FIFA WORLD CUP 2014: Previewing the contenders

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Updated: January 15, 2014

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The Fifa 2014 World Cup will be descending on Brazil in just over five months’ time. One glance at the already scheduled fixtures tells you all you need to know: this year’s tournament should be wildly entertaining, as always.

Even better, there’s no clear-cut, definite favourite heading in, which always keeps things interesting! Brazil is being granted favourite status playing at home, but the truth is if the World Cup were being held elsewhere, you’d probably see another team out front.

Given the fact that there are a number of teams who seem poised to compete for the ultimate prize in 2014, we have taken a look at the betting odds for these teams along with what might trip each one up.

For the odds, we’ll turn to Betfair, where fixed odds are provided for each and every team’s chances of winning the World Cup. Here’s a look at each of the six betting favourites for the 2014 event.

BRAZIL

Odds to win: 7/2

What could stop them: Inconsistency. This team relies heavily on a very young star in Neymar, and they played both disastrous and brilliant football in 2013.

Prediction: The home atmosphere will be enough to inspire a deep run, but the team itself looks like a semi-final team and perhaps no better.

ARGENTINA

Odds to win: 5/1

What could stop them: Their defence. Led by Lionel Messi and Sergio Aguero, Argentina can attack with the best of them; but as Bleacher Report notes, their back line is less experienced.

Prediction: Argentina are good enough to make the final.

GERMANY

Odds to win: 6/1

What could stop them: Football-wise, not much. How about the weather? European teams face unique challenges in Brazil, and the harsh heat and humidity could become issues for this team.

Prediction: Germany may be the most complete team in the field. The prediction here is for the Germans to hoist the Cup.

SPAIN

Odds to win: 15/2

What could stop them: Age. Spain remains a top-five team in the world, undeniably, but the core of veteran stars that led them in dominating international competitions in recent years is, to some degree, aging out.

Prediction: Spain’s run of world domination should end. However, they look primed for a semi-final run if they win Group B.

BELGIUM

Odds to win: 17/1

What could stop them: Inexperience. This is a shockingly talented squad, but with Belgium playing in its first World Cup since 2002, it’s a squad unfamiliar with this stage.

Prediction: Belgium looks like a quarter-final team. Should they reach that point they’ll likely run into Argentina, which may be too tall a task.

COLOMBIA

Odds to win: 23/1

What could stop them: Inexperience. Like the Belgians, Colombia’s current squad is completely unfamiliar with World Cup finals football.

Prediction: This is a very talented squad that should be able to win the relatively weak Group C. But advancing in the knock-out stage will be difficult.

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