The world cup draw took place on Friday and it saw England being drawn in Group G alongside big guns Belgium, Panama and Tunisia. Gareth Southgate will be happy with this as they managed to avoid any of the massive teams even if Belgium has a frightening squad.
As with any world cup draw people will be looking for a group of death and for us it is Group F which does not see a weak team in it. Germany, Mexico, Sweden and South Korea will battle to get out of that one.
The pick of the games though has to be in Group B where Portugal and Spain were drawn together, and an Iberian derby will take place in Russia. Portugal are current European champions and have one of the greatest player to live in Cristiano Ronaldo. That is a lot of pressure for one very small nation.
England will see the draw as favourable but considering the last two World Cups were a massive disappointment for England even with ‘easy’ groups this time around will not be any different. At the last tournament, they did not get out of admittedly a tougher group but Southgate will hope with the likes of Tunisia and Panama they will be able to get through even with a loss to Belgium. England are currently 25/1 to win the tournament.
Belgium like England are perennial underachievers, especially when you look at their team on paper. It is full to the brim with Premier League and European stars yet they have failed to impress on the international stage. Still considering they have the likes of Hazard and De Bruyne 12/1 odds with bookmakers makes them doubly more likely in the bookies eyes to lift the trophy.
At 5/1 the joint favourites are Germany and Brazil. Brazil’s recent 0-0 with England showed a young team playing great football but still not near their old school best. In Neymar they have a superstar but at Barcelona he was heavily supported by a great squad but in PSG and Brazil he has yet to prove he can carry his team to glory. Brazil will also be suffering from a horrific defeat in their home tournament four years ago. It will be interesting to see their response, whether it be that of a dangerous wounded animal with everything to prove or pestered by the ghosts of the past.
Germany on the other hand only have good memories of the last tournament in Brazil. Unlike Brazil or Argentina they don’t have a stand out star but that doesn’t mean they don’t have superstars. What sets them out from the rest is that no matter the star power they always work well as a team and 11 committed Germans with the talent of Ozil, Reus and Mueller is a scary prospect. We suspect that their odds of 5/1 will drop as we get nearer the finals so get your bets on ze Germans while you can.
Surprisingly among the other contenders, it is France that the bookies are liking at 6/1. The French certainly have an exciting new generation. With Pogba leading the team in central midfield tey will definitely be difficult to beat but the French have a gift for shooting themselves in the foot and we are sure there could be fireworks off the pitch that affect their performances on it.
Spain are the surprise odds outsiders at the moment at 15/2 and if you are looking to play the odds then getting money on the Spanish early is the key. There is no doubt they are not the force they were say five years ago but it is simply idiotic not to consider them in any tournament. The likes of David Silva and Andres Iniesta can always slice open any team and in Alvaro Morata they have a focal point they were missing last year.
In the first World Cup since Leicester won the title you might be interested in the rank outsiders. For the brave among you, you won’t find odds of longer than 100/1. It seems bookmakers have learnt their lesson from the 5000/1 craziness of Leicester. Saudi Arabia and Panama are the winners of the odds wooden spoon.
Whatever you may think these odds are likely to change vastly with form and injury updates over the next half a year but make sure you stick with us for the latest Betting Tips and Odds to help you make your decisions.