World Cup 2018 Betting Odds, Free Bets & Offers | Your One Stop Shop for World Cup Betting
World Cup Free Bets & Enhanced Odds
This is the ‘Greatest Show on Earth’, so you can expect plenty of World Cup free bets. The World Cup is massive for bookies, drawing in millions of viewers worldwide. You can bet they recognize the importance of World Cup free bets and will be tapping into the market.
How to claim your World Cup Free Bets
World Cup 2018 in Russia is almost upon us and, although predicting the winning team looks a decidedly tricky task on this occasion, the one certainty is that as the finals draw ever closer there will be numerous World Cup Free Bets on offer.
- The vast majority of the major reputable online bookmakers will be promoting their World Cup free bets and offers over the coming weeks.
- Most World Cup free bets will come in the form of a ‘Welcome Bonus’ for new customers to a bookmaker. Typically these require you to make a deposit (or bet) when opening an account to qualify and then receiving a 100% Bonus, although there are variations.
- In addition to Welcome Bonus bets, also keep an eye open for Enhanced Odds offers, which will be widely promoted for individual games throughout the tournament.
- Be sure to regularly check the links to ‘World Cup 2018 Betting`, ‘Betting Offers’ and ´Free Bets No Deposit’ here at Freebets.co.uk for all very best and latest World Cup free bet offers as they become available.
Top World Cup Betting Markets
The top World Cup betting markets will include the ‘World Cup 2018 Winner’ betting odds. This looks to be a wide open tournament, with Brazil and Germany topping the betting lists, but the likes of France, Spain, Argentina, Belgium and, dare one dream, England, all in with a shout.
The ‘Top Goalscorer / Golden Boot’ betting market is always a popular one. This could well be the last World Cup in which Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo feature and both are among the favourites. Neymar, if fit, will see plenty of support too. Could Harry Kane or Mo Salah bring their Premier League goalscoring form to Russia?
Likewise, backing the ‘Player of the Tournament’ is another favourite with punters, with the trio of Messi, Ronaldo and Neymar again leading the way in the betting.
Rather than just backing the World Cup winning team, backing the two teams to reach the final can be far more lucrative. Brazil and Germany are naturally the favourites as things stand, but what about a repeat of 1966? England v Germany is currently on offer at a general 40/1 – a good option for a World Cup free bets perhaps?
Most online bookies offer free bets in the form of welcome bonus: deposit an amount of money and get the likes of £20 in return. Typically, there are wagering requirements for these types of World Cup free bets, but they’re easy to understand for even new punters.
A free World Cup bet differs from that of a regular bet, usually offering high returns. Most betting sites save up their free bets for the month-long tournament, or in the weeks before. It’s still relatively early for free bets, so we’ll keep an eye out as we get closer to the games.
It’s worth noting that most World Cup free bets revolve around enhanced odds, especially towards the final, and outright winner. However, you can often get exclusive free bets on accas, top goalscorer and group World Cup betting odds. The World Cup betting opportunities are exceptional if you look around, as there might even be a No Deposit free bet for World Cup 2018 or two available from some bookmakers.
World Cup 2018 Betting Offers
World Cup betting offers are some of the best when it comes to sport. The tournament is held every four years, so bookies save up the best offers and exclusive bonuses for the games. The enhanced odds are the most lucrative for customers, with betting sites offering higher margins on favourites for a short period of time. The semi-final and final are massive opportunities for enhanced betting offers.
The outright winner bets are the most common, with Germany topping the favourites at the moment. These bets are available already and are months in advance of the tournament, based on solid statistics. The fight to be top goalscorer is also another huge betting market for the 2018 World Cup, with Messi, Neymar and Ronaldo all going for the title. However, this bet is wide open, with the likes of Colombian midfielder, James Rodriguez, taking home the honour in 2014.
If you’ve got enough experience and what to aim for massive returns, we recommend accumulators. Accas are the bread and butter of the betting business, particularly football, and you’ll often find acca insurance going hand in hand with the accas. Usually, the winnings from a free bet are paid out in free bets, rather than funds, so you can put even more money behind your teams.
World Cup Betting Odds
The World Cup betting odds will change as we get closer to the tournament, particularly if any external factors affect a team – such as player injuries. As things stand, Germany is the defending champions expected to take home the trophy again. The Germans are well-known for their strength and speed, with a solid run in their qualifiers and a good group draw. They are tipped at 5/1 to earn the prestigious title.
Brazil, however, is the biggest threats for Germany’s consecutive win, with Neymar expected to lead the team to the final. They’ve already won the title five times, and it’s certainly not going to be a massive surprise if they do it for the sixth time. Current betting odds, however, are also ranking Brazil at 5/1 to win.
France rounds up the top three teams, with forward, Antoine Griezmann, out to make his mark. Griezmann was the top goalscorer at UEFA EURO 2016, and he provided four goals and four assists to help France in their 2018 World Cup qualifiers.
As things stand, World Cup 2018 betting odds has defending champions Germany as favourites to retain the trophy at 5/1 with a Paddy Power.
