Y'alright footy freaks! After much research and thorough analysis, here's my thoughts on what's in store over the next few weeks and where my money's going pre-kickoff.
I'm not confident that we will see much in the way of upsets, sadly. However we're still set for a barnstorming tournament which could include a few footballing lessons being dished out by the top nations. Germany and Brazil are rightly the two strong favourites, some way ahead of the likes of Portugal, France, Argentina and Spain. Argentina can't be written off, despite many pundits doing just that, and Spain could struggle to score goals despite their impressive possession based play. If I had to pick 3 teams who could surprise a few with strong performances I would go for Poland, Croatia and Switzerland. Uruguay, France, Brazil, Germany, Belgium should all win their groups easily. England are very over-rated as always, my usual advice in tournaments is to lay them at every opportunity although I expect us to be knocked out in the last 16 to Poland after a gallant but typically naive performance. I fear it will be a bad world cup for the African nations Senegal and Nigeria and the may struggle to win a game between them.
Brazil v Germany final @ 11.5 Gabriel Jesus top 4 goalscorer @ 4.5 Poland to reach quarter finals @ 4
Top 3 Group Bets:
Group G: Belgium to win group 1.86 Group H: Senegal rock bottom 3.6 Group B: Portugal to win group 3.5
Here's how I see the groups panning out...
Group A 1. Uruguay (comfortable group winners) 2. Egypt or Russia (depending on the levels of ref bribery) 4. Saudi Arabia
Group B 1. Portugal (could narrowly pip Spain) 2. Spain 3. Iran or Morocco (not much between them)
Group C - 1. France (comfortable group winners) 2. Denmark 3. Peru or Australia
Group D 1. Argentina (2 wins and a draw) 2. Croatia 3. Iceland 4. Nigeria
1. Brazil (comfortable group winners) 2. Switzerland 4. Costa Rica or Serbia
1. Germany (comfortable group winners) 2. Mexico 3. Sweden 4. South Korea (zero points)
1. Belgium (comfortable group winners) 2. England (should scrape through!) 3. Tunisia 4. Panama
1. Poland (strongest team in the group) 2. Colombia 3. Japan 4. Senegal
Good luck everyone whoever you support and remember to bet with your heads and not your hearts :)