Media focus may currently be on the opening fixtures of Europe’s major leagues, but the recent swathe of international friendlies have reminded everyone of the looming prospect of the 2014 World Cup.
This article ranks the six favourites for next summer’s tournament as they currently stand. Doubtless, the fates and fortunes of a whole crop of players over the coming months will alter this order, but don’t be surprised to see all of these names lurking around in the business-end of competition in Brazil.
The teams are ranked based on the odds provided by Ladbrokes, the UK’s largest betting company and the world’s largest bookmaker. I have also included reference to the FIFA World Rankings and national placements courtesy of my colleague Frank Wagner and his fascinating—if flawed—national team metric.
Read on and comment below, letting the team know how you would rank the key contenders ahead of next summer.