2018 World Cup Predictions – Group Betting
The group stages of the World Cup last just under two weeks and in this opening period of the tournament, a grand total of 48 matches are played. Every one of these games is easy to follow with all of the games being broadcast live on terrestrial TV so it’s the perfect spot for some medium-term World Cup bets. What’s more, there is plenty of value out there to be taken advantage of.
UruguayGroup A Winner
Group A is one of the easier looking groups of the World Cup. In Saudi Arabia and host nation Russia they have the two lowest ranked nations in the competition, and the Mohamed Salah reliant Egypt aren’t far from the bottom of the rankings too.
Uruguay, meanwhile, finished 2nd in the South American qualifiers having won nine of their 18 games, and with just one defeat in their last eight outings they will feel confident coming into this one. Not only do they have the likes of Atletico Madrid’s stalwart defenders Diego Godin and Jose Gimenez at the back, but superstar strikers Edinson Cavani and Luis Suarez provide a world class strikeforce at the other end.
SpainGroup B Winner
Spain are our picks of the tournament, and it’s easy to see why. They have an incredibly
talented squad that boasts an envious depth to it as well. They harbour arguably the best goalkeeper in the world in David De Gea, and the quality doesn’t decrease further up the pitch. The likes of Sergio Ramos, Gerard Pique, Isco, and Diego Costa all grace the same stage, and under Julen Lopetegui’s tutelage they have looked back to their best in qualifying.
Portugal are admittedly tough opponents for the top spot, but Spain haven’t lost a game under Lopetegui and had the joint best defence in qualifying. We don’t expect them to lose any of their group matches, and even if they draw against Portugal it’s likely they would top the group on goal difference if Portugal’s Euro 2016 performances are anything to go by.
FranceGroup C Winner
It’s hard to see Group C being led by any team other than France. They boast one of the most talented teams in the entire competition, and their group isn’t expected to be much of a challenge. Peru and Denmark aren’t bad teams by any means, but they are simply not up to the same quality as France.
In Antoine Griezmann, Olivier Giroud, Kylian Mbappe, Alexandre Lacazette, Ousmane Dembele, and Anthony Martial they have one of the most exciting forward lines in world football, and the players behind them aren’t bad either. France haven’t shown their full potential yet, but they should have more than enough to win Group C in Russia.
CroatiaGroup D Winner
Argentina are the bookmakers’ favourites to finish top of Group D, but we think the South American giants are being somewhat overhyped. They very nearly missed out on qualifying for the World Cup at all, and eventually finished some 13 points adrift of Brazil. Since then they have lost 4-2 against Nigeria and 6-1 against Spain in friendlies, so they’re certainly not at their best.
Croatia weren’t the best in qualifying either, but they performed a lot better than Argentina and have a midfield boasting the likes of Luka Modric, Ivan Rakitic, Mateo Kovacic and Ivan Perisic. They also topped their Euro 2016 group ahead of Spain two years ago, and at this price we think they’re great value for money.
The pre-tournament favourites in the bookies eyes, they are most certainly the group favourites in ours. Much like France’s situation, the rest of the teams in Group E are just nowhere near the quality of Brazil.
Switzerland have some decent players and looked good in qualifying, but they only finished 2nd in their qualifying group and weren’t convincing in their 1-0 aggregate win over Northern Ireland in the playoffs. Apart from that, they have Costa Rica and Serbia to outperform, and considering they won the South American qualifiers by a ten point margin you wouldn’t expect that to be much of a problem for Tite’s men.
GermanyGroup F Winner
The reigning World Cup champions Germany head into Russia 2018 as the leaders of the FIFA World Rankings, and while they don’t have the same superstar figures as Brazil and France, they do still have understated quality littered throughout the entire squad.
They are understandably one of the favourites to lift the trophy in Moscow in July, and when their group opponents include Mexico, Sweden, and South Korea, it’s easy to see why they are hot favourites to top Group F. Joachim Low has a team rife with both quality and World Cup winning experience, and it’s difficult to see them slipping up in the opening couple of weeks.
Belgium and England are expected to battle it out for the top spot in Group G, and there are a number of reasons why we think Belgium will come out on top.
Their squad is filled with genuine quality in every position, from Thibaut Courtois between the sticks to Romelu Lukaku up front. The likes of Jan Vertonghen, Radja Nainggolan, Eden Hazard, and Dries Mertens would walk into most teams on the planet, and whilst they haven’t quite lived up to their potential yet, they are improving all the time. Even if they can only manage a draw against England, you would expect the joint top scorers in qualifying to outscore the rather more conservative England in their other two group games against Tunisia and Panama.
This is possibly the toughest group to call, but we think Poland have the slight edge in Group H. For one, they will be very close to home in Russia compared to Colombia, Senegal, and Japan. Add that to the fact that they dropped just five points in qualifying and you can see why we think they’re good value.
Players such as Kamil Glik, Piotr Zielinski, Karol Linetty, and Jakub Blaszczykowski provide a solid base to a team spearheaded by the lethal Robert Lewandowski. The Bayern Munich striker was the top scorer in European qualifying with 16 goals in just ten games, and he could prove the difference in the race for top spot in Group H.