World Cup 2018 Predictions
The World Cup finals are almost upon us, and although Ahmed Elmohamady (Egypt), Mile Jedinak (Australia) and Birkir Bjarnason (Iceland) are all current Villans representing their national teams at the finals, most fans will be hoping – probably forlornly – that England will perform successfully in a manner that has not been seen in the past decade or so.
The smart betting money will be going elsewhere, though. We’ve teamed up with FootballTips, a tipping site known to predict correct scores reliably to bring you a complete World Cup betting guide to predict how this summer’s tournament will potentially unfold.
Group A – Russia, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Uruguay.
Although they are the hosts, Russia are the lowest-ranked teamed in the tournament, which is some statistic considering the nation’s size compared to other countries in the tournament. Russia even getting out of the group seemed unlikely until Egypt’s talisman Mo Salah was injured in the UCL final. A bet on Russia to make it to the next round at long odds, might be worth it, as Salah clearly isn’t 100%.
“I’m better now. I hope to play the first game against Uruguay, but that will depend on how I feel when the match is approaching,” said Salah recently.
Uruguay to top the group would be a sensible bet, although if Salah is fully fit, the runners-up in last years African Nations Cup could certainly challenge them for top spot.
Group B – Portugal, Spain, Morocco, Iran
There really should be no surprises here, as Portugal and Spain will be too hot for both Morocco and Iran. Spain are favourites to top the group but with their ageing side, Portugal could be the better bet with Cristiano Ronaldo looking to impress at what could be his final World Cup.
Group C – France, Australia, Peru, Denmark
You could probably bet your house on France to top the group here, and most bookies have them at around 3/10 to do just that. Denmark should join them in the next round if they step up, as both Australia and Peru scraped into the finals via the last vestiges of the qualification process.
Group D – Argentina, Iceland, Croatia, Nigeria
The World Cup is already missing Italy and Holland, so FIFA must have breathed a sigh of relief when Argentina made it through despite at one stage not looking as if they were going to make it. Could Iceland spring a surprise again and make it through the group? The bookies don’t seem to think so as they’re only 9/1 to win it. Nigeria, despite being the first African team to qualify for Russia, failed to make the African Nations Cup last year, so it’s uncertain if this is one of their vintage teams.
The safe money will probably be on Croatia to join Messi’s men in the round of sixteen.
Group E – Brazil, Serbia, Switzerland, Costa Rica
Well, we all know that with that draw Brazil will be playing more than three games at this summer’s tournament. Second place in Group E is much more difficult to predict though, as both Switzerland and Serbia performed well during qualification. Remember how Costa Rica performed in the last World Cup? Only people with short memories will totally right them off, although the climate in Brazil last time round would have aided their effort.
Group F – Germany, Mexico, Sweden, South Korea
Germany will have no problems in getting through their group, although they might have to rely upon defensive methods as they seem a little light up front. Selecting BTTS ‘no’ for Germany’s group games would not be the dumbest decision you’ve ever made. Expect an exuberant Mexico side to join them although Sweden – even without Zlatan Ibrahimovic – may have something to say about that. South Korea will certainly fancy their chances if they can get a shot of confidence with a positive result against Sweden in their opening fixture.
Group G – Belgium, Panama, Tunisia, England
If you’re an England fan you’re probably thinking that Southgate’s boys can beat both Panama and Tunisia (which they should do – a good choice for a win double). Belgium are a team full of talents and should prove good enough to shove England back down into second place in the group, although saying that, Wales managed to beat them in the Euros last time round. Belgium’s so-called ‘Golden Generation’ hasn’t performed as a proper team unit yet in major competitions and can get flustered when under pressure.
Group H – Poland, Senegal, Colombia, Japan
Perhaps the closest of all groups with all four teams aiming to progress. In short, in betting terms, it’s best to stay away from this group. If Columbia can replicate and build-on their performances from the last World Cup and perform on European soil, then James Rodriguez and the boys should progress.
Poland can be frustrating and often fail to live up to their potential. If they can start well against Senegal in their opener, then expect Robert Lewandowski to potentially be the group’s top scorer. If the African team can get something from the Poles though, then it’s going to be a tight group.
Japan will be well organised, but do they carry enough of an attacking threat to match their group rivals?
Round of Sixteen
Predicted games: Uruguay v Portugal; France v Croatia; Spain v Egypt; Argentina v Denmark; Brazil v Mexico; Belgium v Colombia; Germany v Switzerland; Poland v England.
Don’t expect many shocks in the Round of Sixteen. If things go the way the betting public seem to think they will go, then the only games without a strong favourite would be Uruguay v Portugal, Poland v England and Belgium vs Columbia.
In truth, Poland v England is the perfect game for the traditional England capitulation, but we’re going to stick our neck out and have faith that Sterling and Kane will be too good for the Polish defence.
We’ll give Belgium the win against Columbia due to the game taking place on European soil. Although, despite that, we’re still tipping Uruguay to do a number on the European Champions Portugal. Yes, sometimes there’s no logic to this!
Predicted games: Uruguay v France; Brazil v Belgium; Spain v Argentina; Germany v England.
Guess what? England’s World Cup hopes will come to a bitter end as they are once again beaten by Germany, who don’t even need penalties to go through. We’d like to see Belgium better Brazil but we don’t think that will happen, and elsewhere we’d put money on France and Spain to progress.
Predicted games: France v Brazil; Spain v Germany.
Two real corkers. Brazil and Germany will be the favourites of course, but we might just fancy a sneaky quid or two on France and Spain. We can’t, though, see the final being anything but …
Final prediction: Brazil v Germany
The two best sides in the world will meet in Moscow on July 15th – is this a lazy prediction? Maybe. Predicting who will win is less simple though, but hand on our hearts we’d have to plump for … Germany South American sides do not do well in Europe-based World Cup Finals, and we feel Germany will prevail. We don’t think it’ll be 7-1, though.
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