The excitement is palpable as the June draws ever closer. With less than 100 days to go until World Cup 2018 kicks off in Russia, we’re asking the question, which teams will qualify? The qualifiers were intense and we witnessed some nail biting finishes.

Brazil, Germany, Spain, and Mexico all dominated their respective qualification confederations, but will they be able to dominate the first round and go through to the round of 16? On this page of our site we are looking at each group and predicting the outcomes based on the odds from leading bookmakers. Bettors in Ireland who want to get in on the action can check out all our World Cup 2018 guides for the latest, up-to-date, information.

World Cup Group Qualifying Predictions

Group A

There are many who believe the host country, in this case Russia, has the advantage because they get to play in front of their own supporters. This could however place them under additional pressure. It will be interesting to see how they perform in this their 11th World Cup tournament. They are tipped to make it to the round of 16.

Uruguay are the favourites to qualify in Group A and they are always a great side to watch. In the qualifiers Edinson Cavani was top goal scorer with 10 goals which is more than Neymar and Coutinho combined. They finished second behind Brazil in the qualifiers and all eyes will be on Luis Suarez to make sure he doesn’t cause any controversy.

Egypt have Mohamed Salah and all eyes will be on him. He signed for Liverpool and has had a great Premier League season. Mohamed Elney will be another player to watch for Egypt too. They may not be tipped to qualify in Group A, but they are sure to provide some entertaining football.

Saudi Arabia are the team who are most likely to finish bottom of this group, but they can’t be ruled out either. They finished second in their qualifying round and what’s interesting about this team is that they don’t have a single player that plays outside of their country. Al-Abed scored 5 goals in the qualifications but can he do it in the group matches?

If you are looking to get in on the betting action, predictions put Uruguay at the top of Group A with a touch battle between Russia and Egypt for second place.

Group B

Spain v Portugal is going to be one of the most anticipated games in Group B and with both of these teams tipped to reach the round of 16, all eyes will be on them. Spain’s attack players aren’t as deadly as they used to be and Iker Casillas has been replaced by David De Gea. Spain won in 2010 but struggled in Brazil 2014. They qualified with ease though winning 9 out of their ten matches for Russia 2018. They may have the best goalkeeper in the world, and if David De Gea performs as well as he has been, Spain could take the trophy once more.

Portugal are second in the table above and all eyes will be on Cristiano Ronaldo. Portugal are going into the World Cup as European Champions but they have never won a World Cup. In 2014, they failed to pass the group stage. Will this year be different?

Morocco and Iran are the bottom two teams and it would be a major shock if either of them made it through to the round of 16. It will be Morocco’s 5th World Cup and they qualified without losing a single match. It will be interesting to see who Spain and Portugal fair against their solid defence. They could be the dark horse in Group B. Iran topped their qualification group with 22 points and they didn’t lose any of their matches.

We predict Spain to take the top spot with Portugal coming in second.

Group C

Group C is going to be very interesting. France are the favourite to win and have a great team. They only scored 18 goals in the qualifiers but they have excellent attack players including Ousmane Dembele.

Australia will be competing in their 4th World Cup but they face stiff competition from Denmark and Peru and bookies are placing them at the bottom of this table. They do have a strong team though and it could see them move past the group stage for the first time.

Peru are back for the first time since 1982. All eyes will be on Paolo Guerrero who plays a vital role in midfield.

Denmark booked their place after beating the Republic of Ireland in the playoffs and we expect most Irish fans will be hoping they go out in the group stages. Perhaps not though as bookies are tipping them to qualify for the round of 16.

The battle for second place in Group C could be close but if predictions are correct, Demark may just make it through on goal difference.

Group D

Group D is set to be the most entertaining, featuring some of the greatest players. Lionel Messi is Argentina’s star and although they’ve had it rough they are the favourites to top this group. Could they improve on their 2014 performance and win this year?

Iceland shocked the world when they knocked England out of the European Championships and all eyes will be on them to see who they do. This is Iceland’s first World Cup and nine of their players scored goals in the qualifiers.

Croatia are tipped to take second position in Group D. They haven’t made it past the group stages since 1998. Their midfield is one of the best and their defence is strong.

Nigeria are the underdog and they have never made it past the round of 16. They have however won the African Cup on Nations three time. They played Argentina in a friendly match in November and won, so they could surprise everyone.

The battle for second place in this group could be tight and there are no definites here. Group D is the Group of Death in this year’s World Cup.

