Germany are favourites to retain their crown at the 2018 FIFA World Cup in Russia, which kicks off on Thursday before the titleholders open their tournament against Group F rivals Mexico on Sunday.
Joachim Low’s men beat Argentina to the title in 2014, and La Albiceleste are fourth favourites as Lionel Messi enters what is likely to be his last chance at clinching the ultimate prize in football.
Meanwhile, Brazil are alongside Germany as joint-favourites and are hoping to avenge their semi-final humiliation from four years ago, when they lost 7-1 to the eventual winners.
A tournament host hasn’t won the World Cup since France were triumphant in 1998, agen piala dunia posing bad omens for Russia, while Group G contenders Belgium will be considered a dark horse to keep an eye on.
OddsShark provided a breakdown of odds on some of the leading 2018 World Cup favourites, along with some of the long shots in the field:
OddsSharkm for 2018 World Cup odds in full.
2018 World Cup Groups
Group A: Russia, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Uruguay
- Group B: Portugal, Spain, Morocco, Iran
- Group C: France, Australia, Peru, Denmark
- Group D: Argentina, Iceland, Croatia, Nigeria
- Group E: Brazil, Switzerland, Costa Rica, Serbia
- Group F: Germany, Mexico, Sweden, South Korea
- Group G: Belgium, Panama, Tunisia, England
- Group H: Poland, Senegal, Colombia, Japan
- Favourites and Sleeper Stakes
Much of the World Cup’s title focus has been pinned on Germany and Brazil in preparation for Russia, with the 2014 semi-finalists touted for a potential rematch in the final at the Luzhniki Stadium in Moscow.
But Germany are attempting to win back-to-back World Cups, a feat managed only twice in 20 tournaments, and Didier Deschamps’ France side may have something to say about who the best team in Europe is.
Though Les Bleus are some way off Germany in the overall stakes, the odds aren’t as one-sided:
Deschamps’ side are blossoming at the right time and were gifted arguably the easiest draw of any top-seeded team. They should breeze past Group C opponents Denmark, Australia and Peru, and it bodes well that the most difficult-looking of that trio, the Danes, are last in their fixture list.
That’s without mentioning the depth of talent in the French ranks at present, and Fox Sports presenter Daniel Garb highlighted some notable omissions:
The road to the final won’t be an easy one for Germany, but it will be far more treacherous if they fail to top Group F.
Sweden and South Korea have their charms but are perhaps not the same threat as Mexico, who have developed well under manager Juan Carlos Osorio.