Russia is hosting the 21st instalment of the football World Cup this year and nations from only two continents have previously lifted the trophy.

Europe currently lead South America 11-9 in the standings, largely on account of winning the last three tournaments – Italy in 2006, Spain in 2010 and Germany arrive this year as defending champions.

And anyone seeking a World Cup tip for 2018 should be betting on another European winner celebrating victory on July 15th.

This isn’t because South American representatives are suddenly incapable of winning the tournament. After all, Brazil are still favourites in the World Cup betting across the board.

The reason is the struggles that these nations have had in previous World Cups held in Europe.
Of the nine South American successes, only Brazil’s 5-2 victory over host nation Sweden in the 1958 final took place in Europe.

Europe has hosted half of the previous 20 World Cups and aside from Brazil’s victory, there are only two other examples of South American nations even reaching the final.

These were Argentina when losing 1-0 to West Germany at Italia 90 and Brazil being downed 3-0 by France in 1998, in a match widely remembered for a saga involving chief striker Ronaldo.

Such struggles are not just limited to South American countries adapting to tournaments in Europe. European nations are not much better when having to travel to other continents either.

Spain’s extra-time victory over The Netherlands in South Africa in 2010 represented the first example of a European triumph away from European soil.

Player acclimatisation can’t really be blamed, as the last time a World Cup was held in Europe in 2006, only three Brazilian squad members plied their trade outside of Europe and none were in the first-choice XI.

Things are unlikely to be much different this time around either, with the only possible non-Europeans in the Brazil ranks likely to be fringe defenders.

Therefore, a logical World Cup prediction is that the winner will be a European nation, even if the odds suggest that this isn’t the most daring of forecasts.