World Cup Half Time Analysis
With the group stages about to play out the remaining matches, the teams that are already through will have an eye on the knockout stages.
There’s so many different potential match-ups and outcomes lets take a look at how the market see’s it at this stage.
I’ve based this on current odds to win the groups and then for the last 16 ties I’ve based the winners on those favoured in the outright market.
The thing to bear in mind with this is the order of which the final group matches will be played, which is:
Group A, then B, then C, D, F, E, H, G.
What this means is Spain and Portugal will know what 1st and 2nd place in their group will mean – a tie with Russia or Uruguay depending on what order they finish in. And I suspect despite the Russians being the host nation – that Spain and Portugal will want to avoid Uruguay.
These first two groups could set the tone for the rest of the final games as no one really wants to be drawn against favourites Spain.
So many different outcomes are possible and the good news for England and Belgium fans is that with Group G being the last to play out their final matches – they will know all potential knockout opponents in each half of the draw.
Should Portugal top Group B for example, being SECOND in their group could mean a Japan, Mexico, Croatia/Portugal route to the final as oppose to a Colombia, Brazil/Germany, France.
All of which are of course just based on guesswork but we could be looking at a scenario of the first five in the betting all in the top half of the draw, and if avoiding Spain, Brazil, Germany and France is the prize for finishing 2nd in Group G, could we see one or two rash challenges from England players so that they fall behind Belgium on fair play??
Let me know in the comments below how you see the tournament panning out!
You can download the speadsheet above from: http://www.excely.com/football/2018-fifa-world-cup-schedule.shtml