World Cup Guide 2018 from Russia
For the 21st consecutive year, the FIFA World Cup will be played in Russia starting June 14th and continuing until July 15th. Russia was awarded the privilege of hosting this year’s World Cup back in December of 2010. The World Cup is an international football tournament that FIFA association members participate in.
This event is making its triumphant return to Europe, as it hadn’t previously been played there since 2006, when it was held in Germany. No other FIFA World Cup has ever been played in Eastern Europe until now. Each venue being used in this year’s tournament is located throughout European Russia. This was done in order to cut down on the amount of travel participants and spectators have to endure. All in all, 11 cities are hosting tournament games at 12 different venues. The last game of this year’s event is being held at Moscow’s Luzhniki Stadium.
The opening match will also be held in Luzhniki Stadium, with Russia in the A1 position versus Saudi Arabia. When the final draw was held for this tournament, Russia and Saudi Arabia were the tournament’s lowest ranking teams. At the same stadium will be the second of the semi-finals, to be held on July 11th with the first being held July 15th. At Saint Petersburg’s Krestovsky Stadium, July 10th marks the playing of the first semi-final while July 14th marks the third place play-off of the tournament. Within each group, the teams ranked number one and number two will advance to round 16 of the event. A round-robin approach is used for each match that takes place.
The FIFA World Cup’s last tournaments will include 32 teams from all over the country. These 32 are made up of the host team as well as the other 31 teams that qualified for the event this year. Twenty of the 32 participating teams are participating in the event are doing so after also having participating in it in 2014. This includes the team from Germany, who are the defending champions. 2018 marks the debut of Panama and Iceland, who have never participated in the FIFA World Cup previously.
With approximately one month to go until Russia hosts the 2018 FIFA World Cup, bets on the winning team should be placed now. To help make the smartest bet, it is essential to know a little bit about the odds of certain teams winning over others.
The team from Germany accomplished a perfect record of 10-0-0 during the qualifying matches for this year’s World Cup. Along the way, the team outscored other teams by 43-4. The goal of the Germany team was to make history for winning back to back World Cup tournaments, something that has not been done in 50 years. No other team has won World Cup tournaments back to back until Brazil did it, first in 1958 and then again in 1962. Between 1994 and 2002, Brazil advanced to participation in the finals of the World Cup. However, over the course of the previous three World Cup events, Brazil did not participate. With a +500 odds of winning, they are this year’s favorite team.
The World Cup’s defending champions boast a 450+ odds of winning. This information was gleaned from NewGamblingSites.com monitoring various online sportsbooks. Group F includes potential winners Mexico, Sweden and South Korea with +450, +550 and +1200 odds respectively. Germany is the favorite to win with the odds being -335, due to the speed of the team as a whole.
In the case of Argentina, their odds of winning the 2018 FIFA World Cup are +800. They are the only country to experience a drought in tournament participation, just as Brazil did. Though those teams that were runners in 2014’s FIFA World Cup are participating in 2018’s as well, possible landmines are affecting Group D. When it comes to teams from Croatia, Nigeria and Iceland, online bookies are favoring a win by Argentina. This is after Argentina lost 4-2 to Nigeria in a friendly game between the two teams that was played in November of 2017.
World Cup Predictions
The Group A Prediction
Uruguay should have too much about them for any other side in this group, and I think they top the group – which will be crucial for likely avoiding Spain from Group B. Egypt and Russia will battle for second, and the match between them is critical – I do think Egypt’s countering style will do well v a slow Russian side.
One interesting thing will be if Saudi Arabia pick up a result somewhere and spoil someone’s party – totals bettors will want to pay close attention to what style of play they will bring to the tournament, as
there will be a lot of opportunity in that regard.
Russia 2-1 Saudi Arabia // Egypt 0-0 Uruguay
Russia 1-2 Egypt // Uruguay 3-0 Saudi Arabia
Saudi Arabia 1-1 Egypt // Russia 0-1 Uruguay
1) Uruguay (7 pts, +4 GD)
2) Egypt (4 pts, +1 GD)
3) Russia (3 pts, -1 GD)
4) Saudi Arabia (1 pt, -4 GD)
The Group B Prediction
Spain are the pick of the bunch quite clearly for me here, and knowing they can probably get a KO round match against a weak second place side from Group A, they’ll want to win this. I think second place will be a battle between their Iberian neighbors Portugal and African neighbors to the south, Morocco. I want to go with the trendy upset, but I just really worry about Herve Renard managing outside of Africa, and have a hard time seeing Cristiano dumped out at the groups in what is probably his last ever World Cup. Iran could well pick up a point somewhere and spoil the party, much like their Gulf rivals Saudi Arabia in
Morocco 0-0 Iran // Portugal 0-2 Spain
Portugal 1-1 Morocco // Iran 0-2 Spain
Iran 0-1 Portugal // Spain 1-0 Morocco
1) Spain (9 pts, +5 GD)
2) Portugal (4 pts, -1 GD)
3) Morocco (2 pts, -1 GD)
4) Iran (1 pt, -3 GD)
The Group C Prediction
This is a really difficult group to call and I’m not confident whatsoever in saying what teams will finish where. Outside of France finishing last and Australia finishing first, no outcome would surprise me that much. With that being said, against a mercurial Denmark team and an in-form, hard-working, team-centric Peru side, as well as a slightly unknown quantity in Australia, I am happy to go against France’s very high point total, set at 7.5. To hit the over they would have to win every game, and I think there is a decent chance of that not happening, especially because they may have won the group by the time they play Denmark on the last day – and in that scenario Denmark would likely need a result and be very motivated. Again, I don’t think France are quite as guaranteed to be amazing as everyone else
does, so I’m happy to take them on in this way.
