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– New daily Bet Builder column kicks off with a look at Monday’s action
– A Harry Kane goal leads our selection for England vs Iran
– Going low on goals and corners in Netherlands vs Senegal
In our new column for the World Cup, we’ll be picking out some value Bet Builder selections for each day’s action. For Monday, our focus is England’s opening clash in Group B against Iran and Senegal’s contest against Group A favourites the Netherlands.
England head to the World Cup on the back of a poor run of results but it would be unwise to read too much into an underwhelming Nations League campaign.
UEFA’s secondary international competition is low priority at the best of times and June’s edition was tacked onto the back of a hectic domestic schedule, which itself followed a European Championship summer.
Key players were exhausted and manager Gareth Southgate had to balance the recuperation of a flagging squad with the need for trials and experimentation.
Results were not the main focus.
A far better gauge were England’s solid performances in World Cup qualifying and their results at Euro 2020, when they beat Croatia, Czech Republic, Germany, Ukraine and Denmark and remained unbeaten until a penalty shootout loss to Italy in the final.
That is the fit and focused version of the Three Lions we can expect to see in Qatar.
However, Iran should not be underestimated.
Manager Carlos Queiroz has returned to the Team Melli dugout to try and replicate the impressive displays of the 2018 World Cup, where Iran beat Morocco 1-0, drew 1-1 against Portugal and pushed Spain hard in a 1-0 defeat.
Key striker Sardar Azmoun is likely to miss this match through injury but Mehdi Taremi is arguably a better selection on current form.
The Porto forward is in excellent form this term, having scored five goals in five Champions League appearances.
Iran have scored in 21 of their last 22 outings and while most have been against weaker opponents, they have also recently netted against World Cup finalists Senegal, South Korea and Uruguay.
An impressive 17 different players scored for the Three Lions in qualifying but Harry Kane remains the undisputed go-to man.
Kane scored 12 of England’s 39 qualifying goals while next best was defender Harry Maguire with four.
As the team’s penalty taker and focal point, Kane will be far the likeliest to score and arrives in excellent form, having scored 14 goals in 23 appearances this season.
The Netherlands arrive as one of the form teams in world football.
Back-to-back victories over Belgium and Wales in the Nations League, a friendly 4-2 win over Denmark and a draw against great rivals Germany in the past eight months mark them out as a team to watch in Qatar.
Indeed, the Netherlands remain unbeaten since Louis van Gaal returned to the helm following a disappointing Euro 2020 campaign for the Dutch — they have won 11 and drawn four of 15 games under him.
Senegal suffered an enormous blow on the eve of the tournament when Sadio Mane was ruled out through injury.
The Lions of Teranga are far more than a one-man team but their attacking play is unquestionably built around the brilliance of the Bayern Munich forward, who is as much a creator and leader of the press as goalscorer.
The impact of Mane’s absence cannot be overstated but manager Aliou Cisse runs a well-organised, defensively astute team who will now likely focus on remaining compact against the Group A favourites.
Senegal generally run a pretty tight ship defensively and with the emphasis for the Africans now on not losing rather than pushing for a winner against their toughest Group A opponents, Cisse’s men may attack in a more cautious manner than usual.
That potential lack of Senegalese ambition should lead to fewer corners down the Netherlands’ end of the pitch.
At the other end, Senegal employ a solid midfield and defence which features Chelsea pair Edouard Mendy and Kalidou Koulibaly in goal and at centre-back.
In front of those is a possible defensive midfield three of Everton’s Idrissa Gueye, Nottingham Forest’s Cheikhou Kouyate and Leicester’s Nampalys Mendy, which could easily see the Netherlands halted more often than not before reaching the byeline.
With LiveScore Bet’s Bet Builder, you can edit your selections in the betslip.
So whether you’ve built your own or chosen one of the pre-built ‘popular’ builders, you can change any of the individual selections without having to go back to the main menu.
To change a line, simply click on the selection, choose the new bet and return to the betslip.
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