En route to KAISERSLAUTERN, Germany
Well, there was a completely different feeling to Frankfurt today. Next to our apartment is a Persian restaurant that’s quite good – there are lots of Iranians in our neighbourhood – and three generations were sitting down at the four benches in front for a lunchtime meal before Iran – Team Melli – were to play Portugal out at the Waldstadion. Downtown was roiling with fans from the two nations, young bucks draped in the Iranian flag walking around with cans of lager next to older women dressed traditionally. It’s moments like these that you see at the World Cup that sound kinda trite, but they really are powerful.
Some notes, meanwhile, from my latest trip to the betting shop, where I cashed my ticket from the Korea-Togo game earlier this week:
Brazil remain favourites, but they’ve drifted up ever so slightly to 2.80 to 1.
Argentina have been cut in half, from 9 to 1 when we arrived last week to 4.25 to 1. On the odds board, anyway, this is now a two-horse race, Brazil no longer the clear favourite.
Netherlands, who I got at 14-to-1, are down to 10-1.
Germany started at 8.50 to 1, are down to 7-1.
Czech Republic were 32 to 1, now down to 24-1.
Spain (16.5 last week) down to 10-1.
As for today’s matches, I passed. Thought about playing the Ghana-Czech Republic draw, but it was a sickly 5 to 2 proposition.
Next stop, Kaiserslautern.