World Cup Popular Bets
World Cup Winners
The World Cup final of 2018 will be held at the Luzhniki Stadium, Moscow on 15 July, after which one team will add their name to the history books as a World Cup winner, so joining an illustrious list:
- World Cup 2018 Winners: France?
- World Cup 2014 Winners: Germany
- World Cup 2010 Winners: Spain
- World Cup 2006 Winners: Italy
- World Cup 2002 Winners: Brazil
- World Cup 1998 Winners: France
- World Cup 1994 Winners: Brazil
- World Cup 1990 Winners: West Germany
- World Cup 1986 Winners: Argentina
- World Cup 1982 Winners: Italy
- World Cup 1978 Winners: Argentina
- World Cup 1974 Winners: West Germany
- World Cup 1970 Winners: Brazil
- World Cup 1966 Winners: England
- World Cup 1962 Winners: Brazil
- World Cup 1958 Winners: Brazil
- World Cup 1954 Winners: West Germany
- World Cup 1950 Winners: Uruguay
- World Cup 1938 Winners: Italy
- World Cup 1934 Winners: Italy
- World Cup 1930 Winners: Uruguay
World Cup 2018 Results - Knockout Stage
|Sun, 15/07 16:00||Final||France - Croatia|
|Sat, 14/07 15:00||Third place play-off||Belgium - England||2 - 0|
|Tue, 10/07 19:00||Semi-finals||France - Belgium||1 - 0|
|Wed, 11/07 19:00||Semi-finals||Croatia - England||2 - 1|
|Fri, 06/07 15:00||Quarter-finals||Uruguay - France||0 - 2|
|Fri, 06/07 19:00||Quarter-finals||Brazil - Belgium||1 - 2|
|Sat, 07/07 15:00||Quarter-finals||Sweden - England||0 - 2|
|Sat, 07/07 19:00||Quarter-finals||Russia - Croatia||2 (3) - 2 (4)|
|Sat, 30/06||Round Of 16||France - Argentina||4 - 3|
|Sat, 30/06||Round Of 16||Uruguay - Portugal||2 - 1|
|Sun, 01/07||Round Of 16||Spain - Russia||1 (3) - 1 (4)|
|Sun, 01/07||Round Of 16||Croatia - Denmark||1 (3) - 1 (2)|
|Mon, 02/07||Round Of 16||Brazil - Mexico||2 - 0|
|Mon, 02/07||Round Of 16||Belgium - Japan||3 - 2|
|Tue, 03/07||Round Of 16||Sweden - Switzerland||1 - 0|
|Tue, 03/07||Round Of 16||Colombia - England||1 (3) - 1 (4)|
World Cup 2018 Results - Group Stage
|Thu, 14/06||Group A||Russia - Saudi Arabia||5 - 0|
|Fri, 15/06||Group A||Egypt - Uruguay||0 - 1|
|Fri, 15/06||Group B||Morocco - Iran||0 - 1|
|Fri, 15/06||Group B||Portugal - Spain||3 - 3|
|Sat, 16/06||Group C||France - Australia||2 - 1|
|Sat, 16/06||Group D||Argentina - Iceland||1 - 1|
|Sat, 16/06||Group C||Peru - Denmark||0 - 1|
|Sat, 16/06||Group D||Croatia - Nigeria||2 - 0|
|Sun, 17/06||Group E||Costa Rica - Serbia||0 - 1|
|Sun, 17/06||Group F||Germany - Mexico||0 - 1|
|Sun, 17/06||Group E||Brazil - Switzerland||1 - 1|
|Mon, 18/06||Group F||Sweden - South Korea||1 - 0|
|Mon, 18/06||Group G||Belgium - Panama||3 - 0|
|Mon, 18/06||Group G||Tunisia - England||1 - 2|
|Tue, 19/06||Group H||Colombia - Japan||1 - 2|
|Tue, 19/06||Group H||Poland - Senegal||1 - 2|
|Tue, 19/06||Group A||Russia - Egypt||3 - 1|
|Wed, 20/06||Group B||Portugal - Morocco||1 - 0|
|Wed, 20/06||Group A||Uruguay - Saudi Arabia||1 - 0|
|Wed, 20/06||Group B||Iran - Spain||0 - 1|
|Thu, 21/06||Group C||Denmark - Australia||1 - 1|
|Thu, 21/06||Group C||France - Peru||1 - 0|
|Thu, 21/06||Group D||Argentina - Croatia||0 - 3|
|Fri, 22/06||Group E||Brazil - Costa Rica||2 - 0|
|Fri, 22/06||Group D||Nigeria - Iceland||2 - 0|
|Fri, 22/06||Group E||Serbia - Switzerland||1 - 2|
|Sat, 23/06||Group G||Belgium - Tunisia||5 - 2|
|Sat, 23/06||Group F||South Korea - Mexico||1 - 2|
|Sat, 23/06||Group F||Germany - Sweden||2 - 1|
|Sun, 24/06||Group G||England - Panama||6 - 1|
|Sun, 24/06||Group H||Japan - Senegal||2 - 2|
|Sun, 24/06||Group H||Poland - Colombia||0 - 3|
|Mon, 25/06||Group A||Saudi Arabia - Egypt||2 - 1|
|Mon, 25/06||Group A||Uruguay - Russia||3 - 0|
|Mon, 25/06||Group B||Iran - Portugal||1 - 1|
|Mon, 25/06||Group B||Spain - Morocco||2 - 2|
|Tue, 26/06||Group C||Australia - Peru||0 - 2|
|Tue, 26/06||Group C||Denmark - France||0 - 0|
|Tue, 26/06||Group D||Nigeria - Argentina||1 - 2|
|Tue, 26/06||Group D||Iceland - Croatia||1 - 2|
|Wed, 27/06||Group F||Mexico - Sweden||0 - 3|
|Wed, 27/06||Group F||South Korea - Germany||2 - 0|
|Wed, 27/06||Group E||Switzerland - Costa Rica||2 - 2|
|Wed, 27/06||Group E||Serbia - Brazil||0 - 2|
|Thu, 28/06||Group H||Senegal - Colombia||0 - 1|
