All the favourites are playing and it will be interesting to see how teams like Germany, Brazil, France and Spain perform, with just a few months left before the big tournament kicks off. There is no on the teams to win, so you can expect managers to field experimental line-ups, tinker with their tactics and make rafts of substitutions. For that reason, it is advisable to keep your stakes relatively low on friendlies, but there looks to be some value on offer:
Brazil suffered a seven-goal drubbing at the hands of Germany in the semi-finals of the last World Cup, so they will be desperate to make amends this year. They breezed through South American qualifying and they are now joint favourites along with the Germans to win the tournament. Neymar is out injured, but they have a wealth of attacking riches to call upon, including Philippe Coutinho, Roberto Firmino, and Gabriel Jesus. They certainly have enough firepower to gun down the Russians, who have not see competitive action in years and slipped below Cape Verde Islands in the FIFA world rankings. Brazil are 5/8 with 188Bet and 63/100 with Marathon Bet to win this one, which looks tempting, and for more value Brazil -1 Asian handicap is 8/7 with 188Bet.
This heavyweight clash pits the World Cup holders and favourites Germany against a Spain team that have not lost a game for years. The Spanish are fourth in the betting to win the World Cup, and they are teeming with Real Madrid and Barcelona stars like Gerard Pique, Sergio Ramos, Sergio Busquets and Isco. This should be a gripping contest, but Germany’s strength in depth is terrifying and they deserve their position at the top of the FIFA world rankings. They are 6/4 with Green Listed Bookmakers to win this game, but many punters are tempted by the draw at 9/4, as it is a bit of a case of unstoppable force meets immovable object. Another option would be Germany draw no bet at 4/5.
Argentina endured a dismal qualifying campaign, but they just about scraped through to the World Cup. They look utterly sensational in attack, as they can call upon Lionel Messi, Gonzalo Higuain, Paulo Dybala, Sergio Aguero and Mauro Icardi. But they can never hope to fit all those talented forwards into one team, and the defence and midfield are not as good. But they should still have enough about them to beat Italy, who failed to qualify for the World Cup, much to the nation’s embarrassment. A painful rebuilding process is now underway, so you should expect to see youngsters blooded in. Argentina can capitalize on that and home advantage should help, so the even money on offer at Unibet and Bet Stars looks tempting.
Both teams to score looks like an interesting bet at evens with the likes of William Hill in this game as both teams are strong going forwards. Colombia’s James Rodriguez was top scorer at the last World Cup and veteran striker Radamel
Falcao is always a threat. France can throw likes of Antoine Griezmann and Kylian Mbappe into battle, so they are extremely dangerous, particularly when the French midfield is blessed with so many wonderful creative talents.
Switzerland are eighth in the FIFA rankings, and they rarely lose, so they look like they could spring a few surprises at the World Cup. Greece failed to make the tournament, but they are always strong defensively and well-drilled, so this should be a low-scoring affair. Switzerland have the quality to eke out a narrow victory, so Switzerland and under 3.5 goals looks interesting at 6/4 with Ladbrokes and Betfred.