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We look ahead to the latest round of matches in the Nations League3

Nations League Friday preview

We've got our best bets for Friday's action as Wales face a Nations League showdown with Denmark in Cardiff while world champions France are in action in Holland.

Wayne Rooney thanks England fans for their support4

Rooney grateful for send-off

Wayne Rooney will cherish his final England appearance but revealed it was perhaps a blessing in disguise he did not add to his record-breaking goals haul.

Tin Jedvaj celebrates5

Croatia set up Wembley showdown

Tin Jedvaj's stoppage-time strike earned Croatia a thrilling 3-2 victory over Spain in Zagreb to set up a winner takes all Nations League clash with England.

Croatia v England: Best bets for the wonderful Commentator Bingo market

Our 'best' bets for Commentator Bingo
Our 'best' bets for Commentator Bingo

England take on Croatia in Moscow on Wednesday night looking to reach their first World Cup semi-final since 1990.

The Three Lions overcame Colombia and Sweden in the knockout stages to reach the last four, whilst Croatia got past Denmark and the hosts Russia.

Zlatko Dalic's men were taken to penalties in both of their encounters though, whereas England secured their first ever penalty shootout victory in their win over South American outfit Colombia.

Our betting preview for the contest can be found here, where we analyse both sides and provide two best bets for the game.

However, Sky Bet have had one market throughout the entire World Cup that has caught the eye, and that is 'Commentator Bingo' for each of England's World Cup games.

You can view the full market by heading here.

Tom Carnduff takes a look at some of the 'best' phrases to back - alongside an explanation for each decision.

The rules

Before we get going - it's best to clear up the rules for the market.

As Sky Bet put on their website:

  • Bets Settled on Exact Words spoken by either commentator during Live in-play action
  • From Kick-Off to the Final Whistle (Inc. ET, NOT Inc. Penalty Shootout)
  • Studio Pundits DO NOT Count
  • Only ITV TV Commentators Count

It's also worth remembering that, unlike our normal betting articles, there is no 'track record' per se - so please keep that in mind before placing bets here.

I've tried to avoid phrases, instead opting for single words as it gives a greater chance of success. The only exception to that rule is full names, where they are included for obvious reasons.

At this point, I'm not sure who the commentary team for this one are - but at lot of the phrases I'm putting forward aren't specific to one person.

Bobby Robson - 1/2

England manager Bobby Robson on the bench during the World Cup semi-final against West Germany in 1990
England manager Bobby Robson on the bench during the World Cup semi-final against West Germany in 1990

Let's start off with the shortest price one, and that is Bobby Robson at 1/2.

Robson was the last manager to lead England to a World Cup semi-final back in 1990, where they lost to West Germany on penalties.

It seems to make a lot of sense for the commentary team to mention Robson given the significance of this occasion, and how England have had a 28-year wait to reach this point.

I'd imagine a line of 'Gareth Southgate, the first England manager since Bobby Robson to reach the World Cup semi-final...' could be uttered during commentary.

It's a short-price, but a likely winner.

Euro 2008 - 8/13

England failed to make Euro 2008 after defeat to Croatia
England failed to make Euro 2008 after defeat to Croatia

In one of the more recent encounters, England met Croatia in a shock defeat in Euro 2008 qualifying, which stopped the Three Lions going to the tournament.

A 3-2 defeat saw England miss out, with a Scott Carson howler the most memorable moment.

Nico Kranjcar gave Croatia the lead, thanks to Carson's error, before Ivica Olic scored a second.

Frank Lampard and Peter Crouch levelled, but Mladen Petric's long-range effort ensured that England would stay home as Steve McClaren lost his job as manager of the national team.

Waistcoat - 4/6

Delight for Gareth Southgate after the win over Sweden
Gareth Southgate's waistcoat has been popular back home

I was genuinely surprised to see waistcoat at 4/6, as I'd have thought it would be a lot shorter.

Gareth Southgate's waistcoat has helped create a fashion revolution back in England, with one retailer reporting a 35% increase in sales.

When the camera pans to Southgate during the game, it'll be difficult for a commentator not to mention the waistcoat.

You know he'll be wearing it, and for the purpose of this market, you hope that they will discuss it.

Wrestling - 10/11

Colombia's players argue with the referee
Colombia's players argue with the referee after giving away a penalty for wrestling down Harry Kane

A running theme throughout England's World Cup campaign has been set-pieces, specifically corners, and there has been a lot of physical play during those times.

To simplify it, there has been a lot of wrestling in the opposition area which has been beneficial to England - and could be beneficial at a shade of odds-on in this market.

England will look for more corners to give them an opportunity to pounce - and that also gives the commentary team opportunity to discuss the wrestling in the box that they experienced against Tunisia, Panama and Colombia.

It all depends on how they phrase it, but it'd be hard to ignore that it has happened in previous games when the Three Lions prepare a set-piece.