|Thu, 28/06||Group H||Japan - Poland||0 - 1|
|Thu, 28/06||Group G||England - Belgium||0 - 1|
|Thu, 28/06||Group G||Panama - Tunisia||1 - 2|
World Cup Betting Specials
World Cup 2018 in Russia will undoubtedly be the betting event of the year, but whilst the majority of money will be staked on the World Cup outright winner market and individual matches, there are plenty of other great World Cup Betting Specials to be had if you delve just a little deeper.
Group betting is very popular and in what really should be a straight battle with Belgium, England can be backed at a top price of 13/10 (2.30) with Betfair Sportsbook to win Group G. Some punters will look for extra value in selecting the ‘Winner / Top Goalscorer Double’, with Brazil / Neymar at 25/1 with William Hill the current market leader.
Europe is the hot favourite at 4/11 (Coral) should you be interested in backing the ‘Continent of the Winning Team’ and there are joint-favourites in the ‘Winning Group’ betting at present, with Group E and Group F leading the way at 9/2 with bet365 and BetVictor respectively.
A certain Lionel Messi leads the betting in the Golden Ball (Best Players) market at 9/1 with BetFred. Picking the top teams from individual continents is also an interesting option with, for example, Senegal are being narrowly favoured to be the ‘Top African Team’ in Russia, with best odds of 5/2 with 888Sport.
World Cup Live Streaming
With a month of top quality football action at World Cup 2018 in Russia to look forward to, one problem facing many of us will be the ability to watch all the games live.
With many taking place at lunchtime or afternoon in the working week, the traditional TV option isn’t going to be viable.
The best option for live streaming via a mobile device for punters during the World Cup has to be on the bookmakers sites. The availability of live World Cup betting combined with live streaming from the same site is the perfect combination for betting as the action unfolds during games.
Bet365 is widely regarded as being the leading bookie based on a number of factors, with live streaming being one of those. The great thing with bet365’s live streaming is that you only need to have a funded account or deposited in the last 24 hours to access the service. With their competitive odds and wide range of bonuses, bet365 is the top choice for World Cup live streaming this summer.
Stream the 2018 FIFA World Cup with a VPN
Another way to watch the World Cup games live this year is by using a VPN (or ‘Virtual Private Network’). Approximately 80 countries have the broadcasting rights to FIFA but not all provide online live streams and many of these will come with a price. This is where a VPN really comes in useful.
Basically you sign up to a reputable VPN service (such as Tunnel Bear or CyberGhost) which, simply put, makes it appear as if you are using the Internet from a different country (such as the UK) where there are free live World Cup streams available and therefore will enable you to watch these free live streams from the likes of BBC.
The use of VPN services doubled during the 2016 Summer Olympics and it looks set to again as football fans search for free ways to watch all the live World Cup matches and online.
We also bring you all the latest World Cup news along with our betting tips and predictions for every game from our resident football experts so stay tuned for all your World Cup betting needs.
World Cup 2018 Betting News – Stay Updated
World Cup 2018 Betting Updates
15/7/2018 – Hazard shines as Belgium secure Bronze
When England and Belgium met in the final match of Group G earlier in the tournament, it was billed as the game nobody wanted to win. Incidentally, sk was their latest clash, in the third place playoff in Saint Petersburg. Many believe it is a game that shouldn’t be played, because the players are so emotionally and physically drained after reaching and losing a semi final. Nevertheless, Belgium’s superior quality meant that goals from Thomas Meunier and Eden Hazard sealed victory at the Krestovsky Stadium.
