To date, there have been 19 World Cup tournaments. Now seven of these have been held in the Americas; four in South America, two in Mexico and one in the USA. And what do each of these tournaments have in common? Well; a South American side has won every one of them.
And of course, the World Cup hasn’t been held in is spiritual homeland of Brazil since 1950 (when Brazil lost to Uruguay in the final) so the logic goes that Brazil will probably win it and, if not the host nation, then their old rivals Argentina who, of course, won the last World Cup to be hosted in South America on their own soil back in 1978.
As a consequence of all this kind of thinking Brazil are favourites to win the tournament at around 10/3 followed by Argentina at 9/2. The next best fancied team is Germany at 5/1 followed by current holders Spain at 11/2, then Belgium (currently playing better than they ever have) at 14/1. Holland, meanwhile are around 20/1 and England 25/1 at the time of writing.
Now if you’re any kind of World Cup historian, you’ll quickly realise that the second most successful World Cup nation of all time is missing from this list so far and that is, of course, Italy.
Italy are available at a very generous 20-1 and they love this competition like no other. This makes them the outstanding value bet here. Their 4-0 loss to Spain in the final of Euro 2012 was no disgrace – they’d done extremely well to reach the final. But you can bet they’ll be determined to make amends and they haven’t really put a foot wrong in qualifying – so gobble up that value while you still can – then have a punt on the Euro Lottery and check the latest EuroMillions results to see if you can be in Brazil next summer in person to shout on your nation and/or your selection – but if you’ve got lucky, your wager won’t exactly matter too much!