Four years have flown by and Its time for the football’s global showpiece as the FIFA World Cup draws ever closer. 32 teams will battle it out from the 21 November to the 18 December for the right to be crowned World Champions. It is not only the football fans that will be treated to this spectacle but also puntersthat fancy a wager on their favorite teams as they will be spoilt for choice with 64 matches to bet on during the duration of the tournament. It is not always easy to bet with your head and not your heart especially when your country is playing therefore we suggest checking out the best football betting tips for the World Cup before placing your bets. The 32 teams will be divided into eight groups of four with the top two teams progressing to the round of 16. Teams will want to top their groups as the group winners play against the teams that finished second in the group stage.
The group stage will begin on the opening day, 18 November and will continue to the 2 December during which time there will be 48 matches played. The round of 16 matches will be played between the 3rd to 6th December. There will be a two day break before the quarter finals are played on the 9th and 10thDecember. The semi-finals are to be played on the 13th and 14thDecember with the 3rd place playoff on the 17th December and the Championship match a day later on the 18th December. It has been a tiring road for teams in the World Cup as they came through a long and strenuous qualifying tournament that lasted almost a year. Brazil was the most impressive of the teams as they went 18 matches in the qualifiers unbeaten. They set a new record of 45 points gained in the qualifiers and will start the World Cup as one of the favorites along with France.
There are many pretenders to the World Cup crown with Brazil and France the early bookie favorites but there are other teams like Germany who always perform well in this tournament. Other countries like Argentina will want to play their best football and give Lionel Messi a World Cup winners medal in what will surely be his last opportunity. The great Cristiano Ronaldo will be hoping that his very talented Portuguese side can at least get him into the knockout stage as anything can happen in the knockouts matches. England have only won the World Cup once in 1966 and will be desperate to end the long wait but will take confidence from the fact that made the final of the last Euro Championship. Africa is still looking for their first World Cup winner and their hopes will rest on the eight nations that qualified with Nigeria and Ghana the leading Africa teams. Ghana is in the same group as Uruguay, the team that beat them in controversial circumstances in the 2010 World Cup quarter final and no doubt they will be out for revenge.
This will be a World Cup of many firsts as it is being staged in the Middle East for the first time and also the tournament is being played in November/December for the first time. This scheduling has meant there will be an extended break for the European football leagues. It will be interesting to see how the players cope with the extreme heat which should favor the African and South American teams.