Only eight countries have ever won the World Cup but Uruguay (30/1) are among that number – and they look the option for value seekers in the 2018 outright market.
Uruguay 30/1 to win World Cup
The 2010 semi-finalists have assembled a talented squad with strike pair Luis Suarez and Edinson Cavani the headline act.
Yet there are many more strings to their bow. Any side with Atletico Madrid’s first-choice central-defensive pairing of Diego Godin and Jose Gimenez is going to have a solid look to it, while the midfield is not short on talent where Juventus rising star Rodrigo Bentancur joins the likes of Inter Milan’s Matias Vecino.
Oscar Tabarez’s men have been drawn into what looks the weakest group alongside hosts Russia, Saudi Arabia and Egypt and a winnable last-16 meeting with Portugal is likely. Yes, they will need to deliver an upset or two in the latter stages but this is a side capable of competing with the best.
Admittedly there haven’t been too many big-priced finalists in World Cup history so it’s also worth looking to the groups for potential surprise packages – remember Costa Rica won their pool four years ago at a double-figure price.
And this year, a case can be made for Peru to repeat trick. They go up against France, Denmark and Australia and are 11/1 to win the group.
Peru 11/1 to win Group C
France are clearly the class act but few seem sure that boss Didier Deschamps knows how to best utilise his talented squad.
Denmark were heavily reliant on Christian Eriksen in qualifying and don’t look particularly strong, while Australia had to really battle to qualify, edging past Syria and Honduras in play-offs.
Any team which comes through South American qualifying warrants respect and buoyed by the availability of star man Paolo Guerrero following his drugs-ban appeal (he scored twice in a warm-up win over Saudi Arabia), Peru could challenge.
Finally, the assumption that Belgium and England will cruise through at the expense of Tunisia and Panama should at least be questioned.
Tunisia are a well-organised side defensively – exactly the sort of team England have struggled to break down in the past. Think Algeria in 2010.
Tunisia 9/2 to qualify out of Group G
They let in just four in their six group qualifiers and England first up looks a good game for them – the Three Lions have won just two of their last seven opening games at a World Cup.
If that match is drawn, this group takes on a whole new dimension and 9/2 for Tunisia to qualify looks too big.
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