Eden Hazard: “After 6 wonderful years at Chelsea it might be time to discover something different. Certainly after this World Cup. I can decide if I want to stay or go, but Chelsea will make the final decision – if they want to let me go. You know my preferred destination.” #cfc pic.twitter.com/mtuZAXIv9A— Kristof Terreur 📰 (@HLNinEngeland) July 14, 2018
12/7/2018 – England fall at the penultimate hurdle in dramatic fashion
Football is no longer coming home. England were knocked out of the World Cup in the semi final against Croatia on Wednesday evening. Kieran Trippier’s fifth minute free kick gave them the perfect start at the Luzhniki Stadium, but Ivan Perisic’s second half equaliser sent the game into extra time before Mario Mandzukic struck. Zlatko Dalic’s side will now face France in the showpiece event, back at the Luzhniki, on Sunday. England head to Saint Petersburg for a clash with Belgium in the third place playoff a day earlier.
11/7/2018 – France edge out Belgium to reach third World Cup final
France booked their place in just their third World Cup final with a 1-0 victory over rivals Belgium in Saint Petersburg on Tuesday night. Barcelona defender Samuel Umtiti scored the only goal of the game to break Red Devils hearts but Kylian Mbappé once again stole the show with a superb display. He will be a threat to whoever wins on Wednesday between England and Croatia; the final will take place at the Luzhniki Stadium on Sunday evening.
WHAT A DREAM 🤭🇫🇷💥 pic.twitter.com/eg1ArpJxAp— Kylian Mbappé (@KMbappe) July 10, 2018
8/7/2018 – England reach first semi final since 1990
The final four of the World Cup has been decided, and there were one or two shocks along the way. France beat Uruguay 2-0 in Nizhny Novgorod courtesy of goals from Raphael Varane and Antoine Griezmann, and they will meet Belgium after they ended Brazil’s hopes in Kazan. Fernandinho scored an early own goal before his Manchester City teammate doubled the Red Devils’ lead on the half hour mark. Substitute Renato Augusto pulled one back, but it wasn’t enough and the Selecao’s wait for a sixth star goes on.
But the biggest story came in Samara on Saturday, where England were playing Sweden. Goals from Harry Maguire and Dele Alli either side of half time inspired the Three Lions to victory and their diese World Cup semi final appearance since 1990. They will face Croatia at the Luzhniki Stadium on Wednesday after they beat the hosts, Russia, on penalties in Sochi.
Denis Cheryshev scored his fourth goal of the tournament to put Russia ahead before Andrej Kramaric equalised. In extra time, Domagoj Vida though he’d won the game, only for Mario Fernandes to restore parity again. But after misses from Fyodor Smolov and Fernandes in the penalty shootout, Ivan Rakitic sent his country through for the second time in the tournament.
4/7/2018 – England make history to progress to last eight
Sweden and Switzerland kicked off Tuesday’s two final World Cup quarter final matches against Switzerland. They had topped Group F ahead of Germany, while the Swiss had finished as runners up behind Brazil in Group E. It was an understandably nervy and tight affair, it Emil Forsberg’s deflected second half goal gave Sweden a crucial 1-0. They are still viewed as an outsider, though, and can be found at 25/1 to go all the way.
But all the drama came in Moscow later that night. England were facing Colombia, and they made a brilliant start through Harry Kane’s first half penalty, but Barcelona defender Yerry Mina equalised with a towering header in the dying minutes and the game eventually went to penalties. Jordan Henderson missed for England, but Mateus Uribe hit the bar and Carlos Bacca saw his saved by Jordan Pickford. The Three Lions won their first knockout game at a tournament since 2006 and their first ever World Cup shootout. They are now clear third favourites at 4/1.
3/7/2018 – Brazil cruise past Mexico as Belgium break Japanese hearts
Brazil booked their place in the World Cup quarter finals after a 2-0 victory over Mexico in Samara. The Mexicans may have beaten Germany in their opening game, but they seemed like a spent force as Neymar and substitute Roberto Firmino put them to the sword. The Selecao only strengthened their tag as favourites and are now at 11/4 to win it.
There was much more drama for Belgium, though, who will now meet Brazil in the last eight after edging past Japan. The Blue Samarai took a two goal leas through Genki Haraguchi and Takeshi Inui in Rostov, but Jan Vertonghen, Marouane Fellaini and Nacer Chadli turned the game around in the last 21 minutes. The Red Devils have moved to clear third favourites at 11/2.
2/7/2018 – Penalty drama takes centre stage as Spain are sent packing
It felt like all of Russia was at the Luzhniki Stadium to witness their clash with Spain in the last 16 of the World Cup, and they were rewarded as the hosts caused a huge shock. Sergei Ignashevich’s own goal gave La Roja the lead after 12 minutes, but once Artem Dzyuba equalised from the penalty spot before half time, they struggled to restore their advantage. Koke and Iago Aspas saw penalties saved in the shootout by Igor Akinfeev as Russia ran out 4-3 winners.
Absolutely stunned.— ESPN FC (@ESPNFC) July 1, 2018
The reaction in a Barcelona bar as Spain crashed out of the World Cup. pic.twitter.com/vTdZfas5bG
That victory has left one side of the draw wide open. Russia can be found at 2/1 to win the World Cup, while Dzyuba is still a real outsider for the Golden Boot at 100/1.
