6 July ~ Paddy Power’s James Ellis looks at the betting on the first semi-final

Holland have always been well fancied in this World Cup – even before a ball was kicked they, along with Argentina, were the most backed team with Paddy Power. There will be some quietly excited punters who backed them at the 16/1 before the tournament started with only Uruguay standing in the way of a final appearance. They are favourites for this match and rightly so after disposing of Brazil in the previous round and 4/6 is a backable price for the Dutch to win inside 90 minutes.

Uruguay will be on such a high after their run to the semi-final that they cannot be underestimated – 5/1 is a decent price if you fancy it, but you have to think they were fortunate to get past Ghana and they will miss the suspended Luis Suárez. Remember if it ends 0-0 after 90 minutes you could get the money back from your losing bets (see site for details).

5/1 Uruguay Win
5/2 Draw
4/6 Holland Win

The forward lines will have a familiar look with Diego Forlan leading the Uruguay attack and Arsenal's Robin van Persie the spearhead of the Dutch. Van Persie leads the first scorer market at 4/1 whilst Forlan is a 7/1 chance. Given Forlan has scored more so far and will be given extra responsibility in the absence of Suárez he looks a good price. Wesley Sneijder is to be the player with the best value for Holland and he’ll be well backed at 7/1 to open the scoring. Along with Spain's David Villa he’s running away with it in the Player of the Tournament betting.

First Scorer
4/1 Van Persie
11/2 Robben
7/1 Forlan
7/1 Sneijder
8/1 Kuyt
11/1 Abreu
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If this game does go into extra-time it’s Holland who are still 13/2 favourites to win during those additional 30 minutes. Uruguay are a massive 17/1 and at that stage of the match when tiredness and nerves are setting in anything can happen. Then should it go to penalties (where the Dutch have a record to equal England) both sides are 10/1 to win. One other standout bet that should raise a few eyebrows is the first team to collect a booking. In the past Uruguay have been accused of being an overly physical side and with the nimble players such as Arjen Robben lining up for Holland they look a great bet at 4/6 to get the first yellow card.

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