The 21st edition of the FIFA World Cup is around the corner and all true soccer fans just can’t wait for it to start, as for the next 30 days we’ll be watching the world’s best teams and players in action, fighting for the most prestigious trophy ever. Since 1990, I’ve been admiring all major and minor soccer leagues and tournaments around the globe, but there is nothing similar to the World Cup as it brings the most dramatic moments once in four years.
The time has whizzed since the previous World Cup tournament in Brazil when Germany has earned the fourth title in the history, almost like I saw that 7-1 demolition job over Brazil just a few weeks ago, but meanwhile, plenty of things happened as the soccer continues to develop and expand worldwide. The 2018 FIFA World Cup will bring us some originalities, although the essence stays the same, and that’s the most important thing why I’m going to bite my nails for the next month.
Return to Europa and the First Time In Russia
After the first World Cup tournament on the African soil in 2010 when South Africa successfully hosted the tournament (besides that constant irritating woo woo zela’s sound from the stands), we had another tremendous competition in South America four years ago, as it seems like Brazil 2014 was the most interesting World Cup in this century. It was a logical move to place the 2018 World Cup in Europe after a 12-year break, but we were all shocked when FIFA has announced that Russia will host the tournament for the first time ever, becoming the first country from Eastern Europe to host the World Cup.
Of course, I was surprised, as Russia is beautiful and rich country, but not when it comes to soccer facilities, although the soccer culture has deep roots in the former USSR. Russian people love sports, especially hockey, but there are also plenty of soccer fanatics in one of the largest countries in the world. Now, I’m not concerned about the organization, knowing how stubborn Russians are and they will do everything to prove to the world they are capable and worthy of hosting the biggest tourney of all. The only thing I’m worried about is the soccer hooliganism along with common racist problems in this part of the planet.
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Russia’s hooligans are well-known as one of the toughest, waiting for any chance to fight with Poland’s and England’s hooligans, while African-Americans are also under fire which could make some problems at the 2018 FIFA World Cup. Both Poland and England have qualified for the World Cup, and we’ve already heard about their fans’ fears, while pundits in those nations warn people to avoid going to Russia this summer, as they could face plenty of nuisances. Besides the hooliganism, I think Russia should be a great host to the 2018 FIFA World Cup. All venues look ready for the start, while the fans from some exotic destinations should make the right balance.
Technological Novelties and How It Would Fit In
Along with the host nation, the 2018 World Cup brings some more novelties, and the most important one is certainly the Video Assistant Referee (VAR) that should help referees to adjudge correct decisions. Last season, there were plenty of referees’ mistakes resolving some quite important games, particularly in the UEFA Champions League, but also in the qualifying round for the 2018 World Cup. Panama will have a debut on the biggest stage this summer in Russia thanks to an enormous mistake by a referee in the crucial qualifying match, and it was just an example as some much worse things had happened in the past.
Maradona’s legendary Hand of God goal from 1986 would be simply impossible with the Video Assistant Referee, while England would miss even that one title from 1966, but in my opinion, VAR should bring some justice to the soccer game, as one of the bad things in soccer’s evolution is certainly a tendency to cheat referees. Too much mimicry will only harm the game, whilst the soccer fans look full-fed with fakers who just want to earn a victory using all kinds of means. A drawback of the VAR is waiting for the referee to watch the video, as soccer is a dynamic game where long intermissions can easily spoil the fun. However, I believe the VAR should bring more good stuff than bad ones.
2018 World Cup Expectations
There’s a likable theorem that everyone’s playing soccer, but Germans are winning at the end, and the defending champions will try to retain the title for the first time since 1962 when Brazil made it a double. Germany has made it to the last eight in the previous 16 appearances at the World Cup, and I believe they will make it once more this summer in Russia, although I don’t think they are capable of lifting the trophy in Moscow. Die Mannschaft has plenty of talent among the squad, so they could easily deny my forecast.
Brazil is set by the bookies as the strongest favorite to beat the 2018 World Cup with the odds at +400, as Selecao looks like a well-gelled team with some remarkable individuals, while that embarrassing 7-1 defeat from the home soil four years ago should be a huge impulse for Brazil’s players to bounce back this time. Spain is another huge contender with some young lions on the side who are ready to shine on the biggest stage, while Lionel Messi will try to reach his first major trophy with Argentina, despite some poor performance in the last couple of years.
Cristiano Ronaldo will lead Portugal who will look for the first World Cup title after becoming European champions in 2006, but my favorites of the 2018 World Cup are some perpetual losers from the past – England and Belgium are both quite talented teams with a lot of top-notch players among their squads, so I think one of these two teams could make a surprise in Russia and make it to the top. I just can’t wait for it to start and see all best national teams at one place, and I’m pretty sure we’ll see one of the greatest tournaments in the history of the FIFA World Cup.
When it comes to the Golden Boot and Golden Ball winner, we should see a great battle between some of the greatest players at the moment. Lionel Messi, Cristiano Ronaldo, Neymar, Antoine Griezmann, Diego Costa, Harry Kane – these are all strong contenders to win awards at the 2018 World Cup in Russia. However, don’t forget that upsets are a common thing at the FIFA World Cup where some anonymous guys can surprise the odds which makes betting on individual awards even more intriguing.
Betting on the 2018 FIFA World Cup
One more reason why the FIFA World Cup is so special is that it takes betting to another level, offering plenty of picks and betting options to the bettors with a majority of odds already disposed on Delaware Park Sportsbook. In the group stage of the 2018 World Cup, we will see 48 games, and 16 more in the knock-out phase, so the bettors will have a chance to place bets on 64 encounters in total. However, this is not all that FIFA World Cup stretches out to the bettors, as there are plenty of markets on the outrights for each national team at the tournament.
Betting on the single game and trying to nail the final outcome is probably the most common way of wagering on the FIFA World Cup, as the bettors can choose from a three-way line, a two-way line, betting on the totals, or beating the spread.
Three-way line implies the odds on the potential winner of the match including the wages on the eventual draw at the end of 90 minutes, so any further changes in the extra-time don’t count to bet.
With a two-way line, the bettors exclude a draw from the final outcome, and whoever wins the game after the extra-time or penalty shootout, wins the bet.
Betting on the totals implies nailing how many goals will be scored in a match, and the lines are mostly set at 2.5 goals, but the bettors can pick up different lines and go with the over or under.
Furthermore, beating the spread means the bettors have to score who will win the particular game with a specified goal-margin, and this betting option is very popular among the bettors when they want to get greater wages on huge favorites. We will see a lot of odds at -350 or fewer on a three-way line, so you can pick up the winner while betting on the spread to get greater odds.
Betting on the outrights is quite popular these days, as the bettors are trying to predict how far will each team reach at the 2018 FIFA World Cup, who will win the group or finish bottom of the table, which two teams will qualify for the second round from each group, or how many points they would earn in the group stage.
Likewise, the bettors can make a wager on the 2018 World Cup top goalscorer, best goalie, or the winner of the Golden Ball, which offers more betting options to the bettors. You can even lay bets on who will be eliminated by a penalty shootout, or even who will be the top scorer of the World Cup from each of top five soccer leagues.
Betting on the 2018 FIFA World Cup will make a lot of fun in the next thirty days, so the bettors just need some kind of strategy to not get lost between all these picks and odds. A hot summer is ahead of us, so I’m pretty sure the bettors are evenly wrought up as the soccer fans worldwide.
Stay tuned with Sports Information Traders, a place where you will find betting previews for all 2018 FIFA World Cup games along with our top picks and predictions, but also a place where you can check out the latest odds provided by Delaware Park Sportsbook.