0 on Saturday, while the Netherlands progressed by defeating Costa Rica on penalties.

The pair will face off in the semi-finals on Wednesday, 24 hours after Brazil play Germany.

Ahead of those last-four ties, Brazil, Germany and Argentina are all available at 11/4 if you shop around.

Coral spokesman John Hill admitted: "It is still very difficult to call this competition at the moment."

Most firms slightly favour Argentina although William Hill have all three at 5/2. The Netherlands are the outsiders at 4/1 (BetVictor).

Brazil lost their grip on clear favouritism after star man Neymar was ruled out of the tournament.

The Barcelona forward suffered a back injury in his country's 2-1 quarter-final win over Colombia on Friday, leaving Brazil with a distinct lack of attacking firepower.

While the 22-year-old has netted four times at the finals, fellow strikers Hulk and Fred have managed just a single goal between them.

They had been as short as 7/4 before the news broke.

Sky Bet's Chris Spicer said: "Much expectation was placed on Neymar heading into the World Cup and we had him only second to Lionel Messi in our top goalscorer betting, with it difficult to see where else the goals would come from.

"We've been thoroughly unimpressed by his fellow frontmen and are therefore now happy to oppose the hosts in our outright, with Germany and Argentina possessing far more potent attacking threats."

After Messi, Robin van Persie and Arjen Robben all failed to register a goal on Saturday, Colombia's now-eliminated James Rodriguez was cut further to 8/11 by several firms to finish up as the tournament's top goalscorer. bwin still currently offer 3/4 about a player who has six goals to his rivals' four.

Messi is 4/1 with betway, while Germany's Thomas Muller is a best-priced 11/2 with Stan James and youwin.

  • Posted at 1100 BST on 06/07/2014.