World Cup 2014: Latest Group Odds and Predictions for Top Goalscorers

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World Cup 2014: Latest Group Odds and Predictions for Top Goalscorers
Andre Penner/Associated Press

The biggest sporting event on the planet now awaits an audience of billions.

Fans from every nation on earth will be gathering around their televisions and radios to follow every second of World Cup action in Brazil and to find out who will be crowned world champions.

With eight action-packed groups, many will be having a flutter and placing bets on their favourite teams.

Here we review the latest odds for which countries will top each group and give predictions as to which goalscorers will be on fire during the competition:

 

Betting Odds To Win Group A
Team Latest Odds
Brazil 1/4
Croatia 9/1
Mexico 9/1
Cameroon 33/1

Oddschecker.com

Betting Odds To Win Group B
Team Latest Odds
Spain 3/4
Netherlands 3/1
Chile 4/1
Australia 100/1

Oddschecker.com

Betting Odds To Win Group C
Team Latest Odds
Colombia 1/1
Ivory Coast 4/1
Japan 9/2
Greece 8/1

Oddschecker.com

Betting Odds To Win Group D
Team Latest Odds
Italy 13/8
Uruguay 2/1
England 11/5
Costa Rica 50/1

Oddschecker.com

Betting Odds To Win Group E
Team Latest Odds
France 5/6
Switzerland 11/4
Ecuador 9/2
Honduras 33/1

Oddschecker.com

Betting Odds To Win Group F
Team Latest Odds
Argentina 1/4
Bosnia-Herzegovina 15/2
Nigeria 10/1
Iran 50/1

Oddschecker.com

Betting Odds To Win Group G
Team Latest Odds
Germany 4/7
Portugal 11/4
Ghana 12/1
United States 15/1

Oddschecker.com

Betting Odds To Win Group H
Team Latest Odds
Belgium 8/11
Russia 12/5
South Korea 8/1
Algeria 25/1

Oddschecker.com

(Latest odds via Oddschecker.com on June 5, 2014)

Top Goalscorers

Lionel Messi

Victor R. Caivano/Associated Press

This could finally be Lionel Messi's year at a World Cup. With rival Cristiano Ronaldo on the brink of pulling out of the tournament with injury, the Barcelona magician can focus and lead his Argentina side to glory on South American soil.

Messi is currently 7/1 with Oddschecker.com to finish as the Golden Boot winner, and those odds seem very tempting odds at this stage before a ball is even kicked. 

The mercurial talent has had a strange season with Barcelona, with the Catalan giants finishing the season empty-handed.

However, the player hit a phenomenal 36 goals this year in 38 La Liga and Champions League matches, per WhoScored.com, and provided 11 assists.

Do not believe anyone that says Messi has lost his shooting boots, because his statistics do not lie.

Argentina team-mate Javier Mascherano highlighted just how much their team relies on Messi. He said, per Marca.com:

It is impossible not to depend on Messi. If you have the best player in the world and you don't depend on him, then who do you depend on? We have to try to get the most out of him and Leo has to feel that we're playing for him so we can take advantage of his strengths.

It is easy to forget that Messi is still just 26 years old, but this is his time to perform. As Diego Maradona did in 1986, Messi can replicate his brilliance in 2014, and with a much stronger supporting cast to help him.

If the little genius hits form in a few weeks' time, Argentina may end the summer as world champions.

 

Neymar

Andre Penner/Associated Press

The Brazilian is the face of the tournament, and the pressure will be immense on the young shoulders of Neymar.

But the Barcelona forward is second favourite to be the competition's top scorer behind Messi, being quoted at odds of 10/1.

There is no doubting the excellence of the player, but it is questionable whether he can carry a very good, but not great, Brazil side to glory on home soil.

Despite this, Brazil are indeed the competition favourites, and Neymar is expected to score goals aplenty.

The 22-year-old was not wholly unsuccessful last season at the Nou Camp and posted respectable figures.

He hit 15 goals in 39 domestic league and European games, achieving a solid goal ratio.

But Neymar is expected to perform like Messi and Ronaldo, and maybe he is not in that class just yet. He is still a young and inexperienced talent who will surely come into his prime at future tournaments.

 

Top Goalscorer Prediction

Kirsty Wigglesworth/Associated Press

He is a predator and he will show this in the Premier League next season and at the World Cup in Brazil: If Spain can get Diego Costa fit they have a match-winner in their ranks.

The Brazilian-born player returns to his home nation of Spain after a magnificent season which saw Costa fire Atletico Madrid to the Spanish league championship. 

The Chelsea-bound striker hit 27 goals in 35 games, per Squawka, driving his team above the regal pairing of Real Madrid and Barcelona.

However, the player's fitness is still in question, which is reflected in his current odds to become the competition's top scorer.

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He is currently 16/1 via Oddschecker.com but you can get figures as long as 28/1 on him at present. 

Costa's biggest threat to his World Cup is his fitness, which is something that will need to be micro-managed by Spain. Vicente del Bosque will have to take extra special care of him. 

But if they can get him ready on time, then Costa could power his chosen country over the finish line to retain their champions' crown. Costa is the most in-form striker in world football, and with an amazing midfield feeding him his goal tally in Brazil could be huge.

Put your money on Costa to finish as the World Cup's top scorer.

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