- 60 votes
World Cup 2014 Outright Winner Betting Preview
The World Cup in Brazil is fast approaching with the domestic leagues now finished and attention turning to the most famous tournament in the world. We take a look at the main contenders and lively outsiders.
With home advantage Brazil can surely go far in this tournament, they have a decent array of talent probably not as strong as in previous years though. Neymar is a real talent but has only shown it in glimpses at Barcelona – the feeling is that Brazil have a young, energetic team that might just fall short against a more mature team. Probably a little short priced at 3/1 even with the home fans roaring them on but should be confident of at least making the semi-finals.
With a strike force including Messi, Aguero and Higuain, plus Di Maria, Mascherano and Lavezzi in midfield then you have to give Argentina a big chance. Defensive frailties have let them down in the past and would again appear to be their major weakness. But with their players fully adapted to the South American climate and conditions, they might just be able to blow away many of their rivals with their attacking prowess.
Germany are as strong as ever – technically sound with a good unit of athletic, clever players. The climate will count against them, perhaps too much, but with talented players like Ozil, Muller, Kroos and Gotze pulling the strings they have to have a big chance of at least getting to the semi-finals.
Spain at 7/1 could be a very decent price indeed, their players will be used to a warm climate and they haven’t dropped so far since winning the last World Cup and Euro 2012. They probably lack a world class forward, but this side passes teams to death and doesn’t really need an out and out forward. They have enough midfield talent to fill 3 international teams and their possession, passing football could be perfect for wearing teams down in the hot Brazilian climate. They look good value at 7/1.
Belgium are everyone’s favourite dark horse for this tournament, with players like Kompany, Hazard, Courtois and Lukaku in their ranks and a great team ethic, they stand a good chance of springing a surprise and probably have a good chance of getting to the quarter finals. Some of their players are still quite young and inexperienced at the top level though, so it might be one tournament too soon for this new generation of talented prospects.
France always have to be respected in big tournaments but this squad just seems to be lacking a little ‘va va voom’. They had to beat Ukraine in a play-off to get here and Samir Nasri is missing due to a fall out with manager Deschamps. France often seem to have problems in their camp at major tournaments so it’s hard to see this group of players having enough to win it in Brazil.
Italy look like a decent outfit this year, probably lacking a world class striker but everything else behind that is exactly as you would expect from an Italy team. A top goalkeeper in Buffon still, a very solid defence, a classy midfield including Pirlo and Marchisio and some good young talents up front, Italy are a solid tournament team and at 28/1 could be a lively outsider.
Now here is a really interesting contender at 28/1. With arguably one of the top 3 strikers in the world in Luis Suarez, plus a solid and technically decent team behind him and also being a South American team who will be used to the climate, Uruguay look a very solid contender to go far and England should be very afraid!
Never have expectations been lower from England fans going into a World Cup. England find themselves at a crossroads as the old generation have been moved out and a bunch of talented but inexperienced youngsters have taken their place. The central defence of Cahill and Jagielka won’t strike fear into the top strikers in the world and England probably don’t have much hope of getting beyond the Quarter Finals, which would in fact be a great achievement.
Colombia are another South-American team with real talent and who could have slipped under the radar a bit. They finished second to Argentina in the South American qualifiers and have top talents like Falcao and James Rodriguez in their ranks. Possibly a better proposition than Uruguay as an overall team and should have good support in Brazil, they look worthy of an outside bet at a best-priced 33/1 with Bet365.
Portugal needed a play-off against Sweden to qualify and weren’t convincing in their qualifying group games. They rely too much on star man Cristiano Ronaldo and whilst a solid enough proposition, they just don’t seem to have enough else in their team to be a real threat beyond the Quarter Final stages.
Holland have a new group of youngsters coming through and have had to blood these players possibly sooner than they would have liked due to a lack of high quality defensive options. Further up the field they have some great but ageing talents such as Van Persie, Robben, Sniejder and Van Der Vaart, but these guys are probably in their last world cup and slightly past their peak. Along with the large amount of youngsters, this leads to fairly low expectations for Holland this year who would be doing well to get to the Quarter finals, although they do have a very good, experienced coach in Van gaal who is heading to Manchester United after these finals.
And here are a couple of lively outsiders for a bit of fun:
Chile are a superb team to watch who play a speedy, attacking style and have a load of pace and creativity in their ranks. Being a South American team, the climate and general conditions in Brazil will suit them and with key players such as Barcelona’s Alexis Sanchez, Juventus star Arturo Vidal and Napoli’s Eduardo Vargas, they have some extremely talented individuals to call on who have that extra star quality. Who knows how far their fearless, attacking style will take them?
Ivory Coast 150/1
Ivory Coast have some very talented players including some decent strikers such as Drogba, Gervinho, Bony and Doumbia, fed by the outstanding Yaya Toure in midfield. The climate won’t be a problem and this talented bunch could prove good value at 150/1.