(To win: 5.60; To win group: 1.30; To qualify: 1.06; Rock Bottom: 40.00)
Brazil comes to this edition in a very strong position, having qualified as 1st in the CONMEBOL group with 41 points in 18 games (12-5-1), 41 goals scored and 11 conceded. A pretty impressive qualification run where they showed to be both very dangerous going forward and very solid defensively (8 clean sheets in the last 10 qualification games). They should have no big problems going through in a group alongside Switzerland, Costa Rica and Serbia, and in the Last 16 they should have a very good draw against the 2nd from Group F (Mexico, Sweden, or South Korea). In the Quarter-finals they should then face the 1st from Group G (Belgium or England) or the 2nd from Group H (Senegal, Poland or Colombia) opening up their path to the Semi-Finals. In the SF if everything goes to the plan they should then face France for a place in the final. BEST BET: Top South American team @ 2.00. MOST PROBABLE STAGE OF ELIMINATION: Runners-up: 7.00; Semi-finals: 5.00
(To win: 151.00; To win group: 8.50; To qualify: 2.10; Rock Bottom: 5.00)
Switzerland have qualified for their 11th World Cup, with the Quarter-Finals in 1934, 1938 and 1954 being their best results. In this edition they qualified from Group B just above Portugal (although they finished with the same amount of points) with 27 points out of 10 games (9-0-1), 23 goals scored and 7 conceded. They then eliminated Northern Ireland in the playoffs with a 1-0 win in the 1st leg and a 0-0 draw in the 2nd. Since then they won two friendlies against Greece (1-0) and Panama (6-0) and they made a solid draw against Spain (1-1). This is a solid team that can absolutely qualify as 2nd from this group, beating both Serbia and Costa Rica. Their 2-0 loss against Portugal in October showed their limits and Germany would represent a giant of an obstacle for them in the Last 16. BEST BET: Eliminated in the Last 16 @ 3.05. MOST PROBABLE STAGE OF ELIMINATION: Group Stage: 1.85; Last 16: 3.05
(To win: 250.00; To win group: 10.00; To qualify: 2.25; Rock Bottom: 3.75)
Serbia have qualified for their 2nd World Cup after the one in 2010 if we don’t consider their record as Serbia and Montenegro, and Yugoslavia. In 2010 they didn’t pass the group (with Germany, Ghana, Australia), while they didn’t qualify for the last edition in 2014. This time they topped Group D in the quali, above Ireland, Wales and Austria with 21 points out of 10 games (6-3-1), 20 goals scored and 10 conceded. Since then they won friendlies against China (2-0) and Nigeria (2-0), while losing 2-1 against Morocco and drawing 1-1 versus South Korea. They will need better performances to pass as 2nd from this group as both Switzerland and Costa Rica are good, solid sides. BEST BET: Rock bottom @ 3.75 MOST PROBABLE STAGE OF ELIMINATION: Group Stage: 1.73; Last 16: 3.10
?? COSTA RICA
(To win: 751.00; To win group: 30.00; To qualify: 5.00; Rock Bottom: 1.83)
Incredibly underrated Costa Rica is back again at the World Cup after the exploit of 2014, when they reached the Quarter-Finals after going through as 1st in a group with Italy, England and Uruguay, and eliminating Greece in the Last 16, before going out in a penalty shootout against runner-ups Netherlands. This time they arrive to the tournament after finishing 2nd in the CONCACAF group after Mexico, with 16 points in 10 games (4-4-2), 14 goals scored and 8 conceded.
This is very much in line with their last record in the quali prior to 2014, 18 points (5-3-2), 13 goals scored and 7 conceded. Since then they went on to lose friendly matches against Spain (5-0), Hungary (1-0) and Tunisia (1-0) and England (2-0). They have also won against Scotland (1-0) and Northern Ireland (3-0). Costa Rica, like Iceland, seems to be a side that put their best effort in big tournaments and especially against better sides.
The squad is also very much alike the one we’ve seen in 2014, with the likes of Keylor Navas in goal, Acosta, Gamboa, Duarte in defense, Borges, Bolanos in midfield and Bryan Ruiz, Joel Campbell, Urena as strikers. With a positive result in the 1st game against Serbia, this team can become really dangerous for Switzerland for the 2nd place. If they go through they should face a bigger task in the mighty Germans in the last 16. BEST BET: To qualify from the group @ 5.00. MOST PROBABLE STAGE OF ELIMINATION: Group Stage: 1.22; Last 16: 5.00