Tip of the hat to Russia.
As much for their team going as far as the quarter final off the back of a seven-match winless streak in the warm-up to the tournament and for hosting what will be remembered as one of the most exciting World Cups in football history.
With four matches remaining and as many teams – none of which are pre-tournament’s main favourites Germany and Brazil – a few would dare predict the winner at this point. England, Belgium, France and perennial dark horses Croatia have all got equal chances heading into the semi-final.
As far as the individual markets are concerned, this particular niche offers a genuinely better betting prospect in which the things are very much alive and kicking.
The World Cup 2018 Golden Boot
With six goals on his tally from just four matches he played in, England captain Harry Kane stands as the main contender for the coveted trophy. The Tottenham Hotspur forward is the overwhelming favourite at 1/6 betting odds and it’s hard to envision anyone pipping him to the Golden Ball.
The achievement will of course depend on England progressing into the final, which is exactly where Romelu Lukaku (9/1), Antoine Griezmann and Kylian Mbappe (both at a 25/1 price) will keep their faith alive. France and Belgium go head to head in semi-final battle on Tuesday night and with four and three goals to their respective names, both Manchester United, Atletico Madrid and PSG stars will fight until the very end to reach Harry Kane’s margin.
The World Cup 2018 Golden Ball
And while the Golden Boot segment is a straightforward market where a player with most goals to his name wins the trophy, Golden Ball is an entirely different story.
There are different aspects to be taken into consideration when assessing the best player at a tournament and with the 2018 World Cup drawing to a close, several main contenders have already been pushed to the forefront by pundits and fans alike.
The bookmakers have obviously taken notice and – depending on their respective countries’ chances of winning the competition – presented a list of candidates topped by France forward Kylian Mbappe with 7/2 stacked in his favour. Harry Kane follows with 4/1, whereas the Belgium ace Eden Hazard sits in third with a 9/2 price.
The fourth place is reserved for Croatia mastermind Luka Modric who can be backed at 7/1 which we feel is a price not to be missed out on considering his true value for Croatia.
Modric featured prominently in the Vatreni’s push towards the semi-finals and is expected to be a crucial cog to the Croatian machine once again against England. Widely lauded for his impressive performances in Russia, Modric deserves to recognised as at least equal to other candidates on the list.
The 2018 World Cup Golden Glove
The race for the best goalkeeper at the World Cup 2018 comes down to Hugo Lloris, Thibaut Courtois, Jordan Pickford and Danijel Subasic.
All four of these top-class goalkeepers have been the highly prominent figures in their respective teams, saving the pride of their nations on several occasions thus far. This year’s Golden Glove race might be the most even yet which is why we would not be surprised to see it go into the hands of a World Cup winning goalie.
With little standing between them all in terms of performances and impact they’ve made so far, the winner lifting this individual piece of silverware might prove to be the fairest way to go.
Anyhow, with the most recent betting update ahead of the semi-final, Hugo Lloris is the firm favourite with 12/5 betting odds, followed by Jordan Pickford (11/4), Danijel Subasic (11/4) and Thibaut Courtois (14/5).
Looking at all the categories above, who are your favourites to claim these three individual accolades?
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