The World Cup 2018 is almost upon us. Whether we’re having a work sweep-stake or betting on an outright winner, we need to know who’s hot and who’s not. Let’s take a look at the World Cup 2018 best teams so we know where the clever money is going. We’ll look in-depth at the top 5 teams and check out the strengths and weaknesses of all the bookies’ favourites so you can decide for yourself who’s worth taking a chance on.
You can never, ever rule Argentina out of ranking highly in a World Cup tournament. This country has a great history in the world cup. However, the last three summers have seen a little bit of a downturn for the team in terms of winning form. They have managed to reach the finals in the 2 last Copa Americas and the previous World Cup, but have fallen short of overall victory. This is a team that has all the ability to make it to the top, but also has form in falling at the final hurdle.
Also, it’s also important to note that this year, sitting at a lowly 5th spot during the CONMEBAL qualifiers; this was a team that didn’t automatically qualify for the World Cup finals. Instead, they had to win a play-off to take their place amongst the rest. However, looking at the players, you definitely can’t take anything for granted.
When it comes to World Cup performances, this team has a solid background. Since 1990, the team has reached the finals twice and quarterfinals 3 times. This is also a team that has won it twice, although that was way back in 1978 and 1986. However, with the team reaching the finals last year, is it time Argentina made it lucky number three?
Let’s remember this is the team of the legend that is Lionel Messi. Any team with this player at the helm can’t be discounted. This five-time UEFA player of the year has delivered time and time again for both club and country. It is because of his skills and leadership qualities that Argentina got into the finals. In 2014 he managed to put away a very decent four goals with one assist. He also dragged his country through on the qualifying game by scoring a hat-trick against Ecuador. With Messi, nothing is impossible. In fact, with odds of 8/1 at 888sport, he’s clear favourite to land the Golden Boot award if you’re after some good World Cup betting.
The biggest question mark over the team seems to be the coach, Jorge Sampaoli. With an unsteady leadership, Argentina has been less than impressive under his reign. This is a man that has a lot to prove, so let’s hope Messi can help him.
Currently, you can get pretty decent odds on Argentina, at around 9/1, with most top bookmakers, such as Ladbrokes, William Hill, Bet-at-Home and Guts. As it stands, they have yet to prove themselves under this management. With Messi leading the way, it’s definitely worth a punt.
It feels like an age ago that Spain seemed to come out of nowhere to win the World Cup in 2010 and the European Cup in 2012. They failed to even get past the group stages in the 2014 World Cup and have been far less dominant in recent years on the international stage. Looking at its World Cup history, apart from its spell of glory between 2010 and 2012, Spain hasn’t shone particularly brightly. Since 1950, this is a team that has made it to the quarter-finals just 3 times. Most other years it has been knocked out in Group Stages. However, we still have high hopes for the Spaniards, but why?
Well, along comes Julen Lopetegui and breathes life into a side that needed a lifeline. This is a team that is home to highly impressive players such as goalie David De Gea; defenders Sergio Ramos and Gerard Pique and decent attacking options. Alvaro Morata is a player to keep an eye on. He has impressed fans at Chelsea; there’s also the impressive Diego Costa who could cause other teams a problem.
De Gea has a huge amount of experience at top level playing, as the goalie of choice at Man U. He is considered to be one of the best players in the squad and having a solid goalkeeper is one of the most important elements of any team. With sixty-one saves for his club alongside sixteen clean sheets, he’s a tough one to get past.
Then we have Ramos, the Real Madrid centre-back. This is a man who isn’t just a very strong and stable defender but is also capable of scoring, having netted four goals this season. Put him next to Barcelona’s central defender, Gerard Pique, who also has an impressive defence record in Europe alongside three goals, and getting a goal against this team will be tough.
Recent form coming into the tournament may not have seen the crisp and concise Spain of years past, but the defence is impressive. Spain has conceded just one goal in the run-up, which was a penalty by De Rossi, so although they may not be as strong at the front as some others, they know how to keep the ball out of their own net. With the best odds on Spain hovering around 13/2 at Guts and Bet-at-Home, it’s a great time to place start your World Cup betting.
France may have been runners up in Euro 2016, but it is safe to say that since then, the impressiveness and strength of the National squad has just got better and better. This is a team that has top class players all over the place. When you look at the squad sheet, it’s hard to deny the winning potential here.
In goal, for example, there’s the world-class Hugo Lloris who plays for the impressive Tottenham Hotspur team. This is a man who has been pivotal in the incredible season Spurs have had. He has ninety-three caps already and can lead his team to a strong victory.
Then, in midfield, we cannot forget the fantastic Pogba, one of the top players in the Premier League, being a regular in the starting line-up of Manchester United’s world-class team. Not only is he strong defensively but he’s also a decent goalscorer, having scored five goals this season with nine assists.
