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The 2006 World Cup starts this Friday. If betting on individual match-ups is still too mundane for you, have a look at the wide array of World Cup props that will have you glued to your television set following these interesting angles of the tournament.
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2006 World Cup Top Goal Scorer (courtesy of Bodog)
Considering eight or nine teams have been considered good enough to win this year's event, you could imagine the depth of options in choosing the player that will net the most goals in Germany.
Thierry Henry - France (12/1)
You could select any one of the trio of Brazil superstars with just as much confidence, but Henry is probably the best pure striker not on the South American giant roster. France is a team that is expected to advance well into June, and with teammates and fellow playmakers David Trezeguet and Zinedine Zidane boosting the French attack, look for plenty of Henry opportunities as well as results.
Ruud van Nistelrooy - Netherlands (15/1)
The Dutch not only have the talent to claim FIFA gold this summer, but they are expected to do just that. Not having qualified in 2002, the Netherlands will be exceptional this summer, with the possibility of a dream final with Brazil July 9 not out of the realm of possibility. Their most potent offensive player has been performing on the highest level in the English Premiership for Manchester United and throughout World Cup Qualifying for his national squad. If Holland can reach at least the semi-finals, van Nistelrooy would be a smart bet to top the scoring charts.
Dark Horse: Zlatan Ibramhimovic - Sweden (38/1)
The charismatic 24-year-old leads the attack for the best team not getting any press in Germany. He has the presence at 6'3'' and is a deadly marksman from far behind the box. Ibramhimovic and fellow teammates have the ability to challenge England as the top team in their group. Advancing to the elimination stage and beyond is a must for him to win top scoring honors, but without a doubt he is one of the finest strikers in Germany and with showcase his talents the first couple of weeks.
Teams to meet in the 2006 World Cup Final (courtesy of Bodog)
Brazil's most formidable opponent will come from the winner of group C. Both Argentina and Holland pose the best chance to dethrone the defending champion, but arguably the most difficult decision would be whether it is Argentina or Holland that wins their group. The runner-up would be placed in the same bracket with Brazil and thus the final could not occur between these teams. The winner of group C could face Brazil in the 2006 Final.
Brazil vs. Argentina (12/1) / Brazil vs. Netherlands (16/1)
Germany vs. Brazil (10/1)
Both nations will need to win their group to be placed on opposite sides of the elimination bracket. With that in place, Germany can meet Brazil in the final if you feel they can knock off either Argentina or Holland, depending on who wins group C. Brazil will likely have to go through England, but would be the favorite regardless of their opponent.
France vs. Brazil (14/1)
Same scenario: France needs to place first in their group G to meet Brazil in the final. If you favor France over an Argentina/Holland match-up as well as a possible Italy threat, this ideal match-up could take place a month from now in Berlin.
Group Exacta Forecasts (courtesy of Pinnacle)
Note: Each team will hold seven points at the end of group play. Goal differential will decide winner, meaning whoever embarrasses Trinidad and Tobago the most will be named winners of group B.
Note: Netherlands 1st, Ivory Coast 2nd produces and excellent payout for the possible African nation upset. Odds: +1160
Winner: Czech Republic
Note: Health of striker Andriy Shevchenko is reason for pick. If Ukraine's top player is fully healthy, Ukraine 1st, Spain 2nd. Odds: +292