Who will reach the final in South Africa?

14th April 2010 | World Cup Betting category: World Cup Betting & Odds
World Cup Betting & Odds

 

Fancy a nation to do well over the summer, but not sure if they’ll hold their nerve in final itself? Then why not consider backing them to reach the final. You’ll be a winner regardless of whether they win the main event or not.

 

There have been many a nation down the year where public hype has raised the expectation level of a nation, and yet they seemingly faltered on the big stage. Take the silky Spanish for example. Spain, in recent years anyway, have always had a squad capable of achieving great things, whether it’s winning the Euro’s or the biggest of them all, the World Cup. However, for one reason or another, while the Spanish natives liked to call it bad luck, Spain haven’t been able to shine when it really matters. That was until Euro 2008 when they Spain went all the way in Austria to record their first major international success for nearly half a decade, their second overall.

 

The Germans, however, well, they’re a different breed altogether. Arguably the most consistent nation ever to embrace the beautiful game. Not only are they leading the way with European Championship accolades; Winning it on three occasions and finishing losing finalists on three occasions, but they’re also third in the all time winners list for the World Cup having won the World Cup three times, whilst they’ve ended up losing finalists on a staggering four occasions – More than any other nation.

 

So, in the knowledge that Germany are far more consistent than Spain, why are Germany more appealing odds to make South Africa’s final show-piece? Of course, Spain have a squad blessed with star-studded players, but the Germans have this ‘never die’ attitude and always boast a great work ethic. Even in 2006, when Germany hosted the 2006 World Cup on German soil, pundits around the globe were predicting Germany as possibly the worst host nation to have ever hosted a World Cup finals. The Germans later went on to win the third-place play-off to the surprise and dismay of the footballing world. The lesson then; never write off the Germans!

 

So, what factors will you take into consideration when picking your final selection? The quality of the current crop of players within a national team, or will you now bare in mind the pedigree of some of the giant nations competing in this summers showcase event.

 

 

To Reach the Final… Current Odds:

 

Spain – 3.00 BetFred

 

World Cup: Winners – 0, Runners-Up 0

European Championship: Winners – 2, Runners-Up – 1

 

 

Brazil – 3.50 BetFred

 

World Cup: Winners – 5, Runners-Up 2

Copa America: Winners – 8

 

 

England – 4.00 bWin

 

World Cup: Winners – 1, Runners-Up 0

European Championship: Winners – 0, Runners-Up 0

 

 

Argentina – 5.00 SkyBet

 

World Cup: Winners – 2, Runners-Up 2

Copa America: Winners – 14

 

 

Italy – 6.50 PaddyPower

 

World Cup: Winners – 4, Runners-Up 2 (Reigning World Champions)

European Championship: Winners – 1, Runners-Up 1

 

 

Germany – 7.50 SkyBet

 

World Cup: Winners – 3, Runners-Up 4

European Championship: Winners – 3, Runners-Up 3

 

 

Netherlands – 7.50 bWin

 

World Cup: Winners – 0, Runners-Up 2 

European Championship: Winners – 1, Runners-Up 0

 

 

France – 9.00 bWin

  

World Cup: Winners – 1, Runners-Up 1 

European Championship: Winners – 2, Runners-Up 0

 

 

Portugal – 13.00 BetFred

 

World Cup: Winners – 0, Runners-Up 0

European Championship: Winners – 0, Runners-Up 1

 

 

Uruguay – 51.00 SkyBet

 

World Cup: Winners – 2, Runners-Up 0

Copa America: Winners – 14

 

 

The list contains all the leading players in the market, while Uruguay were thrown into the mix because of their two World Cup titles. However, Uruguay haven’t won a World Cup since 1950 and haven’t really been a competitive nation for quite some time hence why their odds are so big.

 

 

 

As you can patently see, the leading contenders for the final consist mostly of European nations (7) and some South American (3). No team from Africa or Asia has ever made a World Cup final, while South Korea remain the only nation outside of Europe/South America to have reached a semi-final in a World Cup (2006).

