With the World Cup underway and in full force, both analysts and football fans are reconsidering their initial predictions and winning odds for many of the participating teams.
The greatest turn of events came with Germany losing their opening game against Mexico, marking the first time they have lost an opener since 1982.
The champion’s fall
Following a surprising 1-0 win for Mexico over Germany, the champion of the 2014 World Cup, all bets are off as analysts and fans scramble to make a sense of what’s about to happen. “Germany had no plan B, no clear chances, and no defensive intelligence,” former England captain Terry Butcher said on BBC Radio 5.
German defender Mats Hummels also noted his team’s weak defense during the match, which he also cited as a major cause of their loss. The Mexican team was putting in the pressure, and the Germans just couldn’t keep them away from their goal.
“We were warned days ago . We played exactly like we did against Saudi Arabia , only against a better opponent. That’s why the first half was like it was and Mexico obviously deserved to win it,” he added.
Brazil, another major player, had a similar lackluster outing, with a 1-1 draw against Switzerland.
So while Brazil, Germany, and France were predicted to be high profile contenders most likely to earn the greatest trophy of them all, according to CBS Sports, current results have forced analysts and oddsmaker companies to tweak their odds slightly.
Talk Sport predicted in May, based on FIFA rankings, that Germany, France, Brazil and Portugal will be the 4 teams to make it to the semi-finals. They also predicted that the final will pit Brazil against Germany, with the German team emerging the final victor like in the previous championship. With these most recent results, however, things aren’t looking so great for the European team.
Things aren’t looking so great for the Kingdom either
Further south, in the Middle East, Saudi Arabia was having a tough time as well.
After its weak showing and 5-0 defeat at the hands of the Russian team, its odds have plummeted significantly. The loss against Russia is so far the worst loss to be sustained since this year’s Cup commenced. Saudi was ranked as the second by FIFA’s ranking table, with Russia in last place. Now, a few matches into the event, oddsmaker companies such as William Hill are ranking Saudia as the least likely to win.
To make matters worse for the Green Falcons, Saudi Arabia’s sports authorities threatened to hold members of the national football team “accountable” after their crushing defeat against Russia in the opening match of the World Cup.
Adel Ezzat, president of the Saudi Football Federation, told Al-Arabiya television on Friday that “the result was disappointing and unsatisfactory,” and that “the collapse was not because of fitness, but errors in passing the ball, technical errors.”
“We did everything for them… we provided them the best coaching staff,” Saudi sports authority chief Turki al-Sheikh said in a video posted on Twitter… Let no-one tell me (Argentinian coach Juan Antonio) Pizzi is not a known coach. But these are our players. They did not do even five percent of what was required of them. This is a reality that we should admit.”
What are the odds looking like?
Following a 0-1 loss to Uruguay, Egypt is next set to face Russia. Odds Checker predicts a 13/5 victory chance for Egypt and 23/20 for Russia.
Tunisia is still the Arab Country with the highest odds of winning at 750/1, but tonight’s game against England could leave a big dent in those predictions.
Now, given Germany and Brazil’s blunders, have their winning odds been affected? Could competitors France and Spain nab the final win? Check below to find out what each team’s odds are to win the World Cup, according to oddsmaker company William Hill:
South Korea 500/1
Costa Rica 750/1
Saudi Arabia 2500/1