2018 World Cup Predictions and Picks


 

The 2018 World Cup is finally here. It’s time to make some serious predictions about which teams will march to the World Cup Finals as well as which team will take home the World Cup Trophy.

2018 World Cup Predictions and Picks

I broke up this blog into two sections. I make a prediction as to which favored team has the edge in the 2018 World Cup. I then write about which favored team World Cup fans should watch out for. I repeat the process for the underdogs with a shot. I left off any team from my underdog with a shot list that offers +5000 odds or higher to win the World Cup.

Finally, I went ahead and predicted which team would battle it out in the 2018 World Cup Finals. Check out  a link to this year’s World Cup:  world-cup-bracket

 

The Favorites

Brazil                          +450

Neymar is healthy this year. Not only that, but the very good Gabriel Jesus could have the best moments of his young soccer career in this year’s World Cup. If Jesus breaks out as Brazil’s next great soccer star, Brazil could win it all.

Germany                   +475

Germany won the 2014 World Cup. Manger Joachim Lowe is one of the very best the world has ever seen. Lowe managed to find a way for the Germans to score 5 goals off set pieces at the 2014 World Cup. That was better than any other team.

Spain                          +600

It’s tough to look past a team that has both Iniesta and Isco. Those two players alone means that Spain will be one of the tougher teams to deal with at the 2018 World Cup. Manager Julen Lopetegui is another piece of the puzzle. Lopetegui has coached most of the players that make up Spain’s 2018 World Cup Team since 2013. That includes coaching the excellent Isco.

France                        +650

Didier Deschamps’ team is loaded from top to bottom. It starts with great striker Antoinne Griezmann. Greizmann might be good enough to win the Golden Boot at this year’s World Cup. Greizmann isn’t the only player to consider, though. Paul Pogba, if he’s in top form, is one of the best midfielders in the world.

Argentina                  +950

For Argentina it all begins and ends with the great Lionel Messi. Messi has the ability to flat out dominate on the pitch. The fact that Aguero, Di Maria, and Higuan are all healthy at the 2018 World Cup means that Argentina might have a better shot to win the prize this year than they did as a +300 favorite in 2014.

Which of the Favored World Cup Teams Has the Overall Edge? 

Sounds crazy, but France appears to have the overall edge from the group of favorites. Before getting into why, there are some reasons why the other teams listed as favorites might fail at the 2018 World Cup.

Germany is strong. Germany must contend this World Cup without Philipp Lahm, Lukas Podolski, and Miroslav Klose. Those 3 players were a huge reason Germany won the World Cup in Brazil. Spain is great. But, Spain had some major changes happen from the 2014 World Cup to this year’s World Cup. Brazil is also great. Brazil, like Argentina, must travel across the world to Russia.

France mustn’t travel that far to battle for their World Cup championship. Not only that, but the French are incredibly fired up for this year’s World Cup. The sting of losing the Euro Championship on their home soil still hurts. The French are destined to show the best of the favored teams to win the 2018 World Cup.

Which Favored Team Should World Cup Fans Watch Out For? 

Although Argentina, like Brazil, must travel across the globe to Russia for the 2018 World Cup, Argentina has a single, all important difference from Brazil. Lionel Messi plays for Argentina while he doesn’t play for Brazil.

There’s another reason to love Argentina’s chances this year. Chile’s former manager, Jorge Sampaoli, coached and managed Chile to the Round of 16 where they lost 1 to 2 to Brazil at the 2014 World Cup. Think of what Sampaoli can do with Messi, Di Maria, and Aguero.

The Underdogs with a Shot

Belgium                     +1200

FIFA ranks Belgium as the third best national team in the world. That’s a high ranking for at team that offers excellent +1200 odds. There’s a reason that Belgium is ranked so highly. First, they sport one of the absolute monster midfielding passers. Only Messi rivals Kevin de Bruyne in creativity at the 2018 World Cup. Second, striker Romelu Lukaku has been in awesome form for Manchester United. He figures to carry that form over to the World Cup.

