It’s now been two days since the 32 nations participating in the 2018 FIFA World Cup learned their faith.
Friday’s draw at the Kremlin turned out to be a fascinating, glamorous event which, at times, resembled the Eurovision song contest. The musical repertoire did little to tone down the anticipation and anxiety as some of the most iconic football elegantly completed the group draw.
Here in our Instagram post you have the full group outlay in two pictures.
With the World Cup in Russia approaching at rapid speed and with groups drawn we now have a slightly clearer picture of what to expect when the ball starts rolling next summer.
And with odds already published, here is our early betting analysis for your consideration.
Group A: Russia, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Uruguay
What we have here is Uruguay as firm favourites at 11/10 betting odds to top the group and home nation – Russia – as another team expected to progress to the next stage of the competition. Led by Mo Salah, the Egyptian national team already performed a miracle by qualifying to the World Cup and they would definitely need another one to go through to the knockout stages.
Group B: Portugal, Spain, Morocco, Iran
European champions Portugal must have had their hearts drop to their knees finding out they will have Spain to fight for a pace in the knockouts, but the draw ended up being considerate to Cristiano Ronaldo and co. knowing that Iran and Morocco are not exactly a match for two of Europe’s best football sides. Portugal can be backed at 1/4 price to claim the leading spot in their group.
Group C: France, Australia, Peru, Denmark
France could not have imagined a better scenario that the one they got in the Kremlin. Denmark are an intriguing side, but Les Blues are packed with individual quality that should have no issues against them and coach-less Australia and one of the weakest sides of the second seeds. A price of 1/3 on France is a safe bet in this case.
Group D: Argentina, Iceland, Croatia, Nigeria
As first sight it could strike you as if Argentina will walk through this group without any problems but Croatia and Iceland are two of Europe’s dark horses and definitely sides that could ruin anyone’s plans. We should not forget Nigeria, a traditionally tough African opponent. Therefore, an 8/13 price on Leo Messi and his side is not portraying the true difficulty of the challenge ahead of this South American nation.
Group E: Brazil, Switzerland, Costa Rica, Serbia
Tite’s team appears to have had a same share of bad luck as Argentina with the draw. Brazil are undeniable favourites to top the group but Switzerland, Costa Rica and Serbia are all sides of pretty much the same quality, more than capable of pinching a point here and there just to make things more interesting and complicated. And with 1/3 betting odds on Brazil, this price is almost disrespecting towards the other three teams.
Group F: Germany, Mexico, Sweden, South Korea
With an incredible depth to their young squad and the fact they could easily field two same-quality sides in Russia, Germany are not only the group favourites but also one of the teams seen as future champions of the world. Ruthless and terrifyingly consistent, Die Mannschaft will make a good use of the 4/9 betting odds.
Group G: Belgium, Panama, Tunisia, England
This group is expected to be a direct shootout between the two European nations who will undoubtedly split first and second place in the group between them. Tunisia and Panama stand a slim (to no) chance to join the fight. With Belgium at 5/6 and England at 6/5 betting odds, it will be a difficult choice who to go for.
Group G: Poland, Senegal, Colombia, Japan
The fact Poland was one of the weakest top seeds will give resilient Colombia a big hope they could climb the top spot in group stage. Japan and Senegal are not the teams to be disregarded that easily and we see this one as the most evenly-spread group with 5/4 on the South Americans as a nice little bet.
Who do you think stands the best chance of topping their respective groups?
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