Like every World Cup, there will be those who have their own ideas and tips on who might shine at the showpiece event.
Brazil 2014 seems no different and despite the hosts and five-time winners sitting currently as favourites, there is no guarantee that the Selecao will blow all away this summer.
The Favourites: Brazil
The country is in political turmoil, most evident during last year’s Confederations Cup that Brazil eventually won, and there are doubts plaguing the tournament due to stadium construction.
On the pitch Brazil do have a wonderful team and their position as favourites is a shade justified.
Players like Thiago Silva, David Luiz, Julio Cesar, Fred, Jo and the mercurial Neymar will give Mario Zagallo’s men every chance of securing a record sixth world crown, but there are plenty of dangers between them and glory in June.
Posing A Strong Challenge
Following Brazil, Argentina may be second favorites due to the fact that they are effectively playing on home soil, i.e South America, because they have achieved very little in the past few years internationally.
Having Lionel Messi will help, but the Argentinian style of play is very different to the one the 26-year-old enjoys so much in Barcelona.
Germany are as expected, efficient. But not only is this team efficient, they are also packed full of world-class players and trophy winners. You can currently get 6.19 on Germany (odds courtesy of sports interaction) and that seems like very good value if the Germans can adapt to the climate.
The experience of winning big trophies like the Champions League and Bundesliga will stand many of the German players in good stead for the summer and their Bayern Munich contingent will be feared most.
Players like Philip Lahm, Toni Kroos, Thomas Muller, Bastian Schweinsteiger and Manuel Neuer all play for the Champions League holders and they will be staking a fierce claim for world brilliance in Brazil.
Spain are one to be feared and certainly not a side to be underestimated. Like the Germans they are chock-full of title winners including Champions League winners and similar to Germany they also have a fearful one-team contingent hailing from Barcelona.
Gerard Pique, Andres Iniesta, Xavi Hernandez, Sergio Busquets, Jordi Alba and Pedro are born winners and Spain cannot be underestimated with such players making up their squad.
The Dark Horses
Outside the top four there is the usual expectation on France, England, Italy, Holland and Portugal to reach the quarter-finals at least, but a new name amongst the expectant crew is Belgium.
The Belgians qualified handsomely for the World Cup and with Premier League stars such as Vincent Kompany, Marouane Fellaini, Simon Mignolet, Romelu Lukaku, Kevin Mirrallas and Eden Hazard amongst their ranks they too will be looking to achieve something special as the outsiders. Priced at 19.00 they could interest a lot of people looking for a good value outside bet.
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