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 By Derek Bilton

Lionel Messi's fresh misery? Harry Kane the man for England?

We correctly tipped up Antoine Griezmann to score first for France against Australia at 100/30 but, rather like Spain's defenders, were left cursing Cristiano Ronaldo's sublime hat trick on Friday evening. It wasn't a super Sunday for favourite backers in Russia either, with both Germany and Brazil failing to oblige at short prices.

Running total: -£5.50

The Banker

Uruguay looked solid in beating Egypt even though they needed a late goal to get over the line in their Group A opener. Meanwhile, Saudi Arabia looked genuinely clueless at times as they lost 5-0 to Russia on day one, effortlessly making a case for them being the worst team in a World Cup (possibly since Saudi Arabia in 2002). Things could get worse against La Celeste, who were semi finalists in 2010 and have the squad to go deep again.

Selection: £7 on Uruguay and No (Result and Both Teams to Score) at 4/7 with bet365

The Tasty Treble

Denmark (5/6) were workmanlike in beating Peru but should be too strong for Australia, who look truly limited as an attacking force and look to have bottom place sewn up in Group C. Much will depend on the brilliant Christian Eriksen (11 goals in qualifying) but Denmark can be trusted by punters to get the job done on Thursday. So too Portugal, who showed enough against Spain to suggest they can land odds of 3/5 and beat Morocco. Ronaldo was sensational against the Spanish and even at 33 shows no signs of slowing down. Finally South Korea may struggle against Mexico (8/15), who will still be buzzing after that 1-0 win over Germany. They fully deserved to beat the Germans after putting on a counter-attacking masterclass and can put the squeeze on a Korean side who seem too reliant on Tottenham's Son Heung-Min.

Selection: £4 on the treble at 3.49/1 with bet365

The First Goal Flutter

James Rodriguez, the Golden Boot winner in Brazil four years ago, looks revitalised after leaving Real Madrid for Bayern Munich and the 26-year-old is the talisman and creating driving force behind Colombia, who can see off Japan on Tuesday. La Tricolor have retained the services of wily coach Jose Pekerman, a man who knows how to get the best out of Rodriguez, and the player who was top scorer in qualifying with six goals looks too big at 5/1 to score first in Saransk.

Selection: £3 on Rodriguez to score first at 5/1 with bet365

Bet Builder: Create your own personalised bet

The Wildcard Tip

Argentina legend Diego Maradona labelled their 1-1 draw with Iceland a "disgrace" and it could pay to back Croatia to beat them on Thursday. Coach Jorge Sampaoli is under huge pressure already and let's not forget this is a side who managed to score just 19 goals in 18 matches during CONMEBOL qualification. They have an embarrassment of attacking riches but are clearly struggling in terms of balance and Croatia, one of the most exciting teams to watch during Euro 2016, look juicy here at bigger than 3/1.

Selection: £3 on Croatia to win at 100/30 with bet365

The Bookie Basher

A national holiday was declared amid wild scenes as Panama qualified for their first ever World Cup after a late goal saw them sneak through North American qualifying, but they arrive in Russia as arguably the weakest side on paper. An ageing squad who are 55 in the world rankings should be no match for England on Sunday, and a 3-0 win for the Three Lions could be the bet at 5/1. In Harry Kane, England have one of the deadliest marksmen in world football and he can help put La Marea Roja to the sword in Nizhny Novgorod.

Selection: £1 on England to win 3-0 at 5/1 with bet365

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