The draw has been made for the 2018 World Cup Finals in Russia, and it’s fair to say that not only was it favourable to the hosts Russia, but also to England.
Southgate’s England came out of the hat into Group G, which also consists of Belgium, Panama, and Tunisia, and with the top 2 qualifying for the Round Of 16, England really have no excuses with this draw.
England play Tunisia in their opener on 18th June, before taking on Panama 6 days later on the 24th. They then close out the group with a clash against Belgium on 28th June at the Kaliningrad Stadium. If England do make a hash of things, they wouldn’t want to be going into the final fixture against Belgium looking for a result.
Ahead of last Friday’s draw, England were a general 20/1 to win the World Cup. They have now been slightly trimmed into 16/1 to win their first senior world title since 1966, Betfair has the latest odds.
It will probably come as no surprise to anyone to find that the Germans are the favourites to win the competition at 5/1, and retain the trophy they picked up in Brazil back in 2014. The Germans were drawn in Group F with Mexico, Sweden and South Korea – all of which shouldn’t cause the defending champions any real problems.
Second favourites for the World Cup are the resurgent Brazil, who will be looking to restore their good footballing name after the humiliation they suffered at the hands of Germany on home soil back in 2014. The Brazilians can be backed at 11/2 with Betvictor. A lot of bookmakers have Germany and Brazil neck and neck at 5/1, but if you shop around you can find Brazil at 11/2, while the German’s can only be backed at 5/1.
Another of the favourites to lift the trophy are France. The 1998 winners are 6/1 to claim their second world title, as are 2010 champions Spain, who are also looking to lift their second world crown. Both France and Spain are both realistic winners, the French in particular are in a better place than they have been for years.
They had a taste of the big time in the 2016 European Championships, where they reached the final on home soil, eventually been defeated 1-0 (after extra time) by Portugal.
The Spanish look strong also. It’s a bit contradictory to say they aren’t as strong as they have been in recent years, but are capable on winning. It is true though, the Spanish are well capable of winning the world cup, this is despite not looking as good as the sides that won the Euros in 2008 and 2012, and the world cup in 2010. It just goes to show how good those Spanish sides were over that 6 year period.