Can a loaded Brazilian team led by superstar Neymar live up to their status as prohibitive favorites to win the 2018 FIFA World Cup? Will the defending champion Germany pull off another World Cup ‘upset’ after doing just that four years ago?
Can either France or Spain beat out the top two favorites as identical 61/ picks or is Argentina primed to pull off the World Cup stunner, led by Lionel Messi, the greatest scorer on the face of the planet?
With the start of the 2018 FIFA World Cup just over a week away from getting started, now is a perfect time to preview the top five favorites to win this year’s globally beloved soccer tournament.
With that thought in mind, let’s get started.
9⃣ DAYS TO GO! 🏆🇷🇺
🇺🇿Uzbekistan’s Ravshan Irmatov has overseen nine #WorldCup matches – more than any other referee 👏
— FIFA World Cup 🏆 (@FIFAWorldCup) June 5, 2018
Odds to Win the 2018 FIFA World Cup
Brazil is led by one of the best players in the world today in the incomparable Neymar, but for them to cash in on their status as favorites and not fall short like they did at home in 2014, Brazil is going to need to see many of their young performers rise to the occasion to give Neymar the help he’ll need once they start facing some elite opponents.
Young players like Casemiro, Gabriel Alves, Philippe Coutinho and Willian are talented but how will they perform on the world’s biggest international stage?
Will veterans like Dani Alves and Marcelo show up or are they past their respective primes?
I know one thing. Anything less than the World Cup title following their embarrassing defeat against Germany in 2014 will be considered a failure.
Captain: Manuel Neuer
Manager: Joachim Low
Nickname: Die Mannschaft
Germany may be the No. 2 pick in the eyes of oddsmakers, but they’re my pick to go back-to-back this year. First, they’ve got the greatest keeper on the face of the planet in captain, Manuel Neuer. I also like Germany’s gifted midfielder Toni Kroos and the underrated gifts (I don’t know why) of world-class striker Thomas Muller, Did I forget to mention that Germany shares the ball better than any team in the world and can beat more athletic teams with super-intelligent play? Oh, well, there’s that too!
Captain: Hugo Lloris
Manager: Didier Deschamps
Nickname: Les Bleus
Everyone know that France has arguably more talent than any other country in the world, starting with the supremely gifted Paul Pogba. Now, heading into the 2018 World Cup, France can also turn to other stars like Paris Saint-Germain’s Kylian Mbappe and Atletico Madrid’s Antoine Griezmann. I won’t be surprised to see France really challenge to win it all.
Captain: Sergio Ramos
Manager: Julen Lopetegui
Nickname: La Roja
I love Spain heading into the World Cup after watching them smack their qualifying opponents completely senseless en route to a stellar 9-0-1 record that saw the Spaniards score a fantastic 36 goals while giving up just three. That’s right..3 goals in 10 matches! Andres Iniesta is the superstar, but he’s got plenty of help in the form of guys like Real Madrid’s Marco Asensio and Atletico Madrid’s Saul Niguez and midfielders Sergio Busquets, and David Silva.
Captain: Lionel Messi
Manager: Jorge Sampaoli
Nickname: La Albiceleste
Look, when you’ve got the greatest goal scorer in the world like Argentina does with sure-fire future Hall of Famer, Lionel Messi, then you’re going to be in just about every match when you take the pitch. The bottom line for Argentina is whether they can give Messi the offensive help he’ll need in order to get past some of the other elite teams in the world – and I believe they will thank to some other gifted players like Sergio Aguero, Angel Di Maria and Gonzalo Higuain.
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