Then there’s some impressive talent upfront. Atletico Madrid’s attacking midfielder Griezmann is definitely a player that could make an impact with odds of 13/1 at 888sport to get the Golden Boot; he’s currently the third favourite in the running. Having scored an impressive eighteen goals in La Liga with eight assists, he is a player that could do some serious damage to the strongest of defences.
This is a team that has had a chequered history in the World Cup. From not even qualifying in 1990 and 1994 to winning it outright in 1998 then not even making it through group stages in 2002. This is an unpredictable team, to say the least. Despite the country’s struggle to qualify, needing a win in the final match to save the team, on paper, this is an impressive group of players. Some of the best players in Europe currently come from France; with a team this strong you could do worse than placing your money on this team. With 888sport currently offering great odds of 13/2 on a win, it’s the best place to go right now.
Brazil is a team that will always be one of the top contenders to win the cup. This is also the country that has been home to many of the best World Cup players in history. In all honesty, the team has recently underperformed, but it’s still a force of nature. This is a country that has supplied a constant stream of footballing legends; it now looks likely that under manager Tite it could fulfil its winning potential. This is a scary looking squad indeed. Brazil sailed through qualifying, racking up twelve wins and five draws with just one loss. This is not a team that struggled so far.
Looking at the defence, this is a team powered by PSG. The fact that three of the four players are in a team together regularly – Silva, Marquinhos and Alves – means that they are already a cohesive unit. This is then backed up by a strong and sturdy midfield. Then there’s the attack.
Brazil has never been short of stunning and skilled strikers. This team is no exception. Brazil has Neymar. Here we have another PSG player who has excelled this season. He has netted an incredible twenty-eight goals and sixteen assists for his club this season. With real strengths in key passes, through balls and dribbling, he could well give many teams’ defences real problems. Then, as an added bonus, there’s Gabriel Jesus, Willian and Coutinho to throw into the attacking mix. With great odds of 11/1 for Neymar and odds of 20/1 for Gabriel Jesus to win the Golden Boot with 888sport, either one is a good bet.
Looking at Brazil’s previous World Cup performances, this is a team that knows its way around the tournament. It has lifted the cup no less than five times, although the last success was back in 2002. However, last year the team managed 4th place and the two tournaments previous it reached the quarter-finals. Having said that, this year it looks as though it has the strongest line-up in a very long while. Because of its strength in all areas on the pitch, from the defence, through to midfield and attack, Brazil is going to be a tough one to beat for sure. With odds of 19/4 to be found at the best bookmakers such as Guts and Bet-at-Home, you won’t get better betting offers than this.
Without a doubt, Germany has to be the favourite to come out on top this year. However, at the moment, this team is vying with Brazil for bookie’s favourite. Germany is the defending champion and this gives the players great confidence. Also, in order to win the last tournament, Germany smashed its closest rival, Brazil, 7-1 in the semis. Germany didn’t just beat Brazil; it embarrassed and humiliated the golden boys.
Looking at the 2018 team, it is without a couple of its big names, such as Lahm and Schweinsteiger. However, even with these absences, it still has one of the strongest starting eleven of any nation. Added to this is the fact that the coach, Joachim Low, is undoubtedly the best coach in international football at the moment. This is a team that mixes the experience of Muller with the youth of Kimmich and the result is stunning.
Defensively, this team has goalie Neuer, considered by many as one of the best in the world. It was partly down to him that Germany managed such an impressive win against Brazil. As the team’s captain, he is an influential player and leads by example. With his defencemen being led by fellow Bayern Munich players Boateng and Hummels, this will be a very difficult defence to trounce.
Then there are the midfield players that read like a who’s who of European football. In this team, we have a startling mix of players from the best clubs around: Toni Kroos, Real Madrid; Sami Khedira, Juventus; Julian Weigl, Borussia Dortmund; Ilkay Gundogan, Man City and Mesut Ozil, Arsenal.
We can’t forget Muller as a winger. Although he wasn’t on form at the Euros and has scored a disappointing two goals in twenty-two matches, he is a player to be wary of. At just 27, he is one of the greatest World Cup performers in history, having scored ten World Cup goals in thirteen matches. Should he manage to get four this tournament, he’ll make it into the top three.
Germany’s previous World Cup form is nearly as impressive as Brazil’s. This team has raised the trophy four times and is the reigning champion. The two previous tournaments the team managed to place 3rd and in 2002, the team was runner-up. In terms of current World Cup form, this is a team that is definitely at the top; it looks almost certain to make it to at least the semi-finals. The odds reflect this as well. Currently, the best odds can be found at 888sport who are pricing the team at 19/4. If you have a great World Cup betting offer and fancy placing a bet on a team that is reliable to the max, Germany is the team for you.