The highlight of the world footballing calendar is almost upon us as the FIFA World Cup 2018 gets underway in Russia from June 15th to July 16.
32 of the world’s biggest teams will converge on Russia looking to claim the biggest prize in football and the usual mix of big names and upstarts will battle it out over the course of the tournament.
Germany won the cup back in 2014 and look well placed again to attempt to retain their trophy whilst the usual suspects of Brazil, Argentina, Spain and France will all fancy their chances.
Here are our tips for the World Cup winner, Golden Boot Winner and Name the Finalists.
2018 World Cup Winner Predictions & Tips
BEST BET – Brazil @ $5.75 – BET NOW
Brazil are synonymous with World Cup football and have lifted the trophy on no fewer than 5 occasions.
The pain and humiliation from losing 7-1 at home to Germany back in 2014 is still raw in the minds of the Brazilian public and they will be looking for redemption here.
With the likes of Neymar, Gabriel Jesus and Phillipe Coutinho in their squad, they look well equipped to mount a serious challenge and they look to have a very winnable group – featuring Costa Rica, Switzerland and Serbia.
NEXT BEST – Germany @ $6 – BET NOW
Reigning champions Germany are always a real threat when it comes to tournament football.
Long known for their efficiency in big games, they are in the midst of a golden generation of players that are plying their trades at some of the biggest teams across Europe.
In Group F alongside Sweden, Mexico and South Korea, they look to have a favourable draw and potential route to the latter stages. Always a real threat at any major championship.
BEST VALUE – Belgium @ $13 – BET NOW
Another team embracing their golden generation is Belgium.
The Red Devils have some of the top players in world football in their ranks – Eden Hazard, Romelu Lukaku and Kevin de Bruyne to name a few and they look to be all coming of age at potentially the right time.
Issues lie in their tough looking group (having to play England being the stand out fixture) and their relative lack of experience at this level but if Roberto Martinez can get his men firing, they have a good chance of going deep here.
Top Goal Scorer Predictions & Tips
BEST BET – Lionel Messi, Argentina $3 – BET NOW
Few people would argue that Lionel Messi is one of the all-time greatest footballers and the only thing missing from his resume is a World Cup winners’ medal.
Messi propelled Argentina to the final in 2014 but whilst ultimately his team came up short, the Barcelona man shared the top goal scorer award 4 years ago and he looks good value be in the mix again.
NEXT BEST – Neymar Jr., Brazil $11 – BET NOW
The world’s most expensive player is once again carrying the hopes of a nation on his shoulders at a World Cup.
He had a solid World Cup in 2014 and fired Brazil to glory at their home Olympics and appears to enjoy playing on the biggest stage.
If Brazil are to go all the way here, Neymar could be an integral part of any potential success.
BEST VALUE – Timo Werner, Brazil $11 – BET NOW
The young Red Bull Leipzig forward striker has had a relatively inauspicious season domestically, notching 13 goals from 32 games but he seems to flourish on the international stage, having notched 7 goals from only 12 international appearances.
A World Cup is always seen as an opportunity for players to put themselves in the shop window and with many of the big European clubs looking at Werner, this could be his chance to shine.
World Cup 2018 Finalists Predictions & Tips
Part of the intrigue with the World Cup is planning a team’s potential route to the final.
Here are our best bets for potential final match-ups:
BEST BET – Germany vs. Brazil @ $13 – BET NOW
The two big-hitters aren’t due to play each other until the final and what a spectacle that would be.
Argentina and Spain will provide potential stumbling blocks for Germany whilst Brazil will be wary of the threats the likes of France and Belgium could pose.
NEXT BEST – Brazil vs. Spain @ $21 – BET NOW
Brazil’s potential route to glory looks slightly easier than some of their counterparts whilst Spain can never be written off at major tournaments.
Despite perhaps not being the side they were at the start of the decade – which dominated European and world football – they have many big time players in their team and are very difficult to beat.
BEST VALUE – Brazil vs. Argentina @ $23 – BET NOW
One of the fiercest rivalries in world football would be fitting for a World Cup Final.
Brazil look to have an easier route to glory and a stronger squad, but Argentina with the likes of Messi and Aguero in their ranks can never be discarded at a World Cup.
Combining his sports coaching career with freelance journalism, Sam is a sports betting writer for various online publications. He is looking to develop both his respective coaching and writing careers, whilst incorporating his other huge passion – travelling the world.
Sam currently lives and works in Milan, Italy and playing/following/writing about cricket, football (soccer), tennis, formula 1 and golf continue to take up much of his spare time.