Early Look at The Odds to Win The FIFA World Cup 2018
FIFA World Cup 2018 Outright
Reigning FIFA World Cup champions Germany are the pre-tournament favorites to win what would be their fifth World Cup title, which would put them level with Brazil in the all-time winner’s standings. Germany are experts when it comes to tournament soccer. Their style of play is suited to competitions such as the World Cup as they are rock solid in defense, have a strong midfield and forwards who are capable of finding the back of the net with alarming regularity.
When you look at Germany’s past World Cup results they make impressive reading. After winning their third title in Italy in 1990, Germany reached the quarter-finals in 1994 and 1998, were runners-up to Brazil in 2002, finished in third-place in 2006 and 2010 before winning the 2014 World Cup. +500 (odds courtesy of Bovada) looks like a bargain if you’re looking at backing a team to win the FIFA 2018 World Cup before the competition kicks off.
Write Off Brazil At Your Peril
Brazil and France are joint second favourites to lift the World Cup with odds of +700. Brazil have won the World Cup on five occasions, the last being in 2002 when they beat Germany 2-0 in the final. While nobody can deny Brazil has exceptional attacking talent, they are suspect in defense as was evident by the 7-1 mauling their endured at the 2014 World Cup at the hands of Germany.
Although there are question marks about Brazil’s defense, it would not put me off betting on them to win the 2018 World Cup. The South Americans are ranked first in the world and have lost only two of their previous 15 games (at time of writing) and one of those was against much-fancied Argentina in the Superclasico de las Americas in Australia. Write off Brazil at your peril.
France are a funny team in that on their day they look like world beaters but then can be disappointing in equal measures. France won the World Cup on home soil in 1998 and were runners up in 2006, however, they failed to progress from the group stages in both 2002 and 2010 before reaching the quarter-finals in 2014. Any team that has the likes of Paul Pogba, N’Golo Kante, Antoine Griezmann, and Kylian Mbappe in it has a chance of glory, but I cannot help but think that this World Cup has come too soon for this talented bunch of stars.
Argentina Has All The Ingredients For Success
Spain and Argentina are the next favorites with odds of +800 and +900 respectively. The Spaniards won the 2010 World Cup in South Africa but then failed to progress from the group stages in Brazil in 2014, which caused several pundits to doubt if the team is the real deal.
On paper, Spain have a superb squad of players to choose from and they should link up well together as many play together for their clubs, but something just isn’t right with Spain at the moment and I would need lengthier odds than +800 to part with my cash.
Argentina, two time winners of the World Cup, are currently ranked third in the world and that will entice plenty of people to back them at +900 to win the 2018 World Cup. Two quarter-final appearances in 2006 and 2010 were followed by a runner-up finish in 2014 when they lost 1-0 in extra time to Germany. The Argentina squad has a mix of youthful exuberance and players with veteran status, which is usually a winning formula.
The likes of Javier Masherano, Nicolas Otamendi, Angel Di Maria, Lionel Messi and Sergio Aguero will all be in their mid-thirties when the next world cup comes around in 2022 so chances are they will see the 2018 tournament as their last chance of glory with the national team, and for that reason alone I’d be willing to back Argentina to win the 2018 World Cup.
Potential Outside Bets
If you’re looking at making an outside bet, the likes of Belgium (+1400), Italy (+1600) and England (+2000) are the teams to look at. Out of those three, I’d say Italy are best suited for glory, mostly because they are such a tight defensive unit and they have some aging stars who, like Argentina’s veterans, will see 2018 as their last chance of World Cup glory.
Belgium have a good and powerful squad, but never seem to be able to turn on the magic when it happens, while England seem to be unable to handle the pressure of a major tournament and seem to disappoint their legion of fans time after time; 2018 will be the same for the Three Lions.
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