England                     +1800

This England squad is young. Led by players like Harry Kane and Raheem Sterling, England could find it amazingly easy to score goals at the 2018 World Cup. The defense is better than many believe it to be. What’s the best reason to like England, though? Gone are old pros like Wayne Rooney. That means England has no clue it’s supposed to fail at the World Cup.

Uruguay                    +2500

Uruguay has the best striking pair in this year’s World Cup in Luis Suarez and Edinson Cavani.  Uruguay also has an excellent defense. Uruguay’s one of the few teams to have ever won a World Cup. That puts them on the short list of would be winners.

Portugal                    +2800

Pepe and Ronaldo are the two reasons to like Portugal. Ronaldo remembers how horrible things went for Portugal in Brazil at the last World Cup. He most definitely will want to make amends. Portugal pulled off the UEFA Euro 2016 title by beating France in the final. That wasn’t easy to do because Portugal was without Ronaldo. Not only that, Portugal had to beat France for the Euro Championship in France.

Croatia                       +3300

If Coratia is going to ever make a move in the World Cup, this is when they’ll do it.  The Croatians are led by the brilliant midfielder Ivan Rakitic. Playing for Barcelona, Rakitic is well aware of what it takes to perform on the big stage. However, Croatia’s star is Luka Modric.  The Real Madrid midfielder will be a huge reason if Croatia escapes Group D over Argentina and manages to make a run to the World Cup title.

Columbia                  +4000

Columbia’s getting no love, which is sort of strange. Not only do the Columbian’s boast a seriously talented striker in Radamel Falcao, but James Rodriguez also plays for Columbia. Rodriguez won the Golden Boot at the 2014 World Cup in Brazil. He most likely won’t win the Golden Boot this year. The reason is because he’ll set up Falcao for great shots on goal.

Which of the Underodg World Cup Teams Has the Overall Edge? 

England is one of the fastest teams at this year’s World Cup. Heck, they might be the fastest team at this year’s World Cup. The English play forward. When you do that, there’s a chance you get caught scrambling. I’m not sure that’s going to happen, though.

I believe at any sign of trouble the English will send their entire team back to help on defense. Then, the English will look to get Sterling and Kane to break away for easy goals. Speed kills in most any sport. It should help the English kill most of their competition at the 2018 World Cup.

Which Underdog Team Should World Cup Fans Watch Out For? 

Uruguay should easily handle Russia, Saudia Arabia, and Egypt in Group A. After Group A, it’s difficult to see Portugal getting past Uruguay in the Round of 16. A quarterfinal match versus France would then loom. If Uruguay could somehow upset France, they’d definitely be capable of beating anybody else in the semifinals and the finals.

2018 World Cup:  Semi Finals and Finals Prediction

2018 World Cup Semifinals Prediction

England vs France

My gut tells me that a classic battle between England and France develops at the 2018 World Cup. England must upset Belgium and win Group G to advance to face France in the semifinals. If the English do end up beating Belgium for Group G, there’s a good chance they upset Brazil before facing France.

Yes, I believe all of that happens. I can’t get past how much pace England plays with. I think that if they’re smart about how they set up their defense, they’ll take down France in the World Cup Semifinals.

Pick: England  

Argentina vs Germany

This would be a rematch of the 2014 World Cup Final in Brazil. Germany beat Argentina that day. I don’t believe they beat Argentina this year.

Germany has a relatively easy go of it to make it to the World Cup Semfinals. The toughest team Germany will face in the quarterfinals should be either Colombia or Poland. Germany will handle either one of those teams.

Once they get to the semifinals, though, Argentina could hit them in the mouth. Like I wrote above, this Argentinian squad is healthy and loaded. Argentina beats Germany if the rematch materializes.

Pick: Argentina  

2018 World Cup Finals Prediction

England vs Argentina

I love England’s chances of winning this year’s World Cup. I just don’t see most teams stopping England’s ability to score goals. Not only that, but England’s defense is much better than many believe it is.

With all of that being written, Argentina has an edge with both Lionel Messi and manager Sampaoli. The Argentinians and Messi will win the 2018 World Cup. They’ll do so by beating England 2 to 1 in the World Cup Finals.

Pick:  Argentina