2018 World Cup Group B Future Odds and Predictions
One of the easiest Group to predict in the World Cup will be Group B, where Spain and Portugal will most likely capture the top two spots. Morocco and Iran join them in this group, two teams that might have had impressive runs in the qualifiers, but they won't be too much to handle.
Spain is not only the favorites to win this group, but the entire tournament, as they have a really strong setup. They made it past the qualifiers rather easily, as they qualified as first from Group G that also featured Italy, against whom they remained undefeated. They have participated in 15 World Cups so far, and their last title was back in 2010, where they were crowned World Champions in South Africa. They overcame the Netherlands in the extra-time by a slim 0-1, but they failed to replicate their success in the 2014 edition in Brazil, where they were unable to go through the group stage. They are now sitting at the 6th spot of the FIFA rankings. Coach Julien Lopetegui is using an offensive 4-3-3 formation, and he has a ton of superstars to choose from, like Isco, Iniesta, David Silva, Diego Costa and so many more. Their defense is guarded by Manchester United's David de Gea, along with Real Madrid's Sergio Ramos and Barcelona's Gerard Pique.
Portugal did a solid job in the EURO Cup two years ago, where they defeated hosts France in the final and captured the trophy despite playing without Cristiano Ronaldo for most of the final. This will be their 7th World Cup, and their highest place has been the 3rd spot in the 1966 edition in England. They are now sitting at the 3rd spot of the FIFA Rankings and will look to do a better job than what they did in Brazil in 2014, where they failed to go through the group stage. No need to mention that they will heavily rely on superstar Cristiano Ronaldo to guide them through, who has the most caps than any other Portuguese player (149) and also the most goals (81). He will be backed up by Barcelona's Andre Gomez, Manchester City's Bernardo Silva, and Milan's Andre Silva.
Morocco is returning to the World Cup for the first time in 20 years, for their 5th participation in the Group Stage. Their most significant achievement so far has been their qualification to the round of 16 of the 1986 World Cup in Mexico, where they finished at the 11th spot. They are sitting at the 42nd spot of the FIFA rankings and had a rather easy job in the African qualifier group that also featured Ivory Coast, Mali, and Gabon. They are playing some defensive soccer with a tendency to counter-attack from the flanks. Their biggest name lies in their defensive line, with Juventus' Medhi Benatia looking to lock-down their defense. They mostly rely on players who play in Spain, France, Germany and the Netherlands, along with some players who have been great in the domestic league.
Iran is coming to the World Cup for the 5th time, but have never made it past the group stage. They are currently sitting at the 33rd spot of the FIFA rankings, and pretty much dominated their Asian qualifiers group. They were the first team to mathematically book their ticket to the World Cup, besides hosts Russia who had a wild-card. In the 2014 World Cup in Brazil, Iran finished at the bottom of Group F that also featured Argentina, Nigeria, and Bosnia & Herzegovina, grabbing just one point from a goalless draw against Nigeria. They have a experienced coach in Carlos Queiroz, with the Portuguese coach being Sir Alex Ferguson's right hand for so many years in Manchester United.
2018 World Cup Group B Predictions
It is more than obvious that Portugal and Spain will fight for the top spot, and the two teams will clash against one another in the first match. Both Morocco and Iran will try to play spoiler here, but all they can do is play massive defense. Iran is really likely to finish at the bottom spot (-160), while I would also suggest picking Morocco to finish the group stage with 4 points (+300). My best bet for this group is as that Spain, Portugal, Morocco, and Iran will finish in this same order (+150).