World Cup watch: New deal for Dante, Gomez injury worry for Germany
Coral experts are continuing to monitor every story that has a potential impact on the World Cup finals, which are now less than three months away.
Our latest news has implications for tournament hosts and 3/1 favourites Brazil, Germany (11/2), the Ivory Coast (125/1) and England (28/1).
Bayern Munich reward Dante with new contract
Left-footed Brazil centre back Dante has penned a one-year contract extension with Champions League holders, and 7/4 favourites to retain the trophy this season, Bayern Munich.
The former Borussia Monchengladbach defender, 30, was being tracked by 6/4 Premier League title market leaders Manchester City, but will now remain at the Allianz Arena until the summer of 2017.
“It was the best decision of my life to come to Bayern,” Dante told Munich’s official website.
Mario Gomez still struggling with knee injury
Fiorentina and Germany striker Gomez continues to experience problems with his left knee, after ligament damage and inflammation has caused him to miss much of the campaign.
Viola boss Vincenzo Montella has to bring Gomez, 28, off during his side’s away victory over Napoli, who are above the Florentine team in Serie A.
These continual struggles will be of concern to German national coach Joachim Low, as both Gomez, and his other senior frontman Miroslav Klose have both endured injury-hit campaigns.
Veteran stager Klose is a 33/1 shot with Coral to win the World Cup Golden Boot, while Gomez is price at 50/1. A lack of alternative options may force Germany to blood the inexperienced Pierre-Michel Lasogga at the finals, or play with a false number nine.
I turned down Arsenal in January – Salamon Kalou
Ivory Coast international attacker Kalou has revealed he rejected a loan bid from Arsenal in the January transfer window to stay at Ligue 1 side Lille.
Former Chelsea forward Kalou told French newspapers: “I wanted to finish third [thus securing Champions League football for next season], prepare for the World Cup and go to the Stade de France to compete in the Coupe de France final.”
Alongside ex-Blues teammate Didier Drogba, Kalou and the Ivory Coast are second-favourites at 4/1 to win Group C at the finals, which also contains Colombia, Greece and Japan.
Ross Barkley mature enough for England start – Roberto Martinez
Everton manager Roberto Martinez claims attacking midfielder Barkley is mature enough to play senior tournament football with England at the World Cup finals.
“Ross has a true love for the game, and that would enable him to cope with any level of expectation,” the Toffees boss said. “That is a big strength to have at his age. If he gets his chance in Brazil, he won’t be daunted, no matter how big the occasion.
“I think it is in his nature to cope really well with whatever is in front of him. He is very mature in that respect, and if he is asked to go to Brazil, I am quite sure he will embrace whatever role he is handed without feeling any pressure.”
Barkley is a 6/1 shot to start the Three Lions’ first match in Brazil against Italy.