Croatia will provide the opposition in the quarter final meeting after winning 3-2 on penalties following a 1-1 draw with Denmark in Nizhny Novgorod. The game started at a ferocious pace as Martin Jorgensen gave the Danes the lead inside the first minute before Mario Mandzukic levelled on four minutes. Things slowed down until the last ten minutes when Luka Modric saw a penalty saved by Kasper Schmeichel, but Ivan Rakitic had the last laugh with the winner in the shoot-out.
The Croats are favourites in the tie with Russia and can be found at 6/1 to go all the way in the tournament, making them joined third favourites with England and Belgium.
1/7/2018 – Cavani double downs Portugal while Uruguay progress
Portugal were beaten in their round of 16 tie with Uruguay in Sochi on Saturday evening. Two goals for Edinson Cavani, his first of the tournament, sent the European champions packing, while sandwiching an equaliser by Pepe. Cristiano Ronaldo was in the running for the Golden Boot, sitting one goal behind Harry Kane. Now Cavani’s odds have been shortened to 20/1, while Uruguay are 13/1 to win the trophy outright.
30/6/2018 – Mbappé steals show to send Messi packing
France and Argentina met in the first match of the World Cup round of 16 in Kazan on Wednesday. It was billed as another day for Messi to save his country, but it ended up as the Kylian Mbappé show.
The Monaco man, on loan at Paris Saint-Germain last season, helped break the deadlock when, after running half the length of the pitch, he was brought down by Marcos Rojo in the penalty area. Antoine Griezmann stepped up to score.
Angel Di Maria restored parity against the run of play for Argentina with a lovely strike from distance before half time and Gabriel Mercado deflected a Messi cross in just after. Benjamin Pavard equalised for France before Mbappé took his side through to the quarter finals with a brace of his own. France are now level with Spain and Brazil to win the World Cup at 4/1 with Betfair, while Mbappé is now 13/1 to win the Golden Boot.
29/6/2018 – Round of 16 line up confirmed
FIFA’s new fair play rules came into play on Thursday when Senegal, who had impressed earlier in the tournament, were sent home after losing to eventual Group H winners Colombia. Yerry Mina scored the only goal, but with the Africans level on points, goal difference and goals scored, who lost to Poland 1-0, they went out by virtue of having picked up more yellow cards.
Colombia will now face England in Moscow on Tuesday after defeat to Belgium in Group G later that night. It was similarly tight between those two as well, but Adnan Januzaj’s goal proved the difference in Kaliningrad. The Red Devils meet Japan in Rostov on Monday.
England haven’t won a knockout game at a major tournament for 12 years and we’re discussing playing to lose to avoid a more difficult quarter final. Do me a favour. 🙈— Gary Lineker (@GaryLineker) June 28, 2018
In the other game, which had no bearing on anything other than pride, Tunisia came from behind to beat Panama. Goals from Fakhreddine Ben Youssef and Wahbi Khazri cancelled out Yassine Meriah first half own goal at the Mordovia Arena.
28/6/2018 – Germany crash out as Brazil coast through
Germany knew that their clash with South Korea in Kazan was make or break, but a win would have taken them through. They succumbed to a second defeat in three games, losing 2-0 after late goals by Young-Gwon Kim and Heung-Min Son, meaning Joachim Löw’s men were sent home at the group stage for the first time since 1938.
Sweden ended up topping Group F ahead of Mexico after a 3-0 win in Ekaterinburg. Goals from Ludwig Augustinsson and Andreas Granqvist, and an own goal by Edson Alvarez sealed a surprising victory.
There was no such drama in Group F as Brazil won 2-0 against Serbia to cement top spot thanks to Paulinho and Thiago Silva. Switzerland joined them after a 2-2 draw with Costa Rica which was shrouded in drama at the end. Blerim Dzemaili had given the Swiss the lead before Kendall Waston equalised. Josip Drmic thought he had won it late on, but two penalties, one given and one disallowed after a VAR check, gave the Central Americans the equaliser after Bryan Ruiz’s penalty deflected in off Yann Sommer.
27/6/2018 – Lionel Messi stands tall to save Argentina from disaster
On Tuesday, Group D drew to a close as France and Denmark, the top two sides, clashed knowing a draw would give both sides what they wanted; Les Bleus would win the group and the Danes would qualify. They played out the first 0-0 draw of the tournament, 38 games into it, and were both left celebrating at the end.
Peru went on to beat Australia, who still harboured slim hopes of progression, running out 2-0 winners. Andre Carillo and Paulo Guerrero scored to end their campaign on a high.
In Group D, the biggest news came in Saint Petersburg; Argentina simply had to beat Nigeria, who only needed a point, to progress. The man who had saved them on so many occasions, Lionel Messi, did do again with the opening goal. Victor Moses levelled from the spot for the Super Eagles, but Manchester United defender Marcos Rojo won it with a stunning strike late on.
As Croatia faced Iceland in Rostov, little appeared to matter. The latter still harboured hopes of going through but needed a win and the other result to fall their way. They gave it a good go against the much-changed Croats, but Milan Badelj and Ivan Perisic gave them the win, sandwiching Gylfi Sigurdsson’s penalty.
