Although football is a team game, most fans also get caught up cheering for individual players. Sure, Barcelona might win competitions and trophies all over the place, but Messi’s brilliance is the extra something that gets people buying tickets to see him live.
There are some footballers which are not only players in a team, they are more than that – the goal scorers, the creators, the no.10s, the captains, and the leaders. Teams are built and destroyed around them, and that’s why online betting sites prioritize them for special selections – which will be the theme of today’s article.
The group draw for World Cup 2018 is a subject which we could talk about for another couple of days, without getting through everything there is to say. This time, however, we want to focus on individual bets across the 8 groups. Some of the selections we’ll discuss might be bookmaker-specific, but we do try to keep them as broad as possible – namely, the best player and top goalscorer of each group. Here they are:
Group A – Russia, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Uruguay
Group A Preview and Prediction
We believe the player should come from Uruguay, as they are the most offensive team and the likely winner of the group. Here is where the going gets tough, however: should you bet on Suarez or Cavani? We believe one of the two is the favorites of scoring the most goals in the group, so either works – or both, why not? Odds 3.00 for each means you could divide your bet and come on top regardless of who wins.
Group B – Portugal, Spain, Morocco, Iran
Group B Preview and Prediction
This group is quite complicated. Spain is the most likely winner, but we all know that the Spanish don’t have a big goalscorer anymore. Costa probably won’t score a lot during the group stage, but will he score more than Ronaldo?
The Portuguese striker is fairly hit or miss during national tournaments, but we do recommend going for him as group top scorer. He also hits penalties for Portugal and repeatedly stated that his last remaining dream in football is to win the World Cup.
Group C – France, Australia, Peru, Denmark
Group C Preview and Prediction
Which French striker will score the most goals? Griezmann? Martial? We don’t even know how the head coach will line up! Griezmann is the favorite, however, since it’s hard to build a France team without him, and he’s also been their designated free kick and penalty taker. More ways to score goals.
Group D – Argentina, Iceland, Croatia, Nigeria
Group D Preview and Prediction
On paper, the solution here is simple: Messi. We do have to be reminded that the Argentine doesn’t score a lot during final tournaments, and may have slow starts. Consequently, he does have a lot of other talented attackers besides him, who also enjoy scoring goals. Croatia’s Mandzukic is excellent in terms of risk/reward, as he’s the type of striker who scores even when playing below his normal form.
Group E – Brazil, Switzerland, Costa Rica, Serbia
Group E Preview and Prediction
Very hard to overlook Neymar. He’s been explosive this season, leading (often carrying) Brazil to multiple victories, and hits goals from all angles. His colleagues are also playing for him, so they won’t interfere with his goal-scoring streaks – and probably, neither will Seferovic.
Group F – Germany, Mexico, Sweden, Korea Rep.
Group F Preview and Prediction
The goal scorer for group F will either be the German who steps his game up and scores most goals, or if they play as a team and divide their scoring chances, the Mexican who can score 2-3 goals. The issue is that everyone from the German attack can score a lot: Werner, Muller, Ozil, Sane, Draxler. Can Lozano or Jimenez really keep up? We think not, but we’re not sure who to put our money on from the German team either.
Group G – Belgium, Panama, Tunisia, England
Group G Preview and Prediction
The duel of the Premier League strikers and no.10s. Both Belgium and England have an incredible striker (Lukaku, Kane) and an equally incredible no.10 (Hazard, Alli). We do fancy Kane, although we expect England to score fewer goals than Belgium, only because we consider him to be a more complete striker.
Group H – Poland, Senegal, Colombia, Japan
Group H Preview and Prediction
Last but not least, Lewandowski vs. the world. The Polish striker’s only serious adversary for the top goal scorer in the group is James Rodriguez, last tournament’s Golden Boot. Will Rodriguez be able to shine once again, or will the Polish striker maintain his usual rate and put one or two goals past each opponent?
That being said, we can’t wait for the World Cup to begin so we can see all these stars shining and leading their teams to victories, points, and historic runs. We’ve written another article in the past about our favorites to win the Golden Foot of the entire tournament, but that heavily depends on how teams will do in the group stage. We’d love to see a surprise candidate appear as well, wouldn’t you?
Betting odds are presented at the time of writing. Please check them with the respective betting site. *T&Cs apply to all betting offers and sign-up bonuses. 18+, please gamble responsibly.