Four teams have been eliminated from the 2014 World Cup, and more eliminations are on the way. With the conclusion of group play on the horizon, we'll soon be down to 16 teams in pursuit of international soccer's highest honor.
Needless to say, this World Cup has been full of surprises. Hardly anyone predicted that Spain wouldn't make it to the Round of 16, and the clutch play all around in Group G has made each of its matches must-watch TV.
Each team's odds have changed since Brazil and Croatia opened the tournament on June 12. A lot has changed in nearly two weeks of play, and the odds have changed accordingly.
Below you'll find a table with an updated listing of odds for remaining teams, via OddsChecker on June 24.
There are multiple reasons why to consider Brazil the favorites for the World Cup. Playing in their home country is certainly an advantage, but Brazil have one of the best weapons of all teams—Neymar.
His importance was said best by Stuart James of the Guardian:
The question seems to be not so much whether Brazil can win the World Cup but whether Neymar can win it single-handedly for them. It is impossible to overstate his importance to this Brazil team and it was no surprise when Luiz Felipe Scolari withdrew him with 18 minutes remaining. The last thing the Brazil manager needed to risk was his best player picking up the yellow card that would have ruled him out of the Chile game.
Neymar netted another two goals against Cameroon to secure his team's place in the Round of 16. Chile won't be an easy opponent seeing how well they've performed against their Group B counterparts. Aside form a 2-0 loss to the Netherlands, Chile handled Spain and Australia with ease.
Brazil face stiff competition across the board. Uruguay has Luis Suarez at their disposal. He netted two goals against England after being deemed fit enough to play, but apparently, he wasn't fit after all. This is what he told Ian Ladyman of the Daily Mail:
I was not really 100 per cent fit and sometimes this happens. ... Last week I was full of cramps and I was tired but of course you have a certain experience and you can build yourself up and come to the next assignment and this is what I am doing.
What type of weapon do Uruguay have when Suarez is 100 percent? The answer is, a scary one.
Brazil, Chile and Uruguay all have to be on the lookout for the beasts of Group G. While Portugal and Ghana likely won't advance into the Round of 16, Germany and the United States are proving themselves to be quite strong.
Germany have ridden the strong, gritty, emotional play of Thomas Muller through the first two games against Portugal and Ghana. At the end of the match against Ghana, Muller finished extra time on his back holding his face because of a gash he suffered on the final play over his right eye.
He's fine, though, after three stitches put him back together. He's all smiles right now:
Danke für die vielen Genesungswünsche. Alles gut bei mir, auch wenn ich wie ein wenig wie ein Boxer aussehe. :-) pic.twitter.com/uqVuj5naZB— Thomas Müller (@esmuellert_) June 23, 2014
Muller is crucial to Germany's success against the United States and the rest of the field, so keeping him fit and ready to go needs to be priority for the Germans.
There are multiple teams in real contention for this World Cup, and the odds reflect that. While Brazil are the favorites, several teams along the way can spoil their aspirations of winning in front of their home fans.
Anything can happen in the knockout stage. It is unforgiving given its format. One mistake can cost a team the chance at glory. The Round of 16 is just around the corner. Odds are generally a good indication of what might happen in a game, but be sure to watch the matches to find out.
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