26/6/2018 – VAR steals the show on dramatic night in Group B
Group A was the first to be concluded on Monday as Uruguay beat hosts Russia 3-0 to finish top. Goals from Luis Suarez and Edinson Cavani sandwiched an KDB goal by Denis Cheryshev, while Igor Smolnikov was sent off.
Saudi Arabia beat Egypt 2-1 in the other game on the day 45-year-old goalkeeper Essam El Hadary became the World Cup’s oldest ever player. He marked the occasion with a penalty save from Saudi star Fahad Al-Muwallad, but he was powerless to stop Salman Al-Faraj equalising Mohamed Salah’s opener from the spot moments later. Salem Al-Dawsari then won it for Saudi Arabia with the last kick of the game.
VAR took centre stage in both Group B games; Portugal were beating Iran courtesy of Ricardo Quaresma‘s first half wondergoal in the first half but, having missed a penalty themselves, they conceded one in extra time after the referee checked the new system. Karim Ansarifard stepped up and made it 1-1.
That result cost Portugal top spot after Iago Aspas equalised with the help of VAR against Morocco. Khalid Bhoutib and Youssef En Nesyri twice gave the North Africans the lead but Isco and Aspas levelled the scoring.
In the last 16, Portugal will face Uruguay, while Spain will face the hosts, Russia.
25/6/2018 – Kane puts England in a great position, Senegal and Japan draw and Colombia keep hopes alive
England knew they had to win to progress to the next round of the World Cup, but nobody expected to see what unfolded in Nizhny Novgorod. Harry Kane scored a hat-trick as the Three Lions ran out 6-1 winners against Panama, with a brace from John Stones and another from Jesse Lingard completing the rout.
Japan and Senegal each knew they were in a good position to qualify after opening day wins, and they went on to draw 2-2 in Ekaterinburg. Sadio Mane opened the scoring for Senegal before Takeshi Inui equalised; Moussa Wague then reestablished the lead and substitute Keisuke Honda levelled the scores again.
Finally, Poland saw their World Cup chances obliterated by Colombia, who ran out 3-0 winners in Kazan. Barcelona defender Yerry Mina opened the scoring before Radamel Falcao scored his first World Cup goal and Juan Cuadrado wrapped up the win.
24/6/2018 – Belgium lay down a marker, while Germany survive a big scare
Group G took centre stage in the first game on Saturday with Belgium facing Tunisia in Moscow. The Red Devils needed a big result to make a point after struggling for long periods against Panama last week. Two braces from Eden Hazard and Romelu Lukaku, and a late strike from substitute Michy Batshuayi, who could have had a hat-trick, secured a 5-2 victory.
Carlos Vela and Javier Hernandez scored for Mexico in a 2-1 win over South Korea, both confirming their progression to the last 16 and sending their opponents home. Son Heung-Min scored a late consolation but it wasn’t enough.
In Sochi, Germany were looking like being knocked out when Ola Toivonen opened the scoring for Sweden. All is not well in the German camp, but they managed to save themselves in dramatic fashion. Marco Reus equalised just two minutes into the second half before Toni Kroos scored a free kick in stoppage time.
23/6/2018 – Brazil squeeze past Costa Rica, Nigeria come to life and Shaqiri saves Switzerland
The second round of group games continued on Friday as Group E took centre stage. Brazil faced Costa Rica in the early kick off, but had to rely on stoppage time goals from Philippe Coutinho and Neymar to get their first win of the tournament. VAR also saw a penalty decision for a foul on Neymar reversed.
Nigeria then faced Iceland in Group D, with the pressure firmly on them as they aimed to bounce back from defeat to Croatia in their first game. They made some chances, partnering Ahmed Musa and Kelechi Iheanacho up front, and he scored a brace to also keep Argentina’s dwindling hopes of progression alive.
The late game saw Serbia play Switzerland, with the former looking to secure progression to the next round with a victory. Things started well as they dominated the game and took an early lead through Aleksandar Mitrovic; but second half goals from Granit Xhaka and Xherdan Shaqiri turned it around in dramatic fashion late on.
22/6/2018 – Messi and Argentina on the brink after Croatia mauling
Denmark were the latest side to fall foul of VAR after it awarded a penalty to Australia for a handball given against Yussuf Poulsen. Mile Jedinak stepped up and scored, equalising after Christian Eriksen’s stunning strike gave the Danes an early lead.
Later, Kylian Mbappé scored the only goal as France beat Peru to secure a place in the last 16, while the South Americans head home after taking over Ekaterinburg with a reported 40,000 fans.
But the biggest shock was left until last. Croatia ran out 3-0 winners against a hapless Argentina side who now need to rely on other results to have a chance of progressing to the knockout stages. Ante Rebic, Luka Modric and Ivan Rakitic scored the goals.
21/6/2018 Update – Portugal, Uruguay and Spain pick up uninspiring wins
Cristiano Ronaldo kicked off Wednesday’s World Cup action with his fourth goal of the tournament, and while that was enough to beat Morocco, it was far from a convincing performance from the Selecao. They need to draw Iran in the final group game to make sure of their progression to the knockout stages.
