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With the opening game of the 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil a mere two days, opinions are divided on who will perform to expectations and who will flop. What is even more interesting this year is in the conditions the world’s finest will have to adapt to. Typical temperatures of 30°C and humidity ranging from 60% to 95% means implementing tactics are half the battle, as the players will have an extra consideration due to the climate. As expected, the host nation usually has an increased odds to win and this time there’s no exception as Brazil are outright favorites at 3/1 with Argentina coming in second place with 9/2 odds to win. This is of no big surprise as the Brazilian team have been relatively lucky without succumbing to injuries and first-team regulars such as Neymar and Oscar have been able to keep fit throughout the regular season.
The same cannot be said for the other nations such as Germany with Marco Reus the latest high-profile name to be ruled out after suffering a partial tear of his left ankle ligament. However, the Germans are fortunate enough to still have the likes of Mario Götze and Mesut Özil along with other quality players to be deployed across the starting 11. Similarly, France has had one of their key players fall to injury as Franck Ribery has been ruled out as well. Although there are injuries suffered by every nation, the progression of football development in recent years means there are more than enough quality players to have their chance to shine.
All being said, it will be interesting to see the players that will perform to our high expectations and those who will have a break-out tournament. We may not have Zlatan Imbrahimovich’s delicate touch and outrageous trickery grace Brazil but we do have 2014 Ballon d’Or winner Cristiano Ronaldo along with the wizardry of Lionel Messi. So we leave it up to you to decide which country will win the most prized possession in football. Will you play it safe and follow the bookies by choosing Brazil or Argentina, or even the reigning world and European champions Spain? Or will you be rooting for an “underdog” with great potential, such as Belgium’s promising youngsters to make a sensational appearance on the world’s biggest stage? Let us know down below.
The first game of the 2014 FIFA World Cup will see Brazil and Croatia kick off this Friday, June 12 at 4 p.m. EST.
Due to the fact that there are 31 participating countries, we have included only the top five with the highest odds and the rest categorized as “other.” If you have an argument for somebody outside the top five, please let us know in the comments below.