Four years ago, Costa Rica were the surprise package in making the Quarter Final, and this summer we’re sure to welcome some more minnows desperate for a giant killing.
Of course, all the usual favourites to win the World Cup will likely be there, bar a huge shock. The Group Stage doesn’t suggest there should be any major shocks, but it’s the World Cup and stranger things have certainly happened.
With the tournament only days away, we take a look at the nations worth a punt on to reach the Quarter Final...
The Obvious ChoicesThere are plenty of teams where the Quarter Final is almost a rite of passage. The odds are most certainly not worth taking alone, but would be a good World Cup accumulator builder.
Brazil - 1/2The Brazilians shouldn’t have any trouble in reaching the Quarter Final. As winners of Group E they would face second place in Group F and vice versa. The only trouble would be if Brazil or the Germans, in Group F, don’t win the Group meaning they would face off.
Aside from that, it’s a straightforward run into the Quarter Final.
Germany - 1/2The same applies to the Germans. Most World Cup tips are expecting them to qualify from the group and enter the latter stages no problem. The only issue being if they then have to face Brazil in the Round of 16.
France - 1/2The French struggled in 2014 somewhat but they got to the final of Euro 2016 and have a comfortable enough group this summer. A Round of 16 tie would likely be against Iceland, Croatia or Nigeria, the same team they faced in the first knockout round four years ago.
At 1/2 with Bet365, they seem destined to make it to the Quarter Final, and are certainly worth backing.
Spain - 1/2The Spanish crashed out in the Group Stage four years ago, but have refound their form and will be a force to be reckoned with in Group B. They have plenty of experience and shouldn’t have any issues with any Group A side in the Round of 16.
Belgium - 4/7The Belgian’s couldn’t get beyond the Quarter Final at the Euros but will have certainly learned from that experience. Roberto Martinez has tried to inject some team spirit into the Belgium side, which will be certainly needed as they get deeper into the tournament.
A Quarter Final seems a no brainer though, whether you’re Group G tips are telling you they finish first or second in the opening stage.
Argentina - 8/11Lionel Messi and the Argentina team made it all the way to the Final four years ago and providing they don’t meet France in the Round of 16, they will certainly have no issues getting to the Quarter Final.
England - 5/6Straddling the obvious choices and a risky punt, England do have a rather nice run to the Quarter Final. Qualification into the knockout stages shouldn’t be a problem for Gareth Southgate’s men, but it won’t come easy in the Round of 16 against Poland or Colombia, the two nations most likely to qualify.
Portugal - 11/8It’s rare the Portuguese don’t make the Quarter Final of a major tournament. They should have enough to do it again this time round, although a tie against Uruguay from Group A won’t be easy.
There’s also a chance they could face hosts Russia in the Round of 16. Nobody quite knows how it’s going to go with the Russians, which may make backing Portugal a risky bet.
The PayoutsNaturally, you’re going to earn plenty more by backing an outsider. There are a number of dark horses this summer with some groups open to three or four sides.
These nations are all worth considering in the To Reach The Quarter Final odds.
Uruguay - 13/8Top their group and Uruguay have a fantastic shot of getting to the Quarter Final. Group A predictions are certainly putting them at the top, with the likes of Luis Suarez and Edinson Cavani expected to terrorise opposition attacks.
Colombia - 15/8Group H is an incredibly open group, with the Colombians favourite to top it. A journey to the Quarter Final would likely mean beating England. So if you’re fancying a Round of 16 knockout for the Three Lions, this is the wager for you.
Russia - 11/5The hosts are at 9/4 to qualify for the Quarter Final with Betfred and plenty of punters are putting wagers on it.
It’ll be tough though, Uruguay and Egypt are going to be difficult to break down, while even Saudi Arabia are close to the hosts in the rankings.
Croatia - 2/1The Croatians are certainly fanciable this summer. They have a side full of experience, while the creativity and danger the midfield and attack could really cause some damage.
They’ll fancy their chances but must pick up a result against Iceland if they’re going to make the knockout stage.
Senegal - 6/1A real outside punt, the Senegalese could cause a few shocks in Group H and that could continue into the knockout stages.
In Sadio Mane they have a real game changer and 6/1 looks ideal for a World Cup free bet.
Peru - 9/1The Peruvians have a decent change of getting through Group C alongside France. Denmark and Australia won’t lie down though so it won’t be easy, while they could also face Argentina in the Round of 16.
They have looked good in qualifying and the pre-tournament friendlies, so could be worth an outside bet, particularly if they can avoid their South American counterparts.
Other Notable WagersThere are opportunities for a number of other nations to make the Quarter Final. Betway are currently offering odds on the following…
- Poland - 5/2
- Denmark - 4/1
- Mexico - 5/1
- Switzerland - 5/1
- Egypt - 8/1
- Iceland - 12/1
- Costa Rica - 16/1
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