The second game of the day saw Group A at centre stage again. Uruguay were hoping to confirm their progression with a win over Saudi Arabia, and although Luis Suarez marked his 100th international appearance with the crucial goal, it was a similar story to Portugal. Uruguay will need to improve as they head into a top of the table decider with hosts Russia in the last game.
Finally, Spain got their first win of the tournament over Iran back in Group B. A lucky goal for Diego Costa keeps him one behind Ronaldo in the hunt for the Golden Boot, but Iran were unlucky to have a goal disallowed courtesy of VAR.
Cristiano Ronaldo is a man on a mission this FIFA World Cup.— FOX Soccer (@FOXSoccer) June 21, 2018
2006, 2010, 2014: 3 total goals
2018: 4 goals pic.twitter.com/wRU8dmyR22
20/6/2018 Update – Colombia crumble against Japan while Russia all but boom knockout place
Tuesday saw the final group at the World Cup, Group H, take centre stage. First up, Japan faced a much fancied Colombia side who were looking to kick on from their quartet final appearance in 2014. James Rodriguez, the star of that tournament, was only fit enough for the bench, and although he was brought on, he couldn’t stop the Blue Samarai springing a shock with a 2-1 win. Shinji Kagawq scores the opening goal from the penalty spot after Carlos Sanchez was sent off just three minutes in, before Juan Quintero equalised and Yuya Osako scored the winner. Senegal then won by the same shoreline against Poland, thanks to Mbaye Niang’s strike after Thiago Cionek’s own goal. Grzegorz Krychowiak’s scores late on but it didn’t change anything.
Finally, Group A restarted as hosts Russia won a second game in succession against Egypt. Mohamed Salah returned to Forbes and did score a penalty, but it proved nothing more than consolation after Ahmed Fathy’s own goal and strikes from Denis Cheryshev and Artem Dzyuba wrapped the game up for Russia.
This is REAL courage from @MoSalah to still impact the game with such an obvious injury. I hope his World Cup is remembered for a real pride in his nation and his bravery in trying to carry the weight of expectation of 100m Egyptians on that dodgy shoulder.— David Maddock (@MaddockMirror) June 19, 2018
19/6/2018 Update – VAR rescues Sweden, Belgium and England struggle to victories
Day five of the 2018 FIFA World Cup started with the remaining game in Group F as Sweden took on South Korea. In truth, both sides struggled for quality, but VAR awarded Sweden a penalty, which was dispatched confidently by Andreas Granqvist.
Group G then took centre stage, first with Begium clashing with tournament debutants Panama in Sochi. The Red Devils looked laboured and unconvincing, but showed their class late on to win 3-0. All their goals game in the second half; Dries Mertens opened the scoring before Romelu Lukaku added a brace.
Finally, England needed a late Harry Kane strike to beat Tunisia in Volgograd. The Three Lions took an early lead through Kane before conceding an equaliser from the penalty spot; Kyle Walker was adjudged to have caught Fakhreddine Ben Youssef with his arm. Ferjani Sassi stepped up to score, but England huffed and puffed, getting over the line in stoppage time.
18/6/2018 Update – Brazil stumble but Mexico grab the headlines with win over Germany
Serbia opened up their World Cup campaign with a narrow victory over Costa Rica in Group E, courtesy of former Manchester City man Aleksandar Kolarov’s free kick. The favourites Brazil then stumbled to a 1-1 draw with Switzerland in Rostov; Philippe Coutinho’s stunning effort was cancelled out by Steven Zuber’s header.
But the biggest shock of the day, and the tournament so far, came when Germany lost were beaten 1-0 by Mexico. Their rising star Hirving Lozano scored the only goal of the game as Die Mannschaft lost their opening game at a World Cup for the first time since 1982.
17/6/2018 Update – Ronaldo shines, Messi fails while VAR strikes
The World Cup is in full swing with eight games already played at this summer’s tournament in Russia. In traditional style, the hosts opened proceedings, facing Saudi Arabia at the Luzhniki Stadium in Moscow. Goals from Yury Gazinsky, a brace from Denis Cheryshev, another from Artem Dzyuba and a final strike from man of the match Aleksandr Golovin wrapped up a 5-0 win. Fellow Group A sides Uruguay and Egypt played on Friday, with the South Americans coming out on top thanks to a late Jose Giménez header.
Group B was when the action really started; minnows Iran shocked Morocco courtesy of Aziz Bouhaddouz’s own goal, and they ended matchday one on top after Spain and Portugal played out a thrilling 3-3 draw in Sochi. Cristiano Ronaldo stole the show with a hat-trick, with Diego Costa and Nacho on the scoresheet for La Roja.
On Saturday, VAR was required in the early game between France and Australia when Antoine Griezmann was brought down in the box. Eventually, the penalty was given and dispatched by the Atletico Madrid forward, before Samuel Umtiti conceded a penalty moments later. Mile Jedinak scored it but Les Bleus snatched the victory thanks to a Paul Pogba strike. Denmark joined France on three points after a 1-0 win over Peru, thanks to Yussef Paulsen’s finish.
