Out of the 32 teams at this Summer’s World Cup, only 8 can realistically win it.
Colombia are a very vibrant and skilful team but even they would have to be considered the darkest of dark horses as a 40/1 outside shot.
Their South American neighbours, Uruguay, boast the attacking ferocity of Luis Suarez and Edinson Cavani, but I would put them outside of the Top 8 of realistic contenders.
European Champions, Portugal, have to be taken seriously but can they really continue to play such dour, defensive football and hope Ronaldo pulls off miracles? Possibly, but not all the way to the final, hopefully, for fans of beautiful football everywhere.
England, Argentina and Belgium are teams that I would put into the same bracket; they’re sides that contain a few individual star players but lack any team cohesion or fluidity or any sense of a plan.
Contrasting with their star players, these teams do not have very good managers, Roberto Martinez of Belgium being the stand out case, although I do hope I’m proved wrong about Gareth Southgate.
Having said that, I do have a feeling that England will not disgrace themselves this Summer, and by their standards, have a decent World Cup.
If you’re looking for the winner though, it will be from one of these teams – Brazil, Spain, Germany, France. And I would probably take France off of that list. Yes, they do have an easy group awww.nd should progress, but the cautious approach of Didier Deschamps has a lot of French fans feeling very frustrated, as he struggles to fit all of the wonderfully talented players he has into a functioning team.
What can I say about Germany? They will be there, in the semi’s and maybe beyond.
A month ago I was certain Brazil would win Russia 2018. They finally have a great manager again in Tite – his record is now Won 15 out of 19 games, losing once and scoring 42 while conceding just 5. Brazil were the first to qualify for this tournament and they’re looking really good to watch as well as being effective. Brazil seem to have a world class player in every position and will take some stopping, but they’re as low as 4/1 with some bookies.
For slightly better value I would go with Spain at 7/1 – when I saw them destroy Argentina 6-1 in March it forced me to reassess my opinion. This new generation of Isco and Asensio are exceptional footballers and I’m not sure how you can get the ball off them, let alone beat them.,
Likely winner – Brazil, Best Odds 9/2 @ Ladbrokes
Value Bet – Spain, Best Odds 7/1 @ 888Sport