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Hosts Tipped for World Cup Success

Posted on April 02, 2014 by Pete South
Called by some the next Pele, Neymar will try to make Brazil the first host to win the World Cup since 1998.

Called by some the next Pele, Neymar will try to make Brazil the first host to win the World Cup since 1998.

With just three months before the start of the tournament, many soccer fans will have one eye on this summer’s World Cup in Brazil. While there is still plenty of twists and turns before the start of the tournament in June, the betting odds are beginning to give punters an idea on who could go on to lift the famous Jules Rimet trophy in Brazil. With the world’s gaze descending on the colorful South American country, the excitement is building ahead of a World Cup that looks set to be one of the most keenly-fought tournaments in recent memory.

While Spain will head into this World Cup as the defending champions and winner of the past two European Championships, the betting odds are tipping host nation Brazil to win the tournament for a sixth time. The hosts are considered to have the best chance to win the World Cup despite not winning the tournament since 2002. With the help of the home fans and a talented squad, Brazil have been given odds as short as 3/1 with some bookmakers.

Not since 2002 have Brazil boasted a squad packed with the same sort of talent that saw them win their fifth World Cup title, led by Ronaldo’s incredible goal scoring exploits in Japan and South Korea 12 years ago. While Ronaldo now spends much of his time as a Team PokerStars SportsStar -representing the brand who also took over Full Tilt Poker to make them the biggest online poker provider- the former striker will be hoping to watch on from the sidelines as the new Brazil side look to repeat the success achieved by himself and the rest of that 2002 side.

Luiz Felipe Scolari’s side will be looking to become the first host country to win the title on home soil since France’s success in 1998. Brazil was the runner-up that year, but went on to win four years later and claim a record fifth World Cup title. Scolari, who was the head coach when Brazil last won the tournament, is able to call upon a number of world class stars in his squad, most notably Barcelona star Neymar, who has the chance to cement himself with the likes of Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi as one of the world’s best players with a strong showing this summer.

With odds of around 5/1, the bookmakers believe Brazil’s main challengers for the title will be fellow South Americans Argentina. With the incredible Lionel Messi in the side, Argentina have been tipped to come through a relatively easy Group F without breaking a sweat, which will allow them to be fresher during the latter stages of the tournament.

The fact the tournament is being played on South American soil has certainly had an impact on the betting. Despite winning the past three major tournaments they have appeared in, defending champions Spain have been given odds of around 7/1 of retaining the title they won in 2010. At 5/1, Germany appear to be the leading European team heading into the tournament, with Joachim Low’s side expected to be still in contention come the later rounds in Brazil.

Belgium have been labelled as possible ‘dark horses’ ahead of the World Cup and the Europeans are rightly feeling confident with a squad packed with world class talent. And with odds of around 20/1, there are more than a few betting fans keen to back the tiny nation to have a big impact this summer.

The United States are one of those teams who have been given odds of over 100/1 with most bookmakers, but that’s not to say Jurgen Klinsmann’s men should be ruled out of making it out of the group stage. While the USMNT have been put in a tough group containing Germany, Portugal and Ghana, the Yanks are more than capable of springing a surprise or two in Brazil this summer.


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