With the 2014 World Cup kicking off in a few hours, here’s a look at the favourites, potential classic matches and upsets ahead.
Germany and Argentina favourites
Die Mannschaft and Albicelestes are the teams who at 18% and 17%, respectively, are given the highest chances by Betegy (provider of worldcuppredictions.com). Germany have plenty of players with lots of experience on international stage. In fact, many of current players have been in the squad 4 years ago when Germany made it to the semifinals. In addition, they will look to better their last-time result and aim for the final.
Argentina have Lionel Messi on their roster and that says everything. They’ve found some stability on the bench with Alejandro Sabella, too, and beside Messi have other great attacking players, like Angel di Maria or Gonzalo Higuain to name a few.
Although Brazil are the hosts, they are given only 16% chances of winning the World Cup. They are predicted to reach semifinals and to be defeated by Germany, though, according to Betegy, they are to win the bronze medal by thrashing the Netherlands 4-1 in third place play-off. Brazil, though, are actually given the highest chance of progressing past group stages – 99%. While they are to face some tricky competition from Croatia and Mexico it’s fair to say and stand an excellent chance of advancing from first place in the group.
Classics in knockout round
There Brazil is likely to meet one of the giants from group B, Spain, who have 72% chances to advance past group stages. In a potential rematch of last year’s Confederations Cup final Brazil is predicted to be the better side once again in a narrow 1-0 win over reigning World and European Champions.
More potential classics lay further in the draw, with Brazil tipped to meet Italy in the quarter finals and Germany predicted to beat France 2-1 in the other. On the other side of the draw, there’s a likely possibility of last time semifinal rematch between the Netherlands and Uruguay, with Oranje tipped to overcome the South American opposition again this time.
Bosnia is predicted to be the dark horse of the tournament. With 65% chances of advancing from group stages, they are predicted to progress from the second place behind Argentina and to face France in round of 16, a contest which they are predicted to eventually lose 1-2. Russia also have the potential to cause upset and just like Bosnia they are tipped to feature in round of 16 and Germany is predicted to thrash them 3-1.
Even though England have 64% chances of qualifying from group stages, those of Uruguay and Italy and rated slightly higher at 67% and 66%, respectively. As a result, England is predicted to drop off the tournament after group stages and that is to be consider as a huge disappointment, especially given the quality of players Roy Hodgson has at his disposal. The same applies to Nigeria, who at 47% chances, are tipped to finish the group behind Argentina and Bosnia.
Messi the top scorer
Lionel Messi of Argentina is predicted to win the golden boot award with 5 goals scored. Given his individual quality and considering team’s overall attacking talent, it’s likely that Messi will be top scorer this summer, especially given the fact Argentina is predicted to go all the way to the finals. Neymar of Brazil is tipped to tail Barcelona striker with 4 goals to his name.