2014 World Cup spots all taken now after qualification issues are settled
The places for the 2014 FIFA World Cup in Brazil have all been settled now, with Uruguay being the last team to book their spot. They make up just one of the 32 participating nations who will be heading to South America next summer. Even now qualification issues have all been settled, there has been little reaction by bookmakers who still have the big four in the world, Brazil, Germany, Argentina and Spain, trading as well ahead of the rest of the pack. Will it simply come down to a straight shot between those, or is there a dark horse in the pack like Belgium or the Netherlands?
So who actually made it through? Lets look at all the teams who battled their way through long qualification journeys.
Brazil. The South Americans are trading as strong favourites to land the title on home soil. They will certainly have the support behind them and are running as 7/2 front runners in World Cup betting with online betting site Bet365.
The UEFA zone once again are sending the heaviest contingent of nations to the World Cup Finals and the continent is represented well with Germany and Spain both trading as 5/1 shots with Bet365 to lift the title. They are the ones who are likely to push Brazil the hardest here and some favouritism may go to Spain because of their slower game and ball retention skills under the heat the tournament will be played in. Europe being the winning continent is trading at 8/11 with Bet365.
Also trading as decent dark horse shots will be 2010 losing finalists, the Netherlands and the youthful enterprise and endeavour of Belgium. The Belgians are looking a very classy side at the moment but face a step up in the kinds of experience needed to navigate their way to a World Cup title. The Dutch, fired by Robin van Persie should also be hovering around the latter stages of the competition. As for England, Italy and France, the bookmakers really aren’t expecting too much from them, all trading at odds of 20/1 and out.
Qualified: Belgium, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Croatia, England, France, Germany, Greece, Italy, Spain, Netherlands, Portugal, Russia, Switzerland
Along with Brazil, there will be a leaning towards their rivals Argentina for this tournament. Hopefully Lionel Messi is fit to star on the world’s greatest stage next summer. They will enjoy the conditions and had an easy enough time coming through CONMEBOL qualification, which is usually an arduous affair. Packed with talent, but they struggle to come together as a unit. Colombia could make a heavy presence as a dark horse next summer, as they have come on leaps and bounds over the last couple of years and look a very dangerous and talented young side.
Qualified: Argentina, Brasil (hosts), Colombia, Ecuador, Chile, Uruguay
You don’t expect big challenges to come from any of the four qualified nations here. Iran produced an immense defence through qualification, conceding just two goals along the way, but they are light up front. Japan, South Korea and Australia will play with pride, but all may struggle to get out of their groups.
Qualified: Australia, Iran, Japan, South Korea.
The African nations usually bring a lot of flair and passion to the World Cup stage, but there seems to be an apparent drop in quality coming out of the continent. Nigeria, the Super Eagles seem to be full of themselves and optimism but the shortest priced side from Africa is the Ivory Coast at odds of 150/1 with Bet365 to land the title. Ghana were perhaps the most impressive of all the African nations through qualification.
Qualified: Algeria, Cameroon, Ghana, Ivory Coast, Nigeria
North and Central America and Caribbean
Naturally most will be expecting the USA to be the best side to come from the CONCACAF zone. They have the best quality resources in terms of players available to them, and boss Jurgen Klinsmann will enjoy the challenge immensely. Still a way shot of being anything but a last sixteen side though.
Qualified: Costa Rica, Honduras, United States, Mexico
The draw for the 2014 FIFA World Cup will be on December 6th, 2013 at the Costa do Sauipe resort in Brazil. The tournament itself will start on June 12th, 2014 and run through to the final on July 13th. The event will be hosted across 12 cities.