The 21st World Cup will be held in Russia beginning in June next year, despite concerns over the bidding process, hooliganism and possible racist abuse of players from the terraces. 2018 Football World Cup betting tips, odds & predictions can be found below.
With only three teams definitely qualified for the tournament yet – hosts Russia, Brazil and Iran – it is hard to make any firm predictions as to who will do well, but the recent Confederation’s Cup may give some pointers.
This dry-run for next year’s tournament was also held in Russia, and was won by reigning World Cup winners Germany, beating Chile in the final. More ominously, they won the trophy with a largely young side, leaving many of their more established stars at home to rest.
All indications are, therefore, that Germany will be the team to beat again next year.
2018 Football World Cup Betting Tips here:
Beyond them, it is likely that the winners will be a European nation. Brazil in 1958 are the only South American team to win a World Cup in Europe, and although they have qualified strongly this time around under new coach Tite, it is questionable whether they will be strong enough to compete with the world’s best in European conditions come next June.
There are also the psychological wounds inflicted on Brazil by their semi-final thrashing at home at the hands of Germany during the last World Cup.
Elsewhere, the South American challenge might come from Argentina, Chile and Columbia. However, none are yet certain to qualify directly from the group phase, Argentina has issues with its defence, the Chilean squad is ageing and Columbia are inconsistent.
Given this, and the fact that neither Africa nor any of the other confederations are likely to muster a serious challenge in 2018, then the winner is likely to be European. But, if not Germany, who?
France could be a strong bet, as they have a number of emerging young talented players like Kylian Mbappe, Ousmane Dembélé, and Thomas Lemar, augmented by existing talent in the form of Paul Pogba and Antoine Griesman.
Spain won the cup in 2010 and can be expected to perform well again, whilst Italy, with a strong Juventus core, are always dangerous in tournaments.
Outsiders to lift the Cup next July could be Portugal or Belgium. Portugal won Euro 2016, although they may be considered too dependent on Cristiano Ronaldo, whilst Belgium currently have the so-called “golden generation” of players, with the likes of Eden Hazard, Romelu Lukaku and Kevin de Bruyne.
However, doubts remain over the ability of coach Roberto Martinez to meld these diverse talents into a winning team, and the mental strength of the players.
Our Football World Cup betting tips & predictions for the 2018 edition says it’s going to be Germany again.