We have been waiting for the last four years, which has felt like a lifetime, but, the time is finally here and the 2018 World Cup from Russia will get started on the 14th of June and will run until the final match on July 15th. It is going to be a full month of the best soccer that the world has to offer and the celebrations will undoubtedly run across the globe as the 32 teams competing will have their countrymen/women in an uproar with every goal, pass, card, win, or loss.
The time has come to give you an update on the teams in the tournament, their odds going in, and predictions on which teams will make it to the later stages. We will break it down by the group and focus on the top teams in each. Also, we will look at each teams' outright win odds offered by 888 Sport and Betfair Sports respectively.
Russia | Saudi Arabia | Egypt | Uruguay
Don't be fooled here, this will be a very tough group, and each of the teams could advance. Russia and Saudi Arabia may be the weaker teams here, despite the home advantage fo the lesser. Russia has made it to the World Cup on four occasions but has never made it out of the Group Stage. In 2014, Russia finished in 24th place. Do not expect them to do much better this time around. To advance, Russia will not be able to slip up against either Saudi Arabia or Egypt. Uruguay is expected to win the group easily, but in the World Cup, anything can happen. Russia and Saudi Arabia face-off in the World Cup opener on June 14th at 16:00 GMT. Odds for outright winners in Group A as provided by 888 Sport: Russia - 41.00, Saudi Arabia - 1001.00, Egypt - 151.00, and Uraguay - 34.00.
Portugal | Spain | Morocco | Iran
Two very strong teams with two of the weakest in the tournament. Don't expect too many upsets here, as both Spain and Portugal are among the favorites to win the entire tournament. Portugal, reigning European Champions are well aware that this could very well be Cristiano Ronaldo's last World Cup, and they will be playing to win it all. Spain, just eight years since its sole World Cup victory is one of the top 3 teams in the world, and will most likely win the group. Punters looking to make an outright bet on any of these teams will find attractive odds at Betfair including Spain - 6.50, Portugal - 23.00, Morocco - 326.00, and Iran - 501.00.
France | Australia | Denmark | Peru
If upsets are what you are looking for, this would be a great group to look for them. Australia is always a very fun, talented team to watch with players that give it their all every match. Will the Aussies be able to make it out of Group C, well it might be worth throwing a bet on them, at least against Denmark and Peru. France will win this group, and most-likely without dropping a single game. The French last won the World Cup in 1998, but Didier Deschamps has a very good team this year and will be expected to do very well. Odds favor France's chances, but you might be surprised at the rest of the odds from this group at 888 Sport. France - 7.75, Denmark - 101.00, Peru - 151.00, and Australia - 401.00.
Argentina | Croatia | Iceland | Nigeria
Another group that could see a lot of upsets, even with a powerhouse like Argentina leading the way. Messi is now 30-years old, and it might be his last World Cup in his prime. Argentina has not won an important trophy in over 20-years, and, they have lost three Finals' in a row, including the last World Cup. One of the most exciting teams to watch at the 2016 European Championships, Iceland hopes to take another run at the later stages of a meaningful tournament. They will not be able to outlast Argentina, but Croatia could be a big game, and Nigeria shouldn't pose much of a threat either. Betfair Sports has Argentina at 11.00 to win it all, Croatia at 34.00, and, both Iceland and Nigeria at 201.00.
Brazil | Switzerland | Costa Rica | Serbia
The Brazil national team is the outright favorite to win the World Cup this year. They bring one of the strongest teams they have ever had to Russia and other than Switzerland, they should not have any trouble making it through to the next round. Brazil's odds at Betfair are 5.50, Switzerland at 101.00, Serbia at 126.00, and Costa Rica at 501.00. Expect Brazil to score many goals this year with its excellent attack.
Germany | Mexico | Sweden | South Korea
Just a bit behind Brazil, Germany is ranked second to win the World Cup. It will be a tough group with Mexico and Sweden kicking at their heels, but Germany does well at each World Cup and 888 Sport, this seems to be the general agreement. To win outright, Germany is at 5.50, Mexico at 101.00, Sweden is at 121.00.
England | Belgium | Tunisia | Panama
England and Belgium are the favorites to move on to the next round. Betfair Sports has posted excellent odds for punters seeking a big payout. For England, the stakes are high at 17.00, but Belgium comes in even higher than the Three Lions at 11.00. Panama and Tunisia are both at 501.00.
Poland | Senegal | Japan | Columbia
This could be the World Cup in which Japan takes advantage of the group and finally makes it to the next round. Colombia are the favorites to advance with Poland, and 888 Sport has offered outright for Columbia at 41.00, for Poland at 71.00, Senegal at 151.00, and for Japan the underdog at 351.00.