WORLD CUP 2018: WHO WILL REACH THE FINAL?Four years ago the Germans surged to the very peak of world football once more. Few gave anyone but Brazil a chance in their own backyard, but Joachim Low’s men made a real statement, crushing the hosts 7-1 making them the team to beat this summer.
The Germans go into the tournament as joint favourites with Brazil with most bookies, but they could meet as early as the Round of 16 if one of the nations don’t top their respective groups.
Both squads have changed somewhat since. Mario Gotze, Germany’s winning goalscorer in Rio, is one of the World Champions most notable absentees, while the likes of Philippe Coutinho, Roberto Firmino, Timo Werner and more have stepped up performances in recent years. And that’s just from the two favourites.
The split of world class talent really is spread out this summer, with many sides having strong squads and game changers. Which makes predicting who will make the final very tricky.
There are as many as half a dozen teams who have a legitimate chance of walking out onto the pitch in Moscow on July 15. We take a look at what the top online bookies are saying and who we fancy to in the To Reach the Final odds for the 2018 FIFA World Cup.
Brazil - 5/2The Brazilians had to settle for fourth in their home tournament back in 2014, and with Neymar facing a late fitness struggle to make it this time round, it was looking like they may suffer a similar fate.
The PSG man has proved his fitness according to sources though and they’ll be heavily favoured to make amends for their devastating defeat at the hands of the Germans.
Going forward they’re one of the best in the world and for once have a strong goalkeeper who they can build from in Alisson (or even Ederson, if Tite makes that call). There’s plenty of experience at the back too, so in theory they’re perhaps in an even better position to win their first World Cup since 2002.
A place in the Final is certainly worth a punt at 5/2. Most Group E predictions are backing them to walk through the initial stages, where they’ll likely face Mexico or Sweden in the Round of 16. From there it’ll be a side from Group G or H, with the possibility of England.
Germany - 5/2The Germans will have no trouble in the opening stages of their World Cup campaign and will generally fancy their route to the Final.
They’re a 9/4 shot to reach the final two, but if they fail to top Group F, then they will face a tough Round of 16 tie against the Brazilians, where revenge will be top of the opposition’s agenda.
Joachim Low has made some big decisions in leaving the likes of Gotze, Emre Can and Shkodran Mustafi out, but there’s still plenty of experience in there.
In Thomas Muller they have a man who knows how to score World Cup goals, but it’s Timo Werner who they will rely upon for them. The RB Leipzig man is a contender in the Golden Boot market, so there will be plenty of pressure on him in his first major tournament.
France - 3/1The French will be celebrating the 20th anniversary of their World Cup win this summer, and with Didier Deschamps at the helm, they’ll be channeling that success in the 2018 squad.
They have one of the strongest squads in the tournament, with an excellent balance of experience and youth. They should have an excellent chance of topping their Group, contending with Peru, Denmark and Australia. That’ll set up a tie with with Croatia or Iceland, who will likely be battling for second in Group D behind Argentina.
In Griezmann they have one of the world’s top strikers, while the balance they have between N’Golo Kante and Paul Pogba in midfield will be admired by coaches throughout the world.
The brilliance of Kante sat in that midfield will give the freedom to Pogba, Kylian Mbappe and Oussama Dembele to get forward.
Belgium - 5/1The Belgians are a 5/1 shot in the odds to reach the World Cup Final with bet365, and it’s perhaps the last chance they have with this crop of players.
The nation’s version of the Golden Generation, they packed with world class talent, although do have an ageing defence. It’ll certainly be Vincent Kompany’s last World Cup, while Jan Vertonghen is also now 31.
It’s a squad that certainly knows how to attack though, and the majority all had something to shout about at the end of the domestic campaign.
It’s been a trophy laden season for he Belgian squad and if there’s one thing that the taste for success brings, it’s more success.
Spain - 10/3The Spanish are another side which could bring a last major tournament for many. That’s certainly the case for the likes of Andres Iniesta and David Silva.
Things didn’t go to plan when defending their title four years ago. They crashed out in the Group Stage and only reached the Round of 16 at the Euros, but with some new, quality additions to the squad, a 10/3 punt on the Spanish to reach the Final isn’t a bad bet to take.
They’d certainly be worth placing a World Cup bonus on, particularly if Diego Costa gets off the mark early.
Argentina - 9/2Argentina will be looking to make their second final in as many World Cups this summer and will be doing so surprisingly without Mauro Icardi.
Serie A’s top scorer has been left out of the squad, but they do still have a wealth of riches in their attack.
Lionel Messi is of course at the heart of their squad and is hotly tipped to take the Golden Boot, one of the few awards he’s yet to receive, while on paper their route to at least the Quarter Final is fairly straightforward.
They do have to be careful though. Many Group D previews are suggesting their could be an upset waiting to happen with Iceland and Croatia in there.
England - 9/1We know that was then, but it could be again? Couldn’t it?
England are priced at 9/1 to reach the Final of the World Cup, a round it’s unlikely anyone in England actually believes they can make.
They shouldn’t be underestimated though. They have a young and hungry side with one of the most in-form strikers on the planet.
Pep Guardiola has turned Raheem Sterling into a real talent and no defence is going to want to go up against the speed of Jamie Vardy and Marcus Rashford.
They have a winnable passage through Group G and even in to the Quarter Final, where Germany or Brazil will likely await. It’s here where the Young Lions must become the leaders of the pack.
Other Notable To Reach The Final World Cup 2018 OddsThere are a number of other sides with an outside shot of reaching the Final of the World Cup. Most notably…
TO REACH THE FINAL BETTING TIPSFrance and Brazil are our two favourites to win the World Cup this year. They could have a comfortable path until the last 8 round (or semifinals, depending on which big team will fall short).
Of course, these two teams could also meet in the World Cup final. So we can give you a "Name the Finalist" betting tip at huge odds!