There's a classic episode of The Simpsons where the family watches a football match that "will determine once and for all which is the greatest nation on earth - Mexico or Portugal!"
Well, think of this as being along similar lines - Stuff v NZ Herald, to determine once and for all, or, at least for this year's World Cup, the greatest punter.
In Stuff's corner, boxing hobo @boxcarfred - former ball-playing libero for the Tamatea High School 1st XI. For the Herald, goal-poaching mercenary @shollow1. It's attack versus defence, cosmopolitan Auckland v cowtown Hamilton, fading youth and tight hamstrings v fading memory and bad back.
The combatants have $30 each to spend among nine picks - none the same; greatest return wins. Being the gentleman of this duel, I allowed Holloway to pick first, and the dastardly cad took two that I'd posted earlier this week.
Steven Holloway's picks:
5 on Brazil to win @3.75
3 on Messi to win golden boot @9.00
2 on Lukaku to win golden boot @25.00
4 on Chile to qualify to knockout stage @1.85
3 on England to beat Italy @2.90
5 on Argentina to make semi-finals @1.95
3 on Spain to be eliminated at last 16 @3.50
4 on Colombia to win Group C @1.67
1 on Fred to win golden boot @20.00
Ian Anderson's picks:
4 on Portugal to make the semifinal @6
3 on Netherlands to make the semifinal @6
2 on Portugal to win Group G @3.50
7 on Russia to win Group H @3
2 on Spain to be eliminated in the group stage @5.25
4 on Belgium to be eliminated in the last 16 @2.35
6 on Group G most goals @5.50
1 on Hulk to win golden boot @40
1 on Goetze to win golden boot @65
Fred or Hulk - who ya got?