World Cup Betting: Back Brazil to banish memories of 2014 in Russia

It's been 1,432 long days since Mario Gotze volleyed the ball into the Argentina net to win the World Cup for Germany – a fitting end to a feast of football in Brazil.

Four years later, and were ready for the 2018 edition in Russia, in what promises to be another sporting spectacular.

The build-up has been dominated by events off the pitch – Fifa corruption and Russian geopolitics chief amongst them – but as soon as the hosts kick off the tournament against Saudi Arabia this afternoon, all will be forgotten, with football taking centre stage.

The stars are out in force – Lionel Messi, Cristiano Ronaldo and Neymar will be hoping this is the tournament where they secure their legacy, while the door is always open for a relative unknown to announce themselves on the world stage.

Just ask James Rodriguez from four years ago.

Read more: Trevor Steven: Why Neymar holds the key to this World Cup

That World Cup in Brazil was all set up for Neymar to be the star on home soil – and he was, until he got injured in the quarter-final.

A crushing defeat for his team-mates in the semi-final followed, with Germanys 7-1 win over the shell-shocked hosts possibly the most jaw dropping result of all time.

The scars of the 7-1 lingered over Brazil for a while, burning through two unsuccessful managers, but under new boss Tite, they have rediscovered their swagger, winning 17 of his 21 matches in charge.

Incredibly, they have conceded just five times in those 21 games, with a defensive steel to complement the attacking talents of Neymar, Philippe Coutinho and Gabriel Jesus.

The old adage of backing a European team to win in Europe should mean discounting the Brazilians, but I wouldnt be too sure.

Read more: World Cup 2018 dark horses: Could a surprise package upset the favourites?

Germany arent coming in with much form (though that doesnt always mean much), and while France have a strong squad, questions linger over manager Didier Deschamps at the top level.

At least France have a boss, unlike Spain – who will be in disarray after sacking Julen Lopetegui on the eve of the tournament.

After their heart-break in 2014, I suggest backing Brazil at 5.3 with BETDAQ.

If the Selecao are to win it, it will be Neymar who is their star – meaning backing him for the player of the tournament Golden Ball at 8.4 could be a shrewd bet too.


Brazil – 5.3 (BETDAQ)

Neymar Golden Ball – 8.4 (BETDAQ)

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