The World Cup looks set to be one of the highlights on the 2018 sporting calendar and soccer fans are already placing wagers on the tournament. Amongst the many World Cup odds and markets for the competition, there are a number of alternative markets priced up by online bookmakers in Canada including the World Cup group winner and group qualification.

There are 32 teams competing at the tournament and they have been split into eight groups of four. The group stage will begin on June 14th and conclude on June 28th. We analyse each of these sections and our predictions look at which teams are likely to finish top of the pile. There could be a few surprises along the way as each team aims to book their place in the knock-out round of the competition.

Group A Prediction

Uruguay have been installed as 2.00 favourites by Sports Interaction in the World Cup group winner market and they have been given the best chance of finishing top of the pile according to our predictions. The South American side have a strong squad and the two-time winners have plenty of firepower with Barcelona frontman Luis Suarez teaming up with Edison Cavani. Matias Vecino is another talented player who could have a big impact on this tournament.

Russia have already suffered a few injury problems but should be much better this time around and will be looking to take advantage of being the host country. They begin their campaign on June 14th against Saudi Arabia and should ensure group qualification but according to our predictions, they are likely to finish behind Oscar Tabarez’s side.

Egypt will be largely relying on the brilliance of Mo Salah and the Liverpool winger has attracted some support in the top goalscorer market. The Pharaohs could be the surprise packages in Group A but our predictions suggest they may just come up short in their bid to become group winners.

Saudi Arabia are highly likely to be going home early and they have been given little chance of topping Group A. They don’t look strong enough to compete with the remainder of the teams in here.

Group B Prediction

Spain are highly likely to finish top of Group B and they are also prominent in the World Cup winner market at 7.96. They are a classy outfit with the likes of David Silva pulling the strings in midfield and the impressive Isco assisting. The goals haven’t flowed for Alvaro Morata in 2018 but he is always prominent on the International stage and he is likely to start for Spain’s manager side. They should dominate here and look the obvious World Cup group winner.

Portugal are the European champions but they were hardly convincing in France and they aren’t expected to finish above their near-neighbours. They have the mercurial Cristiano Ronaldo who is prominent in the top goalscorer market but he will need to be at his absolute best if he is to guide his side to the summit of Group B.

Iran and Morocco have very little chance of finishing top of this section and it would be considered one of all-time greatest World Cup shocks if they were to finish above Spain and Portugal.

Group C Prediction

France are the dominant force in Group C and look one of the better World Cup group winner bets. Les Bleus have an abundance of talent and they possess firepower in the shape of Antoine Griezmann and Kylian Mbappe. Didier Deschamp’s men were a touch unlucky to miss out on Euro 2016 glory and they are not only expected to sail through to the next round but they should also dominate Group C.

Denmark are predicted to be the nearest challenger to France at the top of Group C but despite the presence of Christian Eriksen, they will be expected to settle for second place in this section. They are a young and potentially dangerous side but it’s hard to see them ousting the 1998 winners at the top.

Peru are an interesting and potentially underrated side but they aren’t expected to challenge for top spot here. They could be the side who take points off France and Denmark.

Australia could be potentially entertaining but they have been given little chance of finishing top of Group C.

Group D Prediction

Argentina are 5th favourites at 9.00 in the World Cup winner market with Bodog Sports and they are expected to finish top of Group D. Jorge Sampaoli’s side struggled in qualification but they always fare well in these tournaments and rarely struggle in the group stage. They possess the likes of Lionel Messi and Gonzalo Higuain and should be too strong for the remainder of this group.

Croatia are second best in the World Cup group winner market and they do have enough talent to make a dent in Argentina’s quest for top spot. They regularly fall short at major tournaments but this could be their year. They have the experience, classy Luka Modric who isn’t getting any younger but should still be able to pull the strings in midfield.

Iceland were the surprise package at Euro 2016 but they aren’t expected to repeat the trick here. Heimir Halgrimsson’s side aren’t expected to finish top of the standings and their best hope remains sneaking through in second place.

Nigeria have a very young squad and continue to bump into Argentina at major tournaments. They aren’t expected to challenge for top spot.


Group E Prediction

Group E is all about Brazil and they aren’t expected to drop any points en-route to finishing top of this section. Group qualification is likely to come easy for Tite’s side who have been handed a fairly simple task. They have far too much firepower and the way they cruised through their South American qualifying group suggests that reaching the knock-out round is simply a formality.

Switzerland are best-of-the-rest but they aren’t really expected to challenge for top honours. They have looked a bit toothless in the past and they may struggle to keep tabs on the five-time winners.

Serbia are a bit more an unknown quantity and have been dubbed an up and coming side but once again, they aren’t expected to lay a glove on Brazil who should be away and gone here.

Costa Rica produced a huge shock at World Cup 2014 but they aren’t expected to replicate that here. They haven’t been given much chance of progression let alone topping the group.

Group F Predictions

Germany are the dominant force in Group F and they have been given the best chance of finishing top. They have been priced up as the narrow favourites in the outright market and appear to be one of the best bets in the World Cup group winners market. Joachim Low’s side are unflappable and rarely drop points at this stage of the tournament. The holders should cruise through.

Sweden are the second best side in this group but they are likely to struggle to keep tabs on the predicted group leaders. They pulled off a surprise by getting to the tournament and they could shock once again but it’s unlikely to see them finish top.

Mexico are hugely inconsistent and that could be a problem for those backing them to finish top of Group F. They concede too many goals and aren’t fancied to oust Germany here.

Korea are unlikely to have any impact on this group according to our predictions.


Group G Prediction

Belgium and England are set for an intriguing battle at the top of Group G and it’s Roberto Martinez’s side who have been given the best chance of finishing top of this section. The Red Devils have been excellent in qualification and they are narrowly favoured ahead of the Three Lions. They are priced at 1.80 in the World Cup Group Winner market and have a number of outstanding individual players.

England have been given a decent chance of finishing top of Group G and they are the nearest rivals to Belgium. They have a good young side who will be expected to be much improved from their listless display at Euro 2016.

Tunisia aren’t expected to make much of an impact in this group and they’ve been given very little chance of finishing top. They could potentially be the side to take points of Belgium and England but are unlikely to progress to the next stage.

Panama are just pleased to have reached the tournament and aren’t expected to make an impact in Group G.

Group H Prediction

Group H is one of the more competitive groups at the 2018 World Cup and it is Colombia who have been given the narrow advantage here. Jose Pekerman’s side have been given the nod just ahead of Poland. They acquitted themselves well in the South American qualifying group and they look a decent all-round outfit.

Poland have Robert Lewandowski and he is the star attraction here. They are only just edged out by Colombia in our predictions. Adam Nawalka’s side play good attacking football but they leave too much room at the back and that could see them struggle against Colombia.

Senegal have previously been a surprise package at this tournament and whilst they could make an impact in Group H, they aren’t given much chance of finishing top here. Likewise, Japan have a decent record in this competition but look significantly weaker than on previous occasions.