Anybody but South America - that’s the message from bet365 with the firm revealing their liability positions on the World Cup which kicks off in Qatar on Sunday.
bet365’s Steve Freeth said: “We’ve only ever had one all-South American final and that was the inaugural World Cup with limited teams from Europe, but with the business we’ve seen in the lead-up to the 2022 showpiece, our customers are predicting something similar to 1930!"
Brazil and Argentina dominate the Outright Winner market with liabilities running into millions and the usual suspects fill up the top spots in both the Top Goalscorer and Player of the Tournament betting.
“As you’d expect, if customers think that the big two in the betting are going to do well then support for another big two, Messrs Neymar and Messi, goes hand in hand.
“And if we avoid them then we’ve got Lautaro Martinez to worry about having already taken more than 6,000 bets on him to finish top of the scoring charts,” said Freeth.
Uruguay are another side that figure prominently with Darwin Nunez and Federico Valverde rubbing shoulders with Neymar and Messi in bet365’s books and the firm will be more than happy with a European country lifting the trophy on 18th December.
100/1 Golden Ball shot Valverde has had a stellar season so far for Real Madrid, and if Uruguay can avoid facing Brazil in the last 16, the 1930 and 1934 winners will fancy going deep in the tournament.
Though the 24-year-old will likely revert back to a more familiar position in midfield for the national side, rather than the right wing, where he’s usually found for his club side.
Another South American – Enzo Fernandez – also tops the liabilities in the FIFA Young Player Award market, the sixth favourite cut from 33/1 to 20/1.
“Make no mistake, we’d take an England win with Harry Kane doing the business once again, because there’s not much interest in them. France are on the drift, likewise Germany and there’s not much love for Ronaldo either,” added Freeth.
1) Neymar Jnr (Brazil)
2) Lautaro Martinez (Argentina)
3) Darwin Nunez (Uruguay)
4) Lionel Messi (Argentina)
1) Lionel Messi (Argentina)
2) Neymar Jnr (Brazil)
3) Federico Valverde (Uruguay)
1) Enzo Fernandez (Argentina)