World Cup 2018 betting favourites
The World Cup pits the best teams from across the globe against each other. Who is the most likely to win the trophy? Here is a look at some of the favourites.
The current World Cup holders will be making their way to Russia as favourites to retain their trophy. Since beating Argentina 1-0 in the Brazil 2014 final, the Germans have kept their momentum up, and it would be difficult to rule them out.
A European Championship final loss to Portugal is the only blip on an otherwise outstanding record. A confederations cup victory in Russia (without a few key players), an Under-21 Championship victory a good sign for the future and romping through qualification without losing a slip-up are all pointing towards Germany, yet again, having a good World Cup tournament.
This will be Joachim Lowe’s twelfth year in charge of his nation, and it appears that Germany’s faith in him as manager is really reaping dividends.
The French team is filled with incredibly talented footballers all over the field, and currently plays home to the most expensive squad in world football in club transfers, with Kylian Mbappe, Paul Pogba and Ousmane Dembele all costing enormous fees, among many other huge names.
A semi-final knock-out in their home tournament of Euro 2016 was a genuine disappointment for the French – they believed that with their squad on home turf, they should be winning the trophy – and will be hoping to rectify this in Russia.
If anything, the French squad has gotten even better in the intervening years with some of the best youth players in the world starting to make their way into the senior team, and if manager Didier Deschamps’s can get the best out of his players, they could be world champions by July 2018.
Brazil, hosts of the previous world cup, left the tournament in embarrassing fashion following a 7-1 semi-final loss to the eventual tournament winners Germany. Since that loss, the team has had plenty of makeover, and has seen them perform excellently well in qualifying, comfortably making their way to the finals in first place.
Neymar, who was a driving force behind their success at their home tournament, has come of age and now, as the most expensive footballer of all-time, will be hoping to take his country to the highest honour available.
With the likes of Phillippe Coutinho, Roberto Firmino and Gabriel Jesus, Brazil are not short of an attacking threat. They also have an experienced defence, who will play an integral part if Brazil are to perform well in the competition.
A 2016 Olympic Gold medal is a good sign for the future of Brazilian football, and perhaps this tournament will arrive at the right time for them to make amends for 2014.
Of all the teams playing at World Cup 2018, Argentina have perhaps the most potent strike force. Lionel Messi, Sergio Aguero, Gonzalo Higuain, Paolo Dybala and Angel di Maria are all available up-front for the side who reached the previous World Cup Final, but they have not perhaps performed as well internationally as they have at club level.
A difficult qualification campaign sees Argentina at risk of not making the tournament at all, but based on squad strength alone, you cannot rule Argentina out of staking a claim for the World Cup trophy. Boasting possibly the greatest player of all-time on their team in the shape of Lionel Messi, both he and his countrymen will be looking to go one step further than the previous tournament and win football’s highest honour – which could very well cement Messi as the greatest of all time in the process.
European Championship winners in 2008, World Cup winners in 2010 and European Champions once more in 2012, it seemed impossible that Spain could ever be removed from the throne at the top of international football. This all changed when they failed to qualify from their group at the world cup finals in Brazil.
A major reworking has taken place throughout the squad, replacing the older players with youth coming through and it appears to be having a positive result, with Spain one of the most impressive countries in qualifying for the tournament, even earning a victory against Italy in the group stages – the first loss the Italians have had in qualifying in 13 years!
Alvaro Morato, Marcos Asensio, David De Gea, Koke and many more young players will be hoping to emulate the success of the last generation of Spanish footballers and win the World Cup in 2018.
Belgium do not hold much pedigree in International tournaments, but there’s no doubt about the talent at their disposal now. A complete reworking of the youth system in the country has meant that a new crop of superstars all came into their element at once, meaning Belgium have put themselves as contenders for any international tournament they’re involved with.
Under Roberto Martinez and Assistant Manager Thierry Henry, The Red Devils will be hoping to get the most of the many talented individuals available – Eden Hazard, Thibaut Courtois, Romelu Lukaku, Kevin De Bruyne, and many, many more – and take home the World Cup.
Previous tournaments have showed that the team has possibly not lived up to expectations – individual performers not working well as part of a team. If Belgium can negate this, they will no doubt be in the running for the competition, and are justified to be considered amongst the favourites to take home silverware at the World Cup in 2018.