(To win: 11.00; To win group: 1.67; To qualify: 1.12; Rock Bottom: 26.00)
Argentina qualified for their 17th World Cup as 3rd from the CONMEBOL group below Brazil and Uruguay with 28 points in 18 games (7-7-4), 19 goals scored and 16 conceded. They struggled throughout the group and decided to hire Sampaoli in June of last year. With him they have a record of 6 wins, 3 draws and 2 losses in 11 games. Since the qualifications they won friendly games against Russia (1-0), Italy (2-0) and Haiti (4-0), but they also lost against Nigeria (4-2) and Spain (6-1). This last game proved that they still have many issues to solve before being considered title contenders this year.
They surely have plenty of talents, but they don’t seem to gel well together as other favorites like Germany, France, Spain and Brazil. If they pass as 1st in their group (which is not taken for granted), they will face either Peru or Denmark in the Last 16. Even this game could represent a problem for them, as Peru for example have 2 draws in the last 2 games against them. In the Quarter-Finals everything could be over against a more organized Spain. BEST BET: Eliminated in the Quarter-Finals @ 3.80. MOST PROBABLE STAGE OF ELIMINATION: Quarter-Finals: 3.80; Last 16: 3.40



(To win: 40.00; To win group: 3.60; To qualify: 1.53; Rock Bottom: 8.00)
Croatia are only at their 5th appearance at the World Cup with a 3rd place as their best result in 1998 with a fantastic team featuring Suker, Boban, Prosinecki, Stanic and Jarni. This time they will try to repeat the exploit with another great generation of players, like Modric (32), Rakitic (30), Kovacic (24), Perisic (29) and Mandzukic (32). They qualified from group I, below Iceland with 20 points out of 10 games (6-2-2), 15 goals scored and 4 conceded. In the playoffs they eliminated Greece with a 4-1 victory in the 1st leg and a 0-0 draw in the 2nd. Since then they played two friendlies against Peru (2-0 loss) and Mexico (1-0 win). Considering their journey towards the tournament, the not so impressive results and their history (they haven’t qualified from the group stages in the last 3 editions), they seem a bit overrated in this group. This is another squad full of talents, who never leave up to expectations. They are favorites to go through as 2nd in this group, although they finished below Iceland in the quali. If they go through as 2nd in the Group they should face France in the Last 16, which seem to be too strong for them right now. BEST BET: They don’t offer much value at these odds. MOST PROBABLE STAGE OF ELIMINATION: Group Stage: 2.60; Last 16: 2.73



(To win: 251.00; To win group: 14.00; To qualify: 3.50; Rock Bottom: 2.40)
Nigeria are at their 6th World Cup participation, with a Last 16 result as their best result in three occasions (1994, 1998, 2014). They qualified from a very strong Group B above Zambia, Cameroon and Algeria. They finished unbeaten (if we don’t consider the defeat against Algeria for disciplinary reasons) and went on to some impressive results in the friendlies against Argentina (4-2 win) and Poland (1-0 win), but they also lost games against Serbia (2-0), Atletico Madrid (3-2) and England (2-1). This is a team full of young talents like Iwobi (22), Iheanacho (21), Ndidi (21) and Aina (21) that has the quality to qualify from this open group. I wouldn’t be surprised to see them make some surprising results from this group. The biggest problem for Nigeria is keeping clean sheets as they are pretty open defensively. BEST BET: To qualify from the group @ 3.50. MOST PROBABLE STAGE OF ELIMINATION: Group Stage: 1.33; Last 16: 4.50



(To win: 300.00; To win group: 15.00; To qualify: 3.75; Rock Bottom: 2.20)
Iceland are strangely underrated in this group. They are at their first participation in a World Cup, but they already surprised many in their first European Championship tournament in 2016, when they reached the Quarter-finals after beating England for 2-1 in the Last 16. They qualified in this edition from the same group as Croatia as 1st with 22 points out of 10 games (7-1-2), 16 goals scored and 7 conceded. In the quali they beat Croatia at home 1-0 and lost away 2-0. Since then they didn’t impress in friendlies, losing against Czech Republic (2-1), Mexico (3-0) and Peru (3-1). They are a group of players very united and who know each others very well and they are the typical tournament side, that thrive when plays competitive matches against bigger nations. The biggest worry for them is the defense as they have conceded a lot of goals both in the quali (7 in 10 games) and in the friendlies (9 in 4 games). BEST BET: Rock bottom @ 2.20. MOST PROBABLE STAGE OF ELIMINATION: Group Stage: 1.29; Last 16: 4.75

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