I’d like to oppose Russia here and back Egypt to qualify alongside Uruguay but I don’t trust the Russians not to try and influence the results of their games by nobbling a referee or two. Check out the list of referees and where they hail from and you’ll probably understand my concerns. No refs from the UK, nor Australia but officials from Algeria, Zambia, Uzbekistan etc etc https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2018_FIFA_World_Cup_officials
Group B: Spain – Portugal – Morocco – Iran
This is an interesting group.
On paper, Spain ($1.10 to qualify) and Portugal ($1.33) look like certainties to get through to the next round but the other two teams in the group may have been underrated.
Morocco played six games unbeaten in 3rd stage of African qualifying and did not concede a goal in a group which included Ivory Coast. They beat Serbia and Uzbekistan in their two most recent friendlies and also dished out a 4-0 beating to Nigeria in the final of the 2018 African Nations Championship to gain their first title.
Iran are the best team in Asia, and qualified conceding just two goals in their 10 matches.
Spain should be too strong for Portugal in the opening fixture which could make things interesting for the Portuguese when they face both Morocco and then Iran.
Iran and Morocco can be backed to qualify at around $7 and $4.8 (if you are in the UK and can get set with Boylesports the $8.5 for Iran to qualify should be snapped up) but another option is to oppose Portugal in their matches against the two teams and also back them to finish bottom.
1 unit on Portugal to finish bottom of group B at $12 with Bet365 ($15 with Marathon) and we’ll look at opposing Portugal in the match odds markets closer to the time when asian handicap lines are up.
Group C: France – Denmark – Peru – Australia
France are $1.08 to qualify and while I don’t like their outright chances they cannot be opposed in this group. Their biggest rival should be Denmark but they were unimpressive in qualification and may struggle to score enough goals if Tottenham’s Christian Eriksen under performs.
Peru don’t look any great shakes either winning seven of their 18 matches to get here and are the weakest of the five South American teams in the tournament.
Does the apparent weakness of two teams in the group give the plucky Socceroos a squeak of getting to the knock-out stages? Unfortunately, I don’t think so but they can be backed at around $5 for the blindly patriotic. Of course, if they play to their best they have a chance, and facing France first up may help but they do not look good enough, despite the presence of the ‘Aussie Iniesta’, Aaron Mooy in their midfield.