World Cup predictions: Will England go home before end of June?
With World Cup kicking off later today, we take a final look at the tournament favourites, upsets and potential classics.
At 18%, Germany have the highest probability of winning the World Cup. They can boast of plenty of world-class players who are in their prime: Bastian Schweinsteiger and Mesut Oezil among them, as well as some seasoned regulars, in the likes of Philip Lahm. Germany will be the team to beat here, since they dropped out of the tournament in semi-finals in the last two editions of the World Cup, after having lost to Brazil 12 years ago and are keen to finally lift some silverware.
Brazil, meanwhile, are another strong title contenders and Betegy rates their chance of winning the cup at 16%, just one point lower than Argentina. Driven by their star-player Neymar, Brazil are likely to go on as far as the semi-final, where they are predicted to lose against Germany. With Messi saving the best of him for the World Cup after a bit unconvincing season, Argentina are likely to reach the final. Incidentally, Messi is tipped to grab top scorer award on the way to the final with 5 goals scored along the way.
Upset as early as group stages
According to Betegy, there won’t be many surprises in groups A, B or C, where Brazil, Netharlands and Spain are all very likely to progress to knock-out round with relative ease. Being placed in group D with Italy and Uruguay, England are supposed to be one of the major upsets in group stages. Even though their chances of getting out of the group are rated at 64%, they are slimmer than those of their group rivals. Italy and Uruguay seem to be more stable in terms of personalities, whereas England have been recently concerned with Wayne Rooney’s form and Roy Hodgson’s potential inability to drop Manchester United striker in case he doesn’t live up to expectations.
Although Belgium are widely regarded as this year’s dark horses of the tournament and rightly have 72% chance of progressing past group stages, another potential stars of the tournament are newcomers Bosnia. Having strolled through preliminary round, now they want to cause some upsets on the biggest stage and certainly have the chance to do so, given Edin Dzeko’s goalscoring ability and Miralem Pjanic’s overall brilliance.
The same applies to Russia, who have been quietly molded by Fabio Capello for some time. While they have a very high 70% chance of progressing to round of 16, they are tipped to be overcome 1-3 by Germany there.
Big games await as early as in round of 16, where there’s a very high possibility of Confederations Cup final rematch between Brazil and Spain, with Brazil rated just a little bit better once again. There are even more likely classics further in the knockout stages, with Brazil-Italy and Germany-France very likely to meet each other once again in the quarter finals.
As if that was not enough, the last-time semifinalists the Netherlands and Uruguay might meet in the other quarter final, with Oranje being tipped to be the better side again this time.