Summer of 2018 brings the 21st edition of highly-coveted FIFA World Cup – arguably the most popular football competition on the planet.
This quadrennial international competition is contested between 32 national teams who fight for world glory, the renowned trophy and bragging rights over rest of the planet. With Russia 2018 only six months away, we take a look at early favourites and nations that are most likely to be vying for the title.
Group draw held on 1 December in Moscow gave us a clearer picture on teams’ chances to go through the group stage of the competition and get one step closer to the knockout stages which – in their own merit – are a lottery of sorts.
A quick look at the offers from some of the most reputable betting operators, but according to predictions issues by pundits and football experts, Brazil and Germany are the two nations seen as the likeliest winners of the 2018 FIFA World Cup.
Brazil and Germany won the coveted trophy a combined nine times and head into the showpiece tournament in Russia as two most successful football nations on the planet.
Reigning world champions Germany have been pitted against Mexico, Sweden and the Korea Republic in Group F and BetVictor has them at 9/2 to defend the world title in Russia. In the meantime, Brazil is drawn alongside Switzerland, Costa Rica and Serbia in Group E and can be backed at 9/1 to pop the champagne on 15 July.
Euro 2016 hosts and runners-up France have been installed as front-runners behind the two top nations with Les Bleus needing to beat the group challenge first against the likes of Australia, Peru and Denmark.
Spain and Argentina follow next as two countries that complete the top five favourites to lift the World Cup trophy next summer in Russia.
Talent-packed Belgium is shorter odds than group rivals England with two European nations available at 11/1 and 17/1 at 888sport, respectively. Red Devils and the Three Lions have been handed a favourable group with Tunisia and debutants Panama pitted against them. If you are to bet on World Cup, they may be an option well worth.
England is still soaring from their Euro 2016 exit at the hands of minnows Iceland and will be taking nothing for granted as they prepare to hit the ground running in group G.
Sitting in 8th place behind all of the nations above are the reigning European champions Portugal and Ballon d’Or winner Cristiano Ronaldo.
The Portuguese national team has not been given favourable odds to succeed at the World Cup with Cristiano Ronaldo’s form on a downfall and the fact that his team will have to go through a tough group B against Morocco, Iran and neighbours Spain.
Real Madrid star Ronaldo will be pushing hard to drive his team forward in the competition that might very well be his last chance of winning the world champion title. Same goes for his arch-rival Leo Messi who – much like Ronaldo – is expected to carry the biggest load on his back in Argentina’s world cup campaign.
Alongside PSG forward Neymar, these two are the biggest favourites to scoop the Top Goalscorer Award.