The FIFA World Cup 2018 would be held in Russia in the next couple of months. As the Russians are working very hard to make this tournament a success, teams who have worked so hard to qualify for the global showpiece have been preparing ahead by testing new players and formations that would bring them success in Russia.
Schedule for World Cup 2018 in Russia
FIFA has determined that between 3 to 4 daily matches would be played during the Russia 2018 World Cup, and the cities that would play host to these games include Kazan, Volgograd, Kaliningrad, Moscow, Yekaterinburg, Nizhny, Samara, Saint Petersburg, Rostov, Sochi, and Saransk.
The Luzhniki stadium in Moscow will play host to the opening match between Russia and Saudi Arabia and also the final game of the competition. With consideration of the different time zones, FIFA has plans to show the game at convenient times for all countries, this would make the World Cup 2018 predictions easier and with MatchPlug you can be sure to get the most valuable tips.
World Cup 2018 Betting favourites
World Cup 2018 betting tips: Brazil
Just like in many other FIFA World Cups or age-grade competitions, Brazil is one of the favourites to win the FIFA World Cup 2018 in Russia. At the last competition played on their home turf, the Selecao suffered a shocking 7-1 loss to Germany in the semifinals and they would be eager to correct that wrong this time around.
They had a very good qualification campaign and were the first country to qualify for the competition, they also have the star players to win the World Cup, but they would still need to be focused to qualify from the group stage as they face, Serbia, Switzerland and Costa Rica who have different playing styles.
Brazil’s major strength is in their attack and if the front three of Neymar, Gabriel Jesus and Philippe Coutinho can stay fit, they can beat any team in the world even though their defence is still not perfect yet.
One weak spot for the Selecao seems to be an over-reliance on Neymar, he missed their game against Germany in the last World Cup and they were humiliated. They also don’t have the strongest defence as the likes of Thiago Silva, Marcelo, Dani Alves and Miranda are all ageing and could struggle to deal with young attackers in this competition.
Key Player: Neymar
Favourite formation: 4-3-3
World Cup 2018 betting tips: Germany
Germany are defending champions and look like they can retain their crown in the 2018 FIFA World Cup in Russia. They have consistently performed well in the big competitions and this year they have the perfect blend of youth and experience as the older generation with the likes of Sami Khedira gradually gives way for the likes of Timo Werner and Leroy Sane.
They have been drawn in a tough group F with South Korea, Sweden and Mexico, but this won’t be the first time they have been in this situation and they should qualify top of the group no matter how hard it gets.
Germany’s team is built on some technicality and that makes it so easy for them to get past the toughest opponents even in the most unfriendly environment like the one they faced 4 years ago against Brazil. They have been arguably the world’s best team over the past four years and their game management is very strong.
The Germans lack a world class striker like Neymar or Christiano Ronaldo, and their midfield seems to be too slow for teams who play at a very fast pace.
Key Player: Manuel Neuer
Favourite formation: 4-2-1-3
World Cup 2018 Betting tips for the group stage
The World Cup 2018 group stage draw was made on the 1st of December 2017, since then teams have known who they would play with and should have started making plans on how to stop each of their opponents.
Here, we take a look at the individual groups and provide valuable insights that would help you get the perfect 2018 World Cup Predictions. As the start of the competition gets closer, the odds are getting more accurate which would also see them get smaller, that is why we are offering you the best tips now so you can act faster than the bookmakers.
FIFA World Cup 2018 Predictions: Group stage
Group A; Favourites: Uruguay and Egypt
With over 80,000 fans packed inside the Luzhniki Stadium, the Russia 2018 FIFA World Cup would be opening on the 14th of June with the host nation playing against Saudi Arabia. While we expect the Russians to win the opening match, that may be the only victory they secure in the group stage.
Uruguay are obvious favourites to win the group judging by the attacking talents of Edison Cavani and Luis Suarez, but we expect the second position to be a straight battle between Egypt and Russia, the Egyptians should either win the Russians or get a draw before earning a better win over Saudi Arabia.
Group B; Favourites: Spain and Portugal
Group B looks like the first group that it would be hard to predict the winner with both Spain and Portugal closely matched. Interestingly, the two European heavyweights would play each other in the first group match and the outcome could set the tone for other games.
With Christiano Ronaldo, Portugal would feel they have a player who can single-handedly change the outcome of their games, however, Andres Iniesta would also be leading a new generation of exciting young players for Spain and they would be no pushovers.
Group C; Favourite: France
France struggled at some point in the last qualifiers, but they would be looking to have a good tournament after getting a fairly easy draw. Just like the Uruguay and Brazil groups, France seems to be the clear favourites here, but the remaining three teams have an opportunity to join them in the second round.
Denmark with their star man, Christian Eriksen seem well placed to win the second spot in this group, but we cannot underestimate what the likes of Peru and Australia can do after fighting so hard to qualify.
Group D; Favourite: Argentina
Will this be the competition that Lionel Messi finally makes himself the world’s best player of all time? Or would this be the last time we see him dorns the colours of the Argentine national team because of heartbreak? Whichever way, the South Americans are favourites to win this group because of their array of stars.
However, Jorge Sampaoli would still have to find a way to get his superstars to play together if he wants to get the best of them collectively.
Croatia look like the biggest team that would fight the Argentines for the top spot, however, Nigeria went unbeaten in the qualifiers and should not be underestimated and Iceland showed in the last Euros that they are capable of causing upsets.
Group E; Favourite: Brazil
Brazil are favourites to win this World Cup and should not have that many problems progressing from this group, however, their first match against Switzerland who are favourites to win the second position is this group would determine whether the swiss can fight with them for the top spot.
Serbia would also fancy their chances of finishing second, while Costa Rica could be set to cause another upset like they did against England, Uruguay and Italy4 years ago.
Group F; Favourite: Germany
With this draw, Germany would feel the really big games would be waiting for them in the next round and they are clear favourites once again to progress in this group. They would take on Mexico first in what should be their toughest group game before a date with Sweden and then South Korea, in all, the German Machines should have no problems progressing.
Mexico are favourites to join them as the North Americans have reached the knockout round of the last few World Cups.
Group G; Favourites: Belgium, England
Belgium and England are perennial underachievers at the world stage, but this time around with the array of stars that they have, Belgium should be able to have a go and the ultimate price.
England flopped at the last FIFA World Cup as they finished outside the top two, they also lost to Iceland in the knockout round of the last Euros, Gareth Southgate now has a new generation of top players led by Harry Kane and Raheem Sterling and the Three Lions should qualify alongside Belgium from this group. Panama and Tunisia would need to upset the European duos to get a chance after the group matches.
Group H; Favorites: Colombia
This is one of the groups that has four countries from different continents and one of the most unpredictable groups also. Colombia with the likes of James Rodriguez and Radamel Falcao are a strong side, but they would have to fight with a more balanced Poland team with Robert Lewandoski leading the line for the top spot.
Senegal are outsiders here, but without taking out surprises, the Africans and Japan could have a very good tournament as they would be playing with little or nothing to prove.
Germany, Brazil, Belgium, Portugal, and Spain are the top favourites to win the 2018 FIFA World Cup, but there is always room for surprises here and the likes of Colombia and Uruguay could surprise the world.
Nigeria and Egypt who have Mohamed Salah could be the African sides that would go farther than Ghana did at the 2010 World Cup, so they are worth keeping an eye on.