FIFA World Cup - Brazil 2014

FIFA World Cup - Brazil 2014

 

This summer sees the 2014 World Cup take place in Brazil, beginning with the opening game on 12th June and ending with the World Cup final on 13th July. It is the 20th World Cup tournament to be staged, the second to be held in Brazil (following on from the 1950 World Cup), and the fifth finals to be held in South America, adding to the tournaments held in 1930, 1950, 1962 and 1978. We take a look ahead at the tournament to give you all the facts, figures and information that you need.

 

Venues

There are twelve stadiums of various sizes that will play host to matches in this year’s World Cup, from the 78,838 capacity Estadio do Maracana in Rio de Janeiro to the 42,086 Arena das Dunas in Natal. Six of the stadiums are brand new and were built specifically for this tournament, while the remaining six were renovated in order to bring them up to FIFA standards. The cities that have been awarded the privilege of hosting World Cup games are Belo Horizonte, Brasilia, Cuiaba, Curitiba, Fortaleza, Manaus, Natal, Porto Alegre, Recife, Rio de Janeiro, Salvador and Sao Paulo.

 

 

World Cup Groups

The twelve stadiums will play host to 64 football matches in total, 48 in the group stage and 16 in the knockout stages. In the group stage, the 32 qualifying teams will be split into eight groups of four and the teams in each group will play each other once, with the top two teams progressing to the next round. Finishing top of the group will be seen as a big bonus for most teams and will help improve their 2014 World Cup betting odds as it will see them face a runner-up in the next round and thus have a theoretically easier tie. Also, thanks to our Dash of the Titans special offer, the group stage could be very profitable for you.

 


The World Cup draw for the groups threw up some interesting clashes for World Cup betting. Here is a full list of the 2014 World Cup groups:

 

Group A

Group B

Group C

Group D

Group E

Group F

Group G

Group H

Brazil  Spain Greece Italy Switzerland Argentina Germany Belgium
Cameroon Netherlands Ivory Coast England France Bosnia and Herzegovina Portugal Russia
Croatia Chile Japan Uruguay Ecuador Iran USA South Korea
Mexico Australia Colombia Costa Rica Honduras Nigeria Ghana Algeria

 

From a World Cup betting perspective, group D looks to be the most interesting of all the groups as it contains three strong teams that are among the leading teams in the outright 2014 World Cup betting odds. Meanwhile, group B sees the 2010 finalists go head to head while group G contains Germany and Portugal, two of the favourites in the World Cup odds.

 

 

Knockout Rounds

The knockout stages begin on 28th June and are played with a sudden death format that will see a game go to extra-time if it cannot be decided in 90 minutes and then to penalties if it is still level after the additional half an hour. Teams must progress through three of these sudden death rounds in order to reach the ultimate goal, the 2014 World Cup final. These rounds are likely to provide some exciting live betting and will be one of the best times to bet on World Cup 2014.

 

Check out our new World Cup Crazy Numbers Interactive Infographic

 

 

World Cup Betting Favourites

At the time of writing, the World Cup odds suggest that there are four teams that appear to be the most likely to lift the famous trophy. As the host nation and the most successful team in the history of the World Cup, Brazil are currently favourites to win the World Cup and, with the home crowd behind them, they will be a very difficult side to beat. Argentina are second favourites in the 2014 World Cup betting and, with the likes of Lionel Messi and Sergio Aguero in their side, they look a big threat to claim their first World Cup triumph since 1986. Germany have been in great form over recent years and seem to be getting better each year, perhaps one of the reasons that the World Cup odds have them as third favourites. Finally, holders Spain are considered fourth favourites for the trophy as they look to become the first team since Brazil in 1958 and 1962, and only the third team ever, to win back to back World Cups.

 

 

Best of the Rest

Aside from the four favourites, there are a few other teams that look capable of making an impact in Brazil and might be worth focussing on if you want to bet on World Cup 2014. Belgium may be playing in their first World Cup since 2002 but they are currently 14/1 in the World Cup betting and look like they could go far this summer. Boasting a talented young squad with players like Eden Hazard and Romelu Lukaku, Belgium were impressive in qualifying and are ranked as the 11th best team in the world in the latest FIFA rankings.

 


In addition to Spain, France and Italy look to be two of the best prospects from Europe, although Italy’s chances will be affected by how well they perform in their tough group. Meanwhile, after disappointing at Euro 2012, the Netherlands are considered relative outsiders but, as they showed in 2010, they have the potential to upset those World Cup odds and go far in the tournament.

 

 


Since only two teams have ever won a World Cup outside of their own continent, the South American teams might be the best option for those who want to bet on World Cup 2014. Obviously, Brazil and Argentina are the two big contenders from that continent but Colombia and Uruguay could also be a threat as they boast some of the finest attacking talents in world football. Colombia are led by Radamel Falcao and he will be crucial to their chances in Brazil. Meanwhile, Uruguay are spearheaded by Diego Forlan and the often controversial Luis Suarez, meaning they have one of the best striking partnerships around.

 

 

The Players

The battle for the golden boot is always intriguing and it looks like this year won't be an exception as some goalscoring greats go for glory. Lionel Messi leads the 2014 World Cup betting odds for top scorer and he is closely followed by his Barcelona teammate Neymar. Cristiano Ronaldo is next in the World Cup odds and, after his amazing form over recent seasons, he cannot be written off. Next in the 2014 World Cup betting are Sergio Aguero, Luis Suarez, Gonzalo Higuain, Diego Costa, Fred and Robin van Persie. A lot will depend on how well the players’ teams do so, when choosing to bet on World Cup 2014, it is worth looking at the likely path of a player’s team to see if there is a good chance that he will play in five or more games.

 


Unsurprisingly, Messi and Ronaldo are also expected to battle it out for the Golden Shoe award that is given to the player of the tournament. Forwards tend to dominate the World Cup odds for this award but, a bit further back, some other potential stars are Eden Hazard of Belgium and Franck Ribery of France who have both had fantastic seasons with their clubs. Again, it is worth looking at the team’s most likely to reach the later stages if you want to bet on the winner of this award as the star players in those teams are likely to get most of the headlines. At the other end of the scale, most players will be looking to avoid being labelled as the bad boy of Brazil 2014 but there are a few names that stand out as potential villains and could end up leading the yellow and red card table.

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