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World Cup Free Picks – New Zealand vs. Slovakia Line

New Zealand vs Slovakia Cup 2010 Betting Picks + Odds

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Group F Gambling Predictions

Matchup: New Zealand v Slovakia
Date: Tuesday, June 15, 2010
Time: 7:00 AM EST
Venue: Rustenburg
TV: ESPN (In USA)

World Cup Fixture Odds: New Zealand +675 / Slovakia –250 / Draw +325

Progressing beyond the group stage will be a huge achievement for either one of these teams in a group that also contains favorite to win the overall tournament – Italy, and football constant Paraguay.

The All Whites, who have only been in the World Cup once before in 1982, and who then exited during the group stage, have the lowest odds of anybody in the competition to lift the trophy.

Slovakia’s expectations are slightly higher, but are still the lowest of any European team in terms of odds to win.

This will be New Zealand’s second appearance and first in 28 years. They earned a spot in the 2009 FIFA Confederations Cup, only to play poorly, making an early exit.

They enter having beat Bahrain in a playoff and having won the first five games of qualifying overall. Ricki Herbert was quoted as saying his team has spent the last four years giving everything they had for this moment. While Herbert is known for pulling a quality performance out of players, unfortunately for this team, it’s just not enough.

Beyond team captain and centre back Ryan Nelson, and player of the year and Australian top-scorer Shane Smeltz, there isn’t a lot to talk about player wise. Many are part timers and few are standouts.

Scoring will be a major issue, with a shutout completely possible by the Slovaks.

Slovakia qualified for their first ever World Cup emerging as a powerful representative from the former Czechoslovakia, a nation who participated in eight finals overall.

Vladimir Weiss guided Slovakia into the UEFA Champions’ League Group phase 2005-06 and now has successfully led the team through qualifying with a 1-0 win against Poland to seal the top spot in the group and their first World Cup bid as an independent nation.

They have a decent side and could have a few tricks up their sleeves, but lack the experience at this level, and key players to really make a serious run.

Luckily, New Zealand will serve as an excellent first encounter. Captain and midfielder Marek Hamsik had six strikes in qualifying, while striker Robert Vitteck and defender Martin Skrtel are quite capable as well.

New Zealand really have very little chance of doing anything in the World Cup, but Slovakia will be hoping to contend for second place in the group, in which case they will definitely need to take away three points from this match and must do so with as many goals as possible.

Slovakia vs. New Zealand Round 1 Free Pick:

I expect a big win for Slovakia, 3-0.

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Matt Martz is a sportswriter for the Bakersfield Californian located in Central California.

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