At this year’s World Cup, 32 teams will compete across 64 matches for the title of world champions. But who are the teams to watch if you want the best chance at a memorable tournament? The World Cup is notorious for the constant upsets that occur, however, there are still some teams who are all but guaranteed to put on a great display.
As a quick glance at betting sites will tell you, whether you look at English or Norwegian football odds, Brazil are this year’s favourites to win the competition. Brazil were unceremoniously evicted from the last tournament owing to a humiliating defeat at the hands of Germany, but they return for this tournament with a stronger and more dependable squad. Perhaps more importantly, as it stands at least, Brazil are not dealing with any injuries or other absences like they were for their last match against Germany.
Last year’s incident hasn’t damaged Brazil’s stellar image in the world of international football, they are still ranked No. 2 in the world by FIFA. One of their most crucial players, Neymar, was absent for their clash against Germany. Recently, he suffered a broken foot, but has since recovered. His inclusion in the squad will make Brazil an even bigger threat to their opponents.
The defending world champions, Germany are aiming to be the first team to win back to back World Cup trophies since Brazil in 1962. Germany are currently ranked as the number 1 team in the world, so there will be no shortage of other squads and players who want to claim that honour from them.
Even before their win at the 2014 world cup, Germany had a reputation for placing very highly in international competitions. They placed third during the 2010 World Cup and reached the semi-finals of Euro 2012.
One of the German squad’s key players, captain and goalkeeper Manuel Neyer, had been out for much of the last season, owing to a foot injury. His being match-ready for the World Cup will undoubtedly make a big difference to the morale and overall performance of the German team.
In the 18 appearances that Germany has made at the World Cup, they have managed to bring home four titles, an impressive success rate.
30 year old Lionel Messi is one of the most recognisable, and highly respected, players on the whole planet. This year’s world cup tournament could give the Barcelona forward his best shot yet at bringing home the coveted World Cup trophy.
Argentina are currently ranked fifth in the world by FIFA, and historically they have put on a strong showing in World Cup tournaments. It is therefore conceivable that Argentina could do very well at this year’s tournament.
A series of injuries have thrown up potential setbacks for the Argentine team. Fortunately, it looks like these will not be enough to derail the squad’s World Cup aspirations.
The World Cup is always an exciting tournament to watch and this year looks to be no exception. As well as keeping an eye on the above teams, always be prepared for the unexpected where the World Cup is concerned.