2018 WC Football
Football is without a doubt, the most popular team sport on the planet. It’s played everywhere from the dusty streets of rural towns to the glittering stadiums of big cities, and it always pulls in the crowds.
For punters and footie fans, there is plenty of action to look forward to each year with the Premier League, UEFA Champions League, FA Cup and many other domestic international tournaments running from January to December. Once every 4 years though, the sporting world turns their attention to the World Cup where the best of the best take to the field and compete for a trophy and a title that’s highly coveted.
The Origins of the World Cup
Dating back to the 1930’s the World Cup was first hosted by Uruguay. A total of 18 matches were played, with 13 teams competing for the title. The host nation eventually went on to win, defeating Argentina in the finals. The tournament then moved to Italy in 1934, and France in 1938, before taking 12 year break during World War 2. From 1950 onward, the tournament has run uninterrupted at 4 year intervals, with the most recent being the 2014 World Cup in Brazil.
In 1982 the tournament expanded to include 24 teams. In 1998, another expansion occurred to include the current format, which consists of 32 teams.
The Tournament Format
The qualification phase starts 3 years before the event, where teams play qualification games within regional groups. From the qualifying rounds 32 teams emerge to play at the World Cup.
The 32 teams are then placed in randomly drawn Groups of 4 teams each. In each group, the teams play each other once round-Robin style. The top 2 teams in each move through to the round of 16 knockout stage. The 8 teams that emerge play in the quarterfinals, of which 4 move to the semi-finals and the top 2 play in the finals.
What Happened in 2014?
In 2014, the hosts Brazil only managed to take fourth place, while Argentina and Germany met in the finals. Germany went on to win the match and claim their fourth World Cup Title. They are the second most successful side in the Cup, behind Brazil who hold 5 titles. The 2018 WC will be hosted by Russia and will take place from the 14th of June to the 15th of July. As hosts, Russia automatically qualified for the event while Iceland make their debut as qualifiers.
Betting Options for the 2018 WC
Being the largest and the most prestigious football tournament in the world, the WC naturally offers punters plenty of betting action. A total of 64 matches are played over a 4-week period, meaning there are ample opportunities for online betting at sportsbooks like Betway Sports, 888 Sport, William Hill, Spin Palace Sports and Bodog.
The most popular bet with footie fans is the outright or tournament bet. This involves predicting which team will win the tournament outright. Match bets can also be placed on each of the 64 games predicting the winner of any game.
Depending on the bookmaker, the number of football markets can include over 50 different options from match bets to over/under bets, point wagers to props and everything in between. There are plenty of opportunities to put money down, and just as many to win.