There were four games in all in Group C, with World Cup debutants Iceland holding Argentina to a 1-1 draw. Sergio Agüero scored his first ever goal at the tournament, but it was cancelled out by Alfred Finnbogason. Lionel Messi then missed a penalty, much to the surprise of everyone, before an Etebo Oghenekaro own goal and a Luka Modric spot kick secured three points for Croatia against Nigeria.
11/6/2018 Update – Neymar Impresses in World Cup Preparations
When Neymar suffered an ankle injury, which brought his debut season at Paris Saint-Germain to an end, back in March, there were worries that he could not be fit enough for the World Cup in Russia this summer. While those fears were quickly put to rest, questions still surrounded whether he would be able to play his best football. His return, for Brazil against Croatia at Anfield last week, showed that he would be; he got on the scoresheet in a 2-0 win alongside Roberto Firmino, having come on as a second half substitute.
He then started on Sunday in he Selecao’s final warm up game, a 3-0 win over Austria. He scored a superb goal, as Tite selected what will likely be his preferred side for the tournament; Philippe Coutinho and Gabriel Jesus also got on the scoresheet. Brazil face Costa Rica, Serbia and Switzerland in the group stage; Neymar will be there to lead from the front and could be a good bet to finish as top scorer.
3/6/2018 Update – Austria shocks Germany as Neuer returns to action
The World Cup warm up friendlies are in full swing, with wins for England and France, but a surprising defeat for Germany, over the weekend.
The world champions are expected to go far in the summer, but their wobbly preparations continued on Saturday. After poor results against Spain and Brazil, two perspective rivals for the title in Russia, back in March, they lost 2-1 to neighbours Austria.
Second half goals from Martin Hinteregger and Alessandro Schöpf cancelled out Mesüt Özil’s eleventh minute opener.
There were no such problems for France and England, though. Les Blues beat Italy 3-1 thanks to goals from Antoine Griezmann, Samuel Umtiti and Ousmane Dembele, while the Three Lions survives a second half scare to squeeze past Nigeria 2-1 at Wembley.
27/5/2018 Update – Could Salah Miss The World Cup?
Egypt are sweating over the fitness of their talisman, Mohamed Salah, ahead of this summer’s World Cup after he picked up an injury in Liverpool’s Champions League final defeat to Real Madrid on Saturday evening.
On a night that was billed as a Ballon d’Or decider between himself and Cristiano Ronaldo, everything went wrong for 44-goal hero Salah, who went down under a challenge from Real Madrid captain Sergio Ramos. Jürgen Klopp, the Liverpool boss, says the injury is “serious” and that his place at the World Cup is under threat. A source close to Egypt remains optimistic about Salah’s fitness, but nothing will be certain until the diagnosis of the injury is confirmed.
World Cup 2018 Betting Tips
When it comes to World Cup betting tips, you need to do your research. In the months running up to the tournament, we’ll be sharing top tips and odds for the 2018 World Cup, but you need to put in the time to read up on the stats.
There are plenty of records available for you, analysing the country’s players – their performances in the national leagues – injuries, coaching skills, score sheet etc. If you are also looking to place acca bets on the 2018 World Cup, start small with a few selections and gradually build up, as the risks are less.
One major 2018 World Cup betting tip is to watch out for Brazil. While we all expected Germany to be picked as the outright favourites, especially with their performance in the qualifiers and the advantage of playing on European soil, we predict Brazil will give them a fight. Neymar’s move to PSG will have seen him pick up more experience, and Brazil have won on European soil before.
France, Spain and Argentina are all three teams to consider placing bets on, and are all expected to absolutely smash through the group stages. They’ve all got top goalscorers playing for them as well, so it will be a fight to take that title.
World Cup Betting – Stories & Stats
Few, if any, sporting events come close to matching the appeal of the World Cup. The World Cup 2014 tournament in Brazil had an estimated global in-home television audience of 3.2 billion people. An estimated 280 million people around the world watched matches online or on a mobile device.
More than one billion fans tuned in to watch the final of the 2014 World Cup between Argentina and eventual champions Germany, with an in-home audience of 695 million (watching for 20 minutes or more). The total audience for the final, including in-home and out-of-home figures for viewers watching for at least one minute, was 1.013 billion.
By April 2018 there had already been a massive 1,698,049 tickets allocated to football supporters from all over the world via the official website at FIFA.com / tickets since September 2017.
Naturally, the majority of World Cup tickets sold had been allocated to Russian fans (796,875), followed by fans from the USA (80,161), Brazil (65,863), Colombia (60,199), Germany (55,136), Mexico (51,736), Argentina (44,882), Peru (38,544), China (36,841), Australia (34,628) and England (30,711). Deputy Prime Minister Vitaly Mutko has said he expected up to a million of tourists in Russia for matches.
There will be a general prize money pool of US$791 million (includes prize money, insurance, preparation costs, club payments, etc) at World Cup 2018, with US$38 million going to the winners.