P. J. Go | Fri 08/06/2018 - 06:09 EDT

FIFA World Cup 2018: Five Underdogs To Watch

FIFA World Cup 2018: Five Underdogs To Watch
The FIFA World Cup 2018 has arrived and like every tournament, a few underdogs defy expectations and shock the world. While most of these longshots don't win the title, many go as far as the final four or the title game and for the duration of the tournament, give its nation all the hope in the world. We preview the top five underdogs to watch for the World Cup.

Five Underdogs To Watch in FIFA World Cup 2018

The World Cup is the most-watched sporting event in the world for many reasons but watching underdogs put on a show is one of the best ones. Whether it's the host nation like South Korea in 2002 making it all the way to the semis or Uruguay winning the 1950 World Cup against the superpowered Brazil, the world (except the losing nation) rejoices.

We look at the five best underdogs who could make a serious run in the 2018 FIFA World Cup complete with betting odds. All odds courtesy of Sports Interaction.

Peru (+18400)
  • Odds to win FIFA World Cup 2018: +18400
  • Odds to win Group C: +900

After missing the last eight World Cups, Peru is back with a vengeance. La Blanquirroja will make the most of their opportunity in a group where France is the only legitimate contender. With star player Paolo Guerrero reinstated, the Peruvians are loving their chances.

Behind Guerrero are a few more great offensive players for Peru including Christian Cueva, an attacking midfielder who is small but speedy and Andre Carrillo, another quick and crafty player who has plenty to prove in a big stage. 

If Peru clinches a spot in the knockout stage, they'll likely face Argentina or Croatia as the winners of Group D. Though they are outgunned on paper, this squad has enough firepower to not only make it interesting but pull off a huge upset. Don't count them out.

Portugal (+1900)
  • Odds to win FIFA World Cup 2018: +1900
  • Odds to win Group B: +190

The defending European champions are still on the outside to win their first ever World Cup. Cristiano Ronaldo hasn't skipped a beat at 33 but one thing has eluded him: a stellar performance at the international stage. His rival nearly captained Argentina to the last World Cup so maybe it's Ronaldo's turn.

Portugal managed to win the Eurocup despite Ronaldo being injured. They did this thanks to an underrated scrappy squad that includes midfielder Joao Moutinho, defenders Raphael Guerreiro and Pepe, and goalkeeper Rui Patricio. The onus is on Ronaldo to carry the offence. 

In Group B, the Portuguese have only their Iberian rivals to worry about but they could soon contend with Uruguay in the knockout stage. Should they get past them, either France or Argentina awaits. Portugal has a rough road to the finals but they also have arguably the best player in the tournament.

It's now or never for CR7.

Croatia (+3300)
  • Odds to win FIFA World Cup 2018: +3300
  • Odds to win Group D: +220

Croatia was the Cinderella team of the 1998 World Cup. In their first-ever tournament, they finished third and upset the likes of Germany and the Netherlands. But since this magical run, they have failed to advance past the group stage.

Led by star midfielders Luka Modric and Ivan Rakitic, this Croatian team is loaded with talent but has the misfortune of being in the "Group of Death" with Argentina, Nigeria, and a surprisingly good Iceland. Coincidentally, when they made their 1998 run they were in the same group with Argentina.

The key for this team, which has the talent to repeat their third-place finish, is to start fast and hope for a bit of luck. They can't afford to lose to Nigeria or Iceland and maybe hope to face any team outside France in the knockout stage. If the stars align for Vatreni, they will go on a serious run.

Senegal (+18900)
  • Odds to win FIFA World Cup 2018: +18900
  • Odds to win Group H: +450

An underdog list without the Senegalese is complete rubbish. The last time they were in the World Cup was in 2002 when they reached the quarters after opening with a shocker over France then tying Uruguay. These new Lions are short in experience but brimming with talent.

Any team that sports midfielders Idrissa Gana Gueye and Sadio Mane will be at least competent and they also have Kalidou Koulibaly anchoring the defence. Senegal may not have the firepower on paper but they are young, hungry, and athletic and play in a wide-open Group H.

Should Senegal advance to the next round, they face a top-two team from Group G, which is likely to be either Belgium or England. Both squads boast uber talent but Senegal has the goods to cause a major shocker. 

Russia (+4100)
  • Odds to win FIFA World Cup 2018: +4100
  • Odds to win Group A: +170

On paper, this Russian squad doesn't have the talent to challenge the top contenders but it has plenty of intangibles starting with home turf advantage. The Russians will get an extra "boost" playing at home. What they lack in skill they make up for in heart and grit.