France 3-1 Australia // Peru 1-1 Denmark
Denmark 2-1 Australia // France 1-1 Peru
Australia 1-1 Peru // Denmark 1-2 France
1) France (7 pts, +4 GD)
2) Denmark (4 pts, 0 GD)
3) Peru (3 pts, 0 GD)
4) Australia (1 pt, -3 GD)
The Group D Prediction
This group is unbelievably difficult to call. I think that as long as Messi is playing, Argentina probably do top this group, but I don’t think they’ll win every game against 3 tough opponents. Every team in this group brings something to the table, and it is going to come down to how teams match up stylistically more than anything – that is more based on lineups than anything else, and that’s why this group doesn’t really interest me from a futures standpoint. It will be a group to stick to the individual match betting on.
I’ll make Argentina and Croatia my picks to go through, but as mentioned, I could see just about any
outcome in the group standings here.
Argentina 2-0 Iceland // Croatia 2-2 Nigeria
Argentina 1-1 Croatia // Nigeria 0-1 Iceland
Nigeria 1-3 Argentina // Iceland 1-2 Croatia
1) Argentina (7 pts, +4 GD)
2) Croatia (5 pts, +1 GD)
3) Iceland (3 pts, -2 GD)
4) Nigeria (1 pt, -3 GD)
The Group E Prediction
Brazil will finish top here. Switzerland and Serbia will battle for second place, and their match will be critical for that. I think Serbia might get lucky by playing an already qualified Brazil (thus potentially weaker/rotating) in their last game, whereas Switzerland have to play them first. Costa Rica finish last
here, and I’m not sure they get more than a point.
Costa Rica 1-2 Serbia // Brazil 2-0 Switzerland
Brazil 4-0 Costa Rica // Serbia 1-1 Switzerland
Switzerland 1-0 Costa Rica // Serbia 1-2 Brazil
1) Brazil (9 pts, +6 GD)
2) Serbia (4 pts, 0 GD)
3) Switzerland (4 pts, -1 GD)
4) Costa Rica (0 pts, -6 GD)
The Group F Prediction
I think Germany will have enough about them to finish top here, and they will see that as critical in order
to likely avoid Brazil, who should win their group, in the first knockout round. Mexico are the next best
side and I think they finish second. Sweden and South Korea will probably do battle for 3rd and 4th place. I think most people see this group the exact same as me, and on paper it does seem one of the more straightforward groups to call. I don’t think there is necessarily a ton separating Mexico, Sweden, and South Korea, but it’s enough to make me confident in the straight forecast Germany/Mexico.
Germany 2-1 Mexico // Sweden 2-1 South Korea
South Korea 1-3 Mexico // Germany 2-0 Sweden
South Korea 0-3 Germany // Mexico 1-0 Sweden
1) Germany (9 pts, +6 GD)
2) Mexico (6 pts, +2 GD)
3) Sweden (3 pts, -2 GD)
4) South Korea (0 pts, -6 GD)
The Group G Prediction
Not much to go into here. Belgium and England are way better than the other two in this group and will advance. I like England a lot this year, if you can’t tell, and I’ll say they win the group. Tunisia are better
than Panama and can grab the 3rd spot.
Belgium 4-0 Panama // Tunisia 0-3 England
Belgium 3-0 Tunisia // England 2-0 Panama
England 2-1 Belgium // Panama 0-1 Tunisia
1) England (9 pts, +6 GD)
2) Belgium (6 pts, +6 GD)
3) Tunisia (3 pts, -5 GD)
4) Panama (0 pts, -7 GD)
The Group H Prediction
This group is absurdly difficult to call. I do think that Japan are the worst team in the group, and barring a real surprise and short-term turnaround, will not qualify. However, the other 3 in the group are not separated by much, if anything, and it will come down to the stylistic matchups and which players perform when it counts.
Colombia 2-1 Japan // Poland 2-2 Senegal
Japan 1-1 Senegal // Poland 1-2 Colombia
Senegal 2-1 Colombia // Japan 0-1 Poland
1) Colombia (6 pts, +1 GD)
2) Senegal (5 pts, +1 GD)
3) Poland (4 pts, 0 GD)
4) Japan (1 pts, -2 GD)