Brazil enters FIFA World Cup as favourite

World Cup odds (As of June 8):

Brazil: 4.70
Germany: 5.10
Spain: 6.50
France: 7.00
Belgium: 10.00


The wait is almost over.

The 2018 FIFA World Cup is set to begin in Russia, with 32 nations vying to earn the title of world's best. The event starts with a match between the host nation and Saudi Arabia, although both teams are massive underdogs to win the championship.

We know Hank the Raccoon has made a bold prediction, taking England to defeat France in the final (PS: Good luck in your quest for the top bracket and a shot at $5,000), however, Brazil enters the World Cup as the favourite, followed closely by Germany. England, for the record, is well down the order with odds of 15.00 to win it all.

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Brazil

World Cup odds: 4.70

Brazil

The Brazilians are the favourites entering this year's World Cup, no doubt looking for redemption following what was a disastrous ending for them four years ago - on their home turf.

A loss in the semifinals four years ago would've been disappointing enough. Instead, they were absolutely crushed 7-1 by the eventual champions from Germany. Making matters worse, Brazil fizzled even more with a 3-0 loss to the Netherlands in the third-place game. That is an embarrassing end to a World Cup for any nation, but especially for a soccer power like Brazil.

Of course, the big question for Brazil in this tournament will be the health of star striker Neymar, who suffered a foot injury and underwent surgery in March.

Germany

Germany

World Cup odds: 5.10)


The reigning world champions are, not surprisingly, among the favourites to win the 2018 World Cup in Russia.

It's easy to look at Group F and automatically assume that Germany will prevail as the top team, especially given their history of eight appearances in the final, while the battle involving Mexico, Sweden and South Korea for second spot is the one to focus in on.

Germany is a year removed from winning the Confederations Cup - a tournament that saw their young striker Timo Werner take another step forward on the world's stage, scoring three goals while Germany led the event with a total of 12 goals scored.

Spain

World Cup odds: 6.50

Spain

The theme of redemption isn't just restricted to Brazil. In 2010, Spain won the World Cup and then, four years later, failed to make it out of the group stage. They, too, suffered an embarrassing defeat, albeit in the first stage as they lost 5-1 to the Netherlands.

They never recovered and despite finishing the first stage with a 3-0 win over Australia - hardly a powerhouse - Spain's side was sent packing prematurely from an event they were among the favourites to win.

They're among the favourites in 2018 and outside of Portugal, Group B - with Morocco and Iran - shouldn't present too much of a challenge.

France

France

World Cup odds: 7.00


OK, so Hank the Raccoon had France getting to the World Cup final only to lose to the fish and chips of England. This year marks the 20th anniversary of France's one and only World Cup victory.

The talent - such as players like Paul Pogba, who isn't without his critics in France or at Manchester United - is certainly there for the French side in 2018.

Now, the big question becomes: How can France and coach Didier Deschamps get the most out of it to perhaps take a serious run at a World Cup victory? Antoine Griezmann is also among the players to watch for France, after he led the 2016 UEFA European Championships with six goals.

Belgium

World Cup odds: 10.00

Belgium

Belgium returns to the World Cup after making it to the quarter-final stage four years ago when they lost to Argentina.

Led by forward Eden Hazard, Belgium is among the favourites going into this year's event - they defeated Egypt 3-0 in a recent friendly, although Mohamed Salah didn't play for his nation - and will look to make history by getting beyond the semifinal stage for the time.

Belgium caps off the group stage on June 28 with a meeting against England. It could be that match decides which country takes first place in Group G.

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