The team is anchored by veterans in goalkeeper Igor Akinfeev and forward Fedor Smolov. Fedor Chalov is a young striker who could be the x-factor for the host nation with his deft playmaking.

All Russia has to do is beat Saudi Arabia and tie with either Egypt and Uruguay to advance to their first knockout stage. They get another lucky break as Egypt lost top goalscorer Mohamed Salah for at least one game.

Once they get to the knockout stage, they will face either Spain or Portugal (barring upsets), two powerhouses with a history of underachieving. An upset is unlikely but stranger things have happened!

FIFA World Cup 2018 Broadcast in Canada

World Cup soccer-hungry Canadians will be glued to their televisions. There will be extensive coverage on CTV, RDS, and TSN. Similarly, these online sportsbooks offer all-day betting for Canadians including live betting and props.

Date Broadcast Start Time (ET) Network
Thursday, June 14 Russia vs. Saudi Arabia 10am TSN/CTV
Thursday, June 14 Highlight Show 1:30pm TSN
Thursday, June 14 Match Of The Day 11pm TSN2
Friday, June 15 Egypt vs. Uruguay 7am TSN
Friday, June 15 Morocco vs. Iran 10:30am TSN
Friday, June 15 Portugal vs. Spain 1:30pm TSN
Friday, June 15 Highlight Show 4:30pm TSN
Friday, June 15 Match Of The Day 8pm TSN2
Saturday, June 16 France vs. Australia 5:30am TSN/CTV
Saturday, June 16 Argentina vs. Iceland 8:30am TSN/CTV
Saturday, June 16 Peru vs. Denmark 11:30am TSN/CTV
Saturday, June 16 Croatia vs. Nigeria 2:30pm TSN/CTV
Saturday, June 16 Highlight Show 5:30pm TSN
Saturday, June 16 Match Of The Day 8pm TSN2
Sunday, June 17 Costa Rica vs. Serbia 7am TSN/CTV
Sunday, June 17 Germany vs. Mexico 10:30am TSN/CTV
Sunday, June 17 Brazil vs. Switzerland 1:30pm TSN/CTV
Sunday, June 17 Highlight Show 4:30pm TSN
Sunday, June 17 Match Of The Day 6pm TSN2
Monday, June 18 Sweden vs. Korea Republic 7am TSN
Monday, June 18 Belgium vs. Panama 10:30am TSN
Monday, June 18 Tunisia vs. England 1:30pm TSN
Monday, June 18 Highlight Show 4:30pm TSN
Monday, June 18 Match Of The Day 8pm TSN
Tuesday, June 19 Colombia vs. Japan 7am TSN
Tuesday, June 19 Poland vs. Senegal 10:30am TSN
Tuesday, June 19 Russia vs. Egypt 1:30pm TSN
Tuesday, June 19 Highlight Show 4:30pm TSN
Tuesday, June 19 Match Of The Day 8:30pm TSN
Wednesday, June 20 Portugal vs. Morocco 7am TSN
Wednesday, June 20 Uruguay vs. Saudi Arabia 10:30am TSN
Wednesday, June 20 Iran vs. Spain 1:30pm TSN
Wednesday, June 20 Highlight Show 4:30pm TSN
Wednesday, June 20 Match Of The Day 8pm TSN
Thursday, June 21 Denmark vs. Australia 7am TSN
Thursday, June 21 France vs. Peru 10:30am TSN
Thursday, June 21 Argentina vs. Croatia 1:30pm TSN
Thursday, June 21 Highlight Show 4:30pm TSN
Thursday, June 21 Match Of The Day 11:30pm TSN
Friday, June 22 Brazil vs. Costa Rica 7am TSN
Friday, June 22 Nigeria vs. Iceland 10:30am TSN
Friday, June 22 Serbia vs. Switerland 1:30pm TSN
Friday, June 22 Highlight Show 4:30pm TSN
Friday, June 22 Match Of The Day 8pm TSN
Saturday, June 23 Belgium vs. Tunisia 7am TSN/CTV
Saturday, June 23 Korea Republic vs. Mexico 10:30am TSN/CTV
Saturday, June 23 Germany vs. Sweden 1:30pm TSN/CTV
Saturday, June 23 Highlight Show 4:30pm TSN
Saturday, June 23 Match Of The Day 6pm TSN2
Sunday, June 24 England vs. Panama 7am TSN/CTV
