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This year's competition will be held in the South American nation of Brazil, justifying the home nation, packed with stars such as Neymar, David Luiz and Oscar, the early favorites, ready to strut their stuff in front of their home crowd. Any sportsbook online will give you great odds on Brazil to win, especially considering the favorites, and number one nation in the world, are the boys from Spain, featuring the likes of Fabregas, Iniesta, Xavi and some of the greatest players on the planet. Having won the last two major international tournaments they've played in (World Cup 2010 and European Championships 2012), Spain is the hot favourite to dominate in Brazil, as one would expect with the serious talent they possess in all parts of the pitch.
After looking on the brink of an early exit, Portugal secured their place in the World Cup with a fine performance against Sweden. It was a game centered around one figure though: Cristiano Ronaldo. Aptly celebrated as the best player of 2013, Ronaldo scored a magnificent hat-trick to ensure Sweden (and their own superstar, Zlatan Ibrahimovic) would not be playing at Brazil 2014. Ronaldo, clearly relieved at having achieved passage through, was the obvious standout player in the game and will surely play a part in Portugal's potential World Cup progression; though, it has to be said, Swedish fans didn't seem to take it too kindly.
Even the best sportsbook online will heavily list England as the underdogs for the tournament. Critics claim Roy Hodgson's side lack in technique and, after disappointing friendly losses against Chile and Germany, both at Wembley, it's hard to see how they'll have an impact against the bigger teams in Brazil. However, with talents like Wayne Rooney, Steven Gerrard and Jack Wilshere in the side, there is enough creativity and bravado to cause an upset or two and they shouldn't be overlooked. That being said, the German side, though lacking in major trophy wins of late, have a team that is full of technique and talent. From the older figures such as Schweinsteiger to the young ones (Reus, Draxler), this is a team where every figure is considered world-class and, whatever happens, no one will be happy at drawing the Germans in the later stages of the competition.
Consistently rated as one of the best player that has ever graced the game, Lionel Messi will be looking to dominate in Brazil, and there are great odds for Argentina's chances on the Bodog sportsbook. One complaint of Messi's fantastic footballing skills is that he's never truly replicated his Barcelona success with Argentina and so now will be the time to prove his critics wrong. Argentina has a good squad and will certainly be a force to be reckoned with. Another South American team, overlooked strongly by the giants from Argentina and Brazil, which will be one to watch is Uruguay, led by Liverpool striker Luis Suarez. Suarez is one of the in-form strikers of the Premier League right now and will certainly have a big impact in Brazil. Uruguay was the first nation to win a World Cup and, with a strikeforce consisting of Suarez and Cavani, they won't be knocked aside easily.
With a selection of nations having qualified for the tournament, it's a good idea to scout for a sportsbook online for a better idea on who is the favorite. Spain and Brazil are early favorites as mentioned but underdogs such as Italy and Portugal will have a say on proceedings. With the World Cup approaching, players will now be looking to replicate their best form to ensure they have a great chance of winning the most prestigious trophy in the world of football.