World Cup 2018: Predictions for Groups E to H
Following the draw for the group stages of the 2018 World Cup, the bottom half contains the two teams who are locked together as favourites for the outright win. Holders Germany start in Group F while Group E contains a Brazilian side who are looking for their first World Cup title since 2002.
This looks to be the stronger half but can we find some value and some winning tips for Group winner betting in this section of the draw?
Brazil find themselves drawn alongside Switzerland, Costa Rica and Serbia in this section and the bookmakers foresee a comfortable passage for Head Coach Tite and his side. The 2014 semi finalists can be picked up at best odds of 1/3 with BetFred to win this group but while this is a strong prospect, there will be few takers at that short price.
Behind the favourites it seems to be a straight battle between Serbia and Switzerland for second place and the crucial fixture is the one between these two sides in Kaliningrad on June 22. The Swiss are available at 61/10 to win Group E with Serbia close behind at a top price of 9/1 with William Hill.
Meanwhile, the bookies have written off Costa Rica who can be claimed at best odds of 22/1 with MarathonBet to win the section.
The betting for Group F is very similar with one country out in front followed by two closely-matched contenders and a distant outsider option. Germany are the clear leaders here at best odds of 4/9 with BetFred and the fight for second place is on between Mexico at 11/2 with Coral and Sweden at a top price of 8/1 with MarathonBet.
Rounding things off are South Korea at a best of 20/1 with Boylesports. The South Koreans have caused upsets at World Cups in the past and while the current side isn’t as strong as the one that made the semi finals in 2002, this is a team that could cause an upset in a one off match.
However, the Germans should cruise into the next round and the crucial fixture here looks to be the one in Yekaterinburg on June 27 when Mexico face Sweden.
Now we come to the group where many expect it to be a straight fight between England and Belgium. Both teams would expect to qualify from this section but, if that is the case, who will emerge as winners of this group?
The bookies are on the side of the Belgians who are available in the Group Winner market at best odds of 5/6 with Coral and 10Bet while Gareth Southgate’s England follow at 5/4 with Ladbrokes and 188Bet. Completing this section are Tunisia at 18/1 with Sky Bet while Panama bring up the rear at a top price of 40/1 with Betway.
The good news for England and Belgium comes with the fixture scheduling which means they won’t play each other until the final game in Kaliningrad on June 28. By then, both teams should have picked up maximum points against Tunisia and Panama and that tie will be a battle to decide who wins the section.
Rounding things off at Russia 2018 is Group H which features Poland, Senegal , Colombia and Japan. At first glance this section looks tight and the betting confirms it as this is the only group where odds against prices are set against all four countries.
Colombia are narrow favourites to win the group at 11/8 with Sun Bets and Betway while the Poles follow at 7/4 with William Hill. Completing this section are Senegal at best odds of 51/10 with MarathonBet and Japan at a top price of 38/5 with MarathonBet once again.
This is, therefore, another group where just two teams are battling for top spot so the crucial fixture here is between Colombia and Poland in Kazan on June 24.
The outcome in both Groups E and F should be very clear cut: Unless we get a real World Cup upset it seems very unlikely that either Germany or Brazil will not finish as winners in each of those sections. If you like to take a small profit then feel free to get involved but their respective win odds are very short so we will look for longer priced alternatives.
In Group E, Switzerland should progress comfortably behind the Brazilians but there could be some value in the To Qualify betting in Germany’s section. Group F could see a tight shootout between Mexico at 11/10 with Sky Bet and Sweden at 5/4 with Sun Bets and that is very close to call.
We’ll start our tipping in Group G where Belgium are favourites to come through as winners. We know how strong the Belgians are individually but we’ve been putting them forward as Dark Horses for four years now and they’ve been very disappointing in the last two major tournaments.
It’s always dangerous to back England but this is a young side with no baggage from previous competitions and once again, this comes down to one game between the top two sides. England hold definite value here as the odds against option so we’ll take them now before they disappoint us at the knockout stages.
The second favourites also carry some value in Group H where Poland follow behind the market leaders Colombia. As with the previous section, we have two teams here that are far stronger than the rest so it should all come down to the one game.
If Poland are to qualify as Group H winners, much will depend on the lethal Robert Lewandowski but with his firepower at the head of a competitive side, the Poles are a good value punt to lead the section ahead of the last 16.
- England to win Group G at 5/4 with Ladbrokes
- Poland to win Group H at 7/4 with William Hill