2018 World Cup Prediction – Each Way Outright Winner
Portugal at 25/1 Each Way
While most of the talk revolves around the traditional big guns of world football, it would be foolish to overlook the reigning European Championship holders Portugal. Admittedly they weren’t the most attractive side in France two summers ago and only actually won one of their seven games in normal time on their road to the trophy, but their tactics were effective and there is little reason that they couldn’t be replicated here.
They come in as 8th favourites to lift the World Cup, somehow behind an England side who’s years of hurt have extended to over 50 years now. Yes, they have been drawn in a group with Spain, but should Lopetegui’s team fail to show up this leaves the door wide open for Fernando Santos’ men. They are led by the unstoppable Cristiano Ronaldo, who score 15 goals in qualifying and is having yet another sensation season at club level. In addition to him they have young striker Andre Silva, who has bagged 11 times in his 20 Portugal appearances, and a balanced blend of youth and experience. Joao Moutinho has over 100 caps to his name, but players such as Bernardo Silva, Gonzalo Guedes, and Andre Gomes are likely to inject a bit of youth.
If Spain do fail to show up to the races then Portugal’s path the the final could be fairly favourable. Should they win their group they would face the runners up of the weak Group A in the Last 16 before possibly taking on the winners of a tie between Croatia and Denmark in the quarters. Germany would probably follow, but as they showed in Paris two years ago they can beat any team on their day. All things considered Portugal are being severely underestimated yet again here, which seems a major mistake when they won Euro 2016 from their ante-post market position of 18/1.