Sunday, June 24 Japan vs. Senegal 10:30am TSN/CTV
Sunday, June 24 Poland vs. Colombia 1:30pm TSN/CTV
Sunday, June 24 Highlight Show 4:30pm TSN
Sunday, June 24 Match Of The Day 8pm TSN
Monday, June 25 Uruguay vs. Russia 9:30am TSN
Monday, June 25 Saudi Arabia vs. Egypt 9:30am TSN2
Monday, June 25 Iran vs. Portugal 1:30pm TSN
Monday, June 25 Spain vs. Morocco 1:30pm TSN2
Monday, June 25 Highlight Show 4:30pm TSN/TSN2
Monday, June 25 Match Of The Day 8pm TSN
Tuesday, June 26 Denmark vs. France 9:30am TSN
Tuesday, June 26 Australia vs. Peru 9:30am TSN2
Tuesday, June 26 Nigeria vs. Argentina 1:30pm TSN
Tuesday, June 26 Iceland vs. Croatia 1:30pm TSN2
Tuesday, June 26 Highlight Show 4:30pm TSN/TSN2
Tuesday, June 26 Match Of The Day 8pm TSN
Wednesday, June 27 Korea Republic vs. Germany 9:30am TSN
Wednesday, June 27 Mexico vs. Sweden 9:30am TSN2
Wednesday, June 27 Serbia vs. Brazil 1:30pm TSN
Wednesday, June 27 Switzerland vs. Costa Rica 1:30pm TSN2
Wednesday, June 27 Highlight Show 4:30pm TSN/TSN2
Wednesday, June 27 Match Of The Day 8pm TSN
Thursday, June 28 Senegal vs. Colombia 9:30am TSN
Thursday, June 28 Japan vs. Poland 9:30am TSN2
Thursday, June 28 England vs. Belgium 1:30pm TSN
Thursday, June 28 Panama vs. Tunisia 1:30pm TSN2
Thursday, June 28 Highlight Show 4:30pm TSN/TSN2
Thursday, June 28 Match Of The Day 11:30pm TSN2
Saturday, June 30 1C vs. 2D 9:30am TSN/CTV
Saturday, June 30 1A vs. 2B 1:30pm TSN/CTV
Saturday, June 30 Highlight Show 11:30pm TSN2
Sunday July 1 Match Of The Day Midnight TSN2
Sunday, July 1 1B vs. 2A 9:30am TSN/CTV
Sunday, July 1 1D vs. 2C 1:30pm TSN/CTV
Sunday, July 1 Highlight Show 9pm TSN
Sunday, July 1 Match Of The Day 9:30pm TSN
Monday, July 2 1E vs. 2F 9:30am TSN
Monday, July 2 1G vs. 2H 1:30pm TSN
Monday, July 2 Highlight Show 4:30pm TSN
Monday, July 2 Match Of The Day 8pm TSN
Tuesday, July 3 1F vs. 2E 9:30am TSN
Tuesday, July 3 1H vs. 2G 1:30pm TSN
Tuesday, July 3 Highlight Show 4:30pm TSN
Tuesday, July 3 Match Of The Day 8pm TSN
Wednesday, July 4 Match Of The Day 3pm TSN
Wednesday, July 4 Match Of The Day 10pm TSN
Thursday, July 5 Match Of The Day 8pm TSN2
Friday, July 6 Quarterfinal 1 9:30am TSN
Friday, July 6 Quarterfinal #2 1:30pm TSN
Friday, July 6 Highlight Show 4:30pm TSN
Friday, July 6 Match Of The Day 8pm TSN
Saturday, July 7 Quarterfinal 3 9:30am TSN/CTV
Saturday, July 7 Quarterfinal 4 1:30pm TSN/CTV
Saturday, July 7 Highlight Show 4:30pm TSN
Saturday, July 7 Match Of The Day 5pm TSN2
Sunday, July 8  Match Of The Day 4pm TSN
Sunday, July 8  Match Of The Day 8pm TSN
Monday, July 9 Match Of The Day 8pm TSN
Tuesday, July 10 Semifinal 1 1pm TSN/CTV
Tuesday, July 10 Highlight Show 4:30pm TSN
Tuesday, July 10 Match Of The Day 8pm TSN
Wednesday, July 11 Semifinal 2 1pm TSN/CTV
Wednesday, July 11 Highlight Show 4:30pm TSN
Wednesday, July 11 Match Of The Day 9:30pm TSN
Thursday, July 12 Match Of The Day 3pm TSN
Friday, July 13 Match Of The Day 3pm TSN
Saturday, July 14 3rd Place Match 9:30am TSN/CTV
Saturday, July 14 Highlight Show 12:30pm TSN
Saturday, July 14 Match Of The Day 4pm TSN
Sunday, July 15 Final 10am TSN/CTV
Sunday, July 15 Highlight Show 2pm TSN
Sunday, July 15 Match Of The Day 7:30pm TSN

Category : Soccer

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