Group E

Brazil have always been one of the best sides at the World Cup and it is no surprise to see them being predicted to take the top spot in Group E. They have won the trophy on five occasions which is more than any other team. They will be looking to take victory and erase the embarrassment of losing in 2014 7-1 to Germany. They also have Neymar. Will any team be able to stop them?

Switzerland qualified after finishing second in their group. They beat Northern Ireland in the play-offs. Granit Xhaka is a key player for this team. They have never made it past the quarter finals in the World Cup and the last time they got that far was 1954.

Costa Rica were one of the surprise teams in 2014. Will they do it again? They beat both Uruguay and Italy in the group stages and have a great side. Bookies however have them tipped to finish bottom of the group.

Serbia qualified with ease beating Wales, the Republic of Ireland, and Austria. This will be their 12th World Cup. They haven’t made it out of the group stages since 1998.

Brazil should top this group with no problems, but there could be a battle for second place. Predictions place Switzerland in second place at the moment.

Group F

The current champions Germany are tipped to win Group F and they will be hoping to retain the trophy. Joachim Low has been a real game changer for this team and since he became manager, Germany haven’t left an international tournament before the semi-final stages. They have a brilliant track record and are always a great team to watch.

Mexico tipped to take third position in Group F could be the dark horse. This will be their 7th World Cup. They haven’t gotten further than the quarter finals before. What is interesting though is that they have gotten past group stages since 1966 so they could surprise here.

Sweden return after a 12 year gap and are tipped to take second place in Group F. They finished second behind France in the qualifiers beating the Netherlands on goal difference. France’s only loss in the qualifiers was to Sweden so they will be a team to watch.

Korea Republic are being placed at the bottom of this group and this will be their 9thWorld Cup in a row. They finished second in their qualifying group behind Iran.

Germany should easily win this group but it might be close between Mexico and Sweden.

Group G

Group G sees Ireland’s arch rivals England being tipped to take second place and advance to the round of 16. England have only won one World Cup back in 1966 and Gareth Southgate’s team are up against some tough competition with Belgium tipped to win the group. England’s defence may be vulnerable but they have Harry Kane up front and he is also in the running for top goalscorer.

Belgium are a great team with some world class players that Premier League fans will know. Roberto Martinez is in charge with Thiery Henry as assistant. They qualified winning 9 out of 10 matches and scored 43 goals. This is Belgium’s 13th World Cup so will it be their lucky number?

Panama and Tunisia are the weaker teams in this group but Panama could surprise. This is their first time to qualify for the World Cup and a national holiday was called in the country when they made it through. They scored 9 goals during the qualifiers.

Tunisia tipped for third place in the group qualified without losing a match. They conceded only four goals. It’s their 5th World Cup and they have faced Belgium and England before. If Panama and Tunisia play defensively against England and Belgium this could be a boring group to watch.

This group is perhaps the easiest to predict and although Irish fans won’t be happy, England and Belgium are set to through to the round of 16. We do expect to see at least one goal from Tunisia and Panama though.

Group H

The final group will see Poland take part for the first time in twelve years and they are predicted to take second place. They haven’t progressed past the group stages since 1986. They were impressive at Euro 2016. Robert Lewandowski scored 16 goals in the qualifiers which is more than any other player in the world. He is one of their best players and will be tightly marked by opposition teams.

Senegal reached the quarter finals in 2002 shocking everyone when they beat France. Can they surprise us again? They qualified with ease winning 4 of their 6 matches with draws in the other two.

Columbia are favourites for Group H and a great side to watch. They reached the quarter finals in Brazil 2014. They qualified for Russia 2018 on a single point ahead of Peru and Chile. Their key player is James Rodriguez who won top scorer in Brazil 2014 with 6 goals.

Japan are predicted to take bottom place in Group H and this will be their 6thconsecutive World Cup. They were beaten 4-1 by Columbia in the group stages in Brazil 2014 and will be hoping to get their revenge.

Group H is set to be exciting and possible one of the most entertaining. We expect to see lots of goals and brilliant football skills. Columbia are predicted to take the top spot followed very closely by Poland.

World Cup Group Prediction Odds

Below you will find our BettingTop10 Ireland odds table for all the groups. These will be updated as the games play out and feature the prices from top sportsbetting websites for Irish punters. You may not be able to place your money on the boys in green this summer, but there will be some great bets to be had and we have all the information you need.