World Cup 2018: Are Spain favourites to win it? Diego Costa for top scorer?June 1, 2018
Spain head to Russia as one of the most dangerous and decorated sides in football at the moment, particularly with players that have won it all in their midst.
Sergio Ramos, Marco Asensio, Dani Carvajal and Lucas Vazquez will be fresh from their Champions League win in May, while the former is one of four players in this year’s squad that started the World Cup final in 2010.
Yet, they will only be third-favourites, with odds of 6/1 to win the tournament and lift it for a second time.
Neymar and Brazil favourites to win World Cup
Instead, it is a revitalised Brazil side (4/1) who head to Russia as the team to beat, despite their harrowing 7-1 defeat to eventual winners Germany four years ago.
With the likes of former Barcelona attacker Neymar, current Barca midfield general Paulinho and Madrid-based trio Marcelo, Filipe Luis and Casemiro all in the squad, big things are expected of the five-time winners.
Germany are second favourites at 9/2 as they look to become the first side to retain the World Cup trophy since the great Pele and Garrincha-inspired Brazil team of 1962.
Hope of a first Spanish Golden Boot winner?
So what about the top scorers?
Like in most competitions winning the Golden Boot is regarded as an incredible achievement but has never been won by a Spaniard.
Real Madrid’s James Rodriguez, who has spent the past season at Bayern Munich, claimed the award four years ago, while 2010 winner Thomas Muller needs seven goals to become the all-time top goal scorer at World Cups. The Colombian is the next highest of players who will feature at this year’s tournament.
Yet, it is Argentina captain Lionel Messi (10/1) who is joint-favourite, alongside former team-mate Neymar (10/1), while France’s Antoine Griezmann and Portugal’s own leader Cristiano Ronaldo (both 12/1) just behind them.
If a Spaniard takes the award, punters could be picking up some good winnings, as Diego Costa sits at 20/1, while Isco and Rodrigo (50/1), and Celta Vigo striker Iago Aspas (80/1) are further back.
David de Gea to be the best goalkeeper?
Spain may not be expected to score very many goals, particularly not individual players, but keeping them out could be where La Roja prove vital.
The Golden Glove award is dedicated to the best goalkeeper at the World Cup and David de Gea (4/1) will be looking to emulate former Spain number one Iker Casillas, who lifted the title in 2010.
Yet, the Manchester United shot-stopper would need to oust favourite, Manuel Neuer (7/2), with the German hoping to retain the award from four years ago.
What about a Spanish Golden Ball winner?
And then there is the small matter of who will be crowned the best player at the World Cup, also known as Golden Ball winner.
He may be some way down the list for goalscorers but Spain’s Isco (20/1) comes in at fifth-favourite, behind Neymar (8/1), Messi (8/1), Griezmann (12/1) and Ronaldo (16/1).
The Real Madrid midfielder is joined by David Silva (20/1), while Barcelona legend Japan’s latest import, Andres Iniesta (25/1), is not far behind.
All odds are from Bet365 as of 31st May 2018.