In Europe, 24 of the best soccer nations in the world are prepping for Euro 2016. But the rest of the world is more focused on snagging one of the 32 spots available for the 2018 World Cup in Russia.
Africa and South America started qualification back in October, and the latter is already four fixtures deep. CONCACAF and Asia are even further ahead, currently in the second stage of their qualifiers.
Only eight different nations have ever won the World Cup trophy, five from Europe (England, France, Germany, Italy, Spain) and three from South America (Argentina, Brazil, and Uruguay).
Those past victors comprise the bulk of the top favorites for 2018, starting with the defending champs from Deutschland. Is there any chance we see a surprise, first-time champ this time around? And could the winner come from Africa, Asia, or CONCACAF? Probably not; only three teams from those regions (USA, Mexico, and Ivory Coast) crack our list of faves and none are better than 50/1.
See for yourself …
Odds to win the 2018 World Cup:
Czech Republic: 66/1
Ivory Coast: 80/1
(Photo credit: Agência Brasil [CC BY 3.0 br (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/br/deed.en)], via Wikimedia Commons. Photo has been cropped.)
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