Here’s a World Cup winner tip for you. None of France, Spain or Argentina will be lifting the trophy in Russia this summer.
That’s a bold claim to immediately rule out three of the top five selections in the odds to win the 2018 World Cup, with all of the trio widely priced up at single-figure odds.
However, there is a reason to back up this conviction – they have been drawn in the wrong groups.
This has nothing to do with the calibre of opposition that they are set to face in June. In fact, Spain and France, in particular, shouldn’t have too much difficulty finishing in the first two in their respective groups.
Spain have to finish above Morocco and Iran to reach the knockout stages, while France have to best two of Australia, Peru and Denmark.
The issue is that teams from Groups A, B, C and D have performed disappointingly across the four World Cups this century. Not a single nation to progress from any of these four groups have made a final appearance between them.
Spain are in Group B this year, France in C and Argentina in D. Therefore, a logical World Cup 2018 group prediction is that the two finalists will come from E, F, G or H.
Group E has the best record across the last four tournaments, with France winning in 2006 and Germany (2002) and Holland (2010) both beaten finalists.
It may not be the most outrageous World Cup tip, but this is a promising sign for Brazil at worst participating in the World Cup final in Moscow on Sunday 15th July.
Brazil are the most successful nation to ever play in the World Cup, winning the trophy on five occasions. Although, it’s Germany that have reached eight finals, compared to seven for the Brazilians.
If not Brazil, the other three teams positioned in Group E are Switzerland, Costa Rica and Serbia.
But, Switzerland have never gone beyond the quarter-finals and the last time they got this far was 1954, Costa Rica did the same in 2014 and this is only Serbia’s second World Cup appearance as an independent nation. They went out in the group stage in 2010.