Tired Legs - 5/4

Vedran Corluka, Luka Modric and Mario Mandzukic celebrate after victory over Russia
Vedran Corluka, Luka Modric and Mario Mandzukic celebrate after penalty shootout victory over Russia

Croatia have had to go to penalties in both of their knockout games so far, and you know fatigue could play a part in the latter stages here.

Therefore, it's fair to say that Croatia will be operating on 'tired legs'.

It helps even more if they game does go past 90 minutes, where it'll be hard to ignore the line.

It's slightly above even-money, and seems decent value.

Ivica Olic - 2/1

Ivica Olic rounds Scott Carson of England for Croatia's second goal
Ivica Olic rounds Scott Carson of England for Croatia's second goal

See 'Euro 2008' for most of the context here, but Ivica Olic struck for Croatia in that famous victory over England.

Having been played in by Eduardo, the then-Hamburg striker went around Carson, who was already having a poor game, and rolling the ball into an empty net.

The commentary team will surely mention that night back in 2008, and you're essentially gambling on them listing the goalscorers from that day.

Davor Šuker - 2/1

Davor Suker of Croatia celebrates after the World Cup quarter-final match against Germany
Davor Suker of Croatia celebrates after the World Cup quarter-final match against Germany

A legend of Croatian football, Šuker was a star for them at the World Cup in 1998.

It wasn't just at that tournament, but throughout his entire international career he proved that he knew where the net was. In 69 games, he scored 45 goals for Croatia.

He's been mentioned on commentary during previous Croatia games, and hopefully he'll be mentioned again here.

If you're a commentator it's probably more difficult to not discuss Šuker during the match.

Wembley - 2/1

England flag on display at Wembley
England flag on display at Wembley

Wembley makes this list for two reasons, and neither is to do with the fact that England play the majority of their home games there.

The first of which is the fact that the game back in 2008 was played at the national stadium, and the venue could be referenced in discussions about the tie.

The second being that England actually come up against Croatia in the UEFA Nations League in November. Where at? Yep, you guessed it, Wembley.

They'll probably discuss future meetings, which could see the word Wembley pop up at some point.

Sheffield - 5/2

Harry Maguire gives England the lead
Harry Maguire gives England the lead against Sweden

Two of England's three centre-backs come from Sheffield, starting their careers at Sheffield United.

Given Harry Maguire's impact so far, there could always be the case of mentioning his 'rise to the top'.

That means he has to start somewhere, and that start will undoubtedly be in Sheffield.

Niko Kranjcar - 3/1

Niko Kranjcar scores for Croatia against England
Niko Kranjcar scores for Croatia against England

Refer to both 'Euro 2008' and 'Ivica Olic' for this one - because the reasoning behind it is pretty much the same.

Kranjcar opened the scoring during that game on a rainy night in London. He found space 30 yards out and let fly with a dipping right-foot shot that bounced just in front of the goalkeeper. Carson could only parry the ball into the roof of the net.

Add in the fact that he spent a big part of his career at Tottenham, and he could be mentioned in discussions about the North London club related to Harry Kane, Dele Alli, Eric Dier and more.

I'm not specifically putting forward a 'best bet' in this for obvious reasons, but if I had to pick one to back at good value, this would be it.

Brolly - 4/1

Steve McClaren saw his England failto qualify for Euro 2008
Steve McClaren saw his England fail to qualify for Euro 2008

I've spoken enough about 2008, but brolly could pop up with very good reason.

It hammered it down that night, really hammered it down, and Steve McClaren was pitchside with his umbrella.

The press would label him the 'Wally with a Brolly' - and the commentary team could make reference to those headlines.


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Odds correct as of 1600 BST (09/07/18) - odds may fluctuate

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Most Read Football

Check out today's Paper Talk1

Paper Talk: Mourinho wants Godin

Manchester United want Diego Godin but must pay more than £53million for Milan Skriniar

Saturday's Sporting Life's Accumulator is available at 14/12

Sporting Life Accumulator

This week's Sporting Life Accumulator is an all-home four-fold from League One and League Two, enhanced to 14/1 by Sky Bet.

We look ahead to the latest round of matches in the Nations League3

Nations League Friday preview

We've got our best bets for Friday's action as Wales face a Nations League showdown with Denmark in Cardiff while world champions France are in action in Holland.

Wayne Rooney thanks England fans for their support4

Rooney grateful for send-off

Wayne Rooney will cherish his final England appearance but revealed it was perhaps a blessing in disguise he did not add to his record-breaking goals haul.

Tin Jedvaj celebrates5

Croatia set up Wembley showdown

Tin Jedvaj's stoppage-time strike earned Croatia a thrilling 3-2 victory over Spain in Zagreb to set up a winner takes all Nations League clash with England.

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