World Cup 2018 Group A Betting Preview, Teams Analysis, Betting Tips, Odds And The Bookies Sign-Up Offers
The first phase of the World Cup is the so-called “group stage”. This stage has only grown over time, at the same pace as the number of teams participating in the World Cup.
When the tournament only had 8 teams, they were divided into 2 groups which finished quite quickly. Then, the number of participants grew to 16, 24 and eventually 32 – the number we have today.
These teams are divided into 8 groups of 4 teams each, out of which the first two qualify for the knockout rounds. The World Cup 2018 group stage is a formality for some teams, but quite a challenge for others – meaning that betting on the group stage is that much more interesting.
FIFA World Cup Group A Betting Analysis
World Cup group betting is, for some, the most interesting betting opportunity from the entire tournament. After the group stage ends, games are much more balanced and teams are better prepared for each other.
In the group stage, however, nobody knows exactly how well a team will play, and we’ve seen quite a few surprise exits – just think about Spain’s early exit last time around.
Naturally, some groups will be much more balanced than others, which is where we come in. We will analyze each group, provide our input on how we think the teams will play, and even give a few betting ideas. Today, we’ll start with Group A.
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These ideas, as well as your own, need a reliable partner to be put to good use during the World Cup. We recommend opening a new betting account for the competition, especially since lots of online bookmakers have some incredible welcome bonuses that you should definitely take advantage of before the competition. They will surely also have some great World Cup betting offers, which you will be able to use later. For example:
Mr. Green sportsbook offers new customers a 20-pound free bet. You could use that to bet on the most balanced match of the group, or opt for a riskier bet like Uruguay beating Saudi Arabia by at least 3 goals. This kind of free bet has an awesome risk/reward ratio, and can be put to good use by any player.
32Red Sport offers a smaller free bet, 10 pounds, but also boosts your in-play profits by 100% if your account with them is new. Live betting will certainly be useful both in the World Cup and with Group A games, especially if Russia manages to score first in any given game. They will probably try to defend their lead and score valuable points, as a group exit would be a dream for the home team.
NetBet Sports doubles your initial deposit, up to 50 pounds. This is one of the best ways to prepare for World Cup betting, and you’ll basically have a lot more funds to play with – as long as you carefully read the terms and conditions, especially the parts about how you can withdraw and use bonus money.
Russia, the hosts of this year’s World Cup, will open this group (as well as the entire competition) playing against Saudi Arabia in Moscow, on the 14th of June. They have qualified for the World Cup as hosts, which can be seen as lucky – they aren’t regular participants after 1990, only participating in 3 of the 8 editions.
They have never won more than 1 group game and never exited the group, so this year’s objective is quite clear: qualify and possibly even record one additional win during the knockout stages.
Being hosts, they will certainly receive some helping hand from referees – as we remember Brazil, South Korea and Japan, and even South Africa. They also benefit from having a somewhat easy group, with no clear team which is significantly better than them.
As opposed to other years, where their team contains lots of talent from abroad, most of their players come from domestic clubs. The only “foreigners” are Gabulov, Neustadter and Cheryshev.
If they are to have a good tournament, players like Dzagoev, Semedov and Glushakov will have to perform. They do not have an experienced striker who can induce fear into opposing defenses, but do have some good, experienced defenders.
For most of Russia’s games, we recommend going for “under” bets, like under 2,5 goals, and we also expect them to not lose against Egypt and Saudi Arabia. We wouldn’t completely recommend outright betting for their games, but would go so far as to say that we believe Russia will qualify from the group.
Uruguay are the other team which are most likely going to progress from group A. After some easy qualifiers, finishing 2nd behind Brazil, the team is looking to at least progress from the Group and win their next game.
Their World Cup form between 1990 and 2010 has been horrible, but they did manage a surprising 4th place finish in South Africa, and were eliminated in the Round of 16 in Brazil 4 years later.
This time around, they face technically sub-par opponents, and should win 5 points at minimum from the group, by beating Saudi Arabia and at least drawing the other two teams. With quite a few stars in their squad (Cavani, Suarez, Ramirez, Godin or Maxi Perreira, all close or over 100 caps), they have a very experienced team which will prove to be quite hard to beat.
We believe that Uruguay will win group A, beat both Egypt and Saudi Arabia, and also give the top goal scorer of the group, which will be either Cavani or Suarez.
Egypt, favourites for 3rd place in the group, are one of this year’s surprises. Their last World Cup participation was in 1990, but under Hector Cuper’s reign, the team is looking better than ever, placing 2nd at last year’s African Nation’s Cup.
There are not a lot of things to say about this Egyptian team – they have proven to be disciplined and hardworking, just like most teams coached by Cuper, without lots of technically gifted players. We don’t expect them to completely wash out at this World Cup, but they do seem inferior to both Russia and Uruguay.
Avoiding defeat against either of those teams could open their road towards exiting the group stage, but we wouldn’t really bet on it. We believe most of their games will be very closed, with few goals and lots of yellow cards, especially the one against Russia.
Finally, Saudi Arabia were seeded as the weakest team in Group A. After their group exit in 1994, they failed to win a single game in their next 3 participations, and did not qualify for the 2010 and 2014 editions.
Although fate has been a little friendlier with them this time around, not giving them any of the big teams in the group, we still don’t expect them to do particularly well. The only point they might win is against Egypt, and we also expect a heavy loss against Uruguay. An Uruguay (-1,5) bet there might have a great risk/reward scenario.
Group A will certainly be one of the more interesting ones of this year’s competition. The balance between teams is quite good, and the group favourites (Uruguay) don’t seem to belong to a completely different league. Since the hosts also play in this group, we will have a lot of eyes on the games, which should bring some added spectacle.