 

South Korea – 250/1 ExtraBet

 

That could all change though this year as Africa have a powerhouse of a nation aiming to rock the footballing world in the Ivory Coast. Spearheaded by Didier Drogba of Chelsea, and now under the guidance of wiley old Sven Goran Eriksson, the Elephants, as their nickname goes, are tipped to go far this summer, although they must bypass a tough group consisting of both Brazil and Portugal first.

 

Ivory Coast – 15.00 BetFred

 

 

 

Spain are the leading player according to the bookmakers, although it’s hard to see why judging by their abysmal World Cup record, having never even made the final before. In fact, Spain haven’t even made the semi’s for well over half a decade, so they’ll need to rewrite some history books along the way. Granted they have arguably the strongest squad of the lot, but their quote of 3.00 with BetFred looks far too slim for our liking considering they’ve always faltered against the big nations in previous and recent World Cup’s.

  

Brazil were always going to be right up there and it’s probably the first World Cup in a long time that they won’t enter as the favourites to win it outright. They cruised through qualification though, while they were victorious in the 2009 Confederations Cup, so Brazil have proved even recently that they have what it takes to win a sixth World Cup, and their odds to make the final are justified.

  

England, much like Spain, get tipped up for big things every other year and yet seemingly fail to deliver. They have a strong squad, a rousing support and one of the worlds best managers in Fabio Capello. However, unlike Spain, England have actually lifted the World Cup before, although way back in 1966. Many believe they have the squad capable of reaching the heights this time around but they too are another nation which tend to come unstuck in the big games. Never really looked like making a final in recent attempts so their price is also on the slim side.

  

The two dangers in my eyes are the Italians (Reigning World Champs) and Germany (7 time finalists). These are two of the most consistent nations around and they never disappoint their fans back home. Moreover, especially in recent years, these two nations have been heavily criticised for their lack of quality, strength in depth etc and have still come out of tournaments with tonnes of respect. Italy won the 2006 World Cup while Germany finished in third. The pair won’t have the best of squads on paper this time around either, but we doubt tipsters will be too eager to write them off once again. 

 

Argentina, the home of boy wonder Lionel Messi. The 22 year-old has dragged Argentina into World Cup contention all by himself as the Argentina squad is at it’s weakest right now and will go to the World Cup with one of it’s poorest teams for quite some time. They were dreadful in qualifying, barely making it through South America qualification, and it doesn’t help that fans back home are hardly Messi’s biggest fans. The hopes of a nation rest upon Messi’s shoulders but Argentine’s have heavily criticised Messi down the years, recently in fact, for apparently being more of a Catalan man than an Argentine. When you take into consideration that the rest of the Argentina squad simply isn’t up to scratch, while their coach, Diego Maradona, is controversial and just not good enough as manager, it’s not the best ploy to startle your best player before a major tournament.

 

Still, Argentina have more World Cup honours than most with two winners trophies and two losing final appearances.

 

The Netherlands don’t have the strongest of squads but have always been a dangerous opponent to face and will be a team to avoid in the summer. The two former contenders now turn pretenders are that of Portugal & France. These two have massively underachieve in recent campaigns and struggled throughout qualification. Portugal has one of the World’s biggest stars in Ronaldo, but the rest of the team are nowhere near his level and have thus struggled to compete against even the average of international team in recent games. France, like Portugal, had to scrape through a play-off in order to get to South Africa, and were it not for Thierry Henry’s hand, France might not have been here. These two had to fight tooth and nail just to get here and the bookies, as well as a whole host of tipsters, feel these two sides simply aren’t equipped to fend off the challenge from bigger nations.

 

 

 

Our Pick: Germany @ 7.50 SkyBet

 

While this may not be the most talented of German squads heading over to South Africa, they aren’t a nation which shies away on the big stage, nor do they bottle it in the big games. They are a big player and always have been. Only Brazil have made as many World Cup finals as Germany have, and at odds of nearly 7/1, Germany look stunning value to surpass all expectations once again. After all, this is probably the most open World Cup for some time.



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