World Cup Dark Horses


Qatar World Cup Betting

With the World Cup now only a week away, punters all around the world will be making their final betting preparations. Whilst a plethora of markets are available ahead of events in Qatar, one of the most popular bets remains the classic “Who will the tournament?”

No real surprises with the names towards the head of the market here, with Brazil, Argentina., France, Spain, and England being the five sides available at a single figure price, and European big guns Germany, Netherlands, Portugal, and Belgium coming next in the 10/1-16/1 range. For many fans, the claims of the above star-studded sides will need little advertising. However, another 23 sides are rocking up in Qatar, and here we pick out three of the more interesting betting options at significantly bigger prices.

Denmark

  • To Win - 33/1
  • To Reach Semi Final - 5/1
  • To Reach Quarter Final - 2/1

There would be few more compelling stories than a win for Denmark and Christian Eriksen following the events of Euro 2020, and the Danes are no forlorn hope. Near perfect in qualifying with nine wins from 10 – the only loss came in their final match in Scotland when already qualified as group winners. A group containing France, Australia, and Tunisia certainly looks manageable – particularly as Denmark have beaten France twice since June. Should the Danes pip France to the top spot, a likely route to the semis of Poland and England would await.

Uruguay

  • To Win - 50/1
  • To Reach Semi Final - 8/1
  • To Reach Quarter Final - 5/2

Qatar 2020 represents the end of a World Cup era for Uruguay, with long-time defensive lynchpin Diego Godin and attacking stars Luis Suarez and Edinson Cavani all likely to have hung up their boots by the time 2026 rolls around. Sad as the fans will be to see them go, Uruguay do at least look well-placed to send the trio out on a high. In Suarez, Cavani, and Darwin Nunez, they boast a stellar trio of strikers, whilst the tough midfield is set to be martialled by the exceptional Rodrigo Bentancur. Throw in the Barcelona/Atlético Madrid duo of Ronald Araujo and Jose Maria Gimenez at the heart of the defence, and the spine of the side looks a match for most. Purely on the sum of their parts, Uruguay look overpriced.

Serbia

  • To Win - 100/1
  • To Reach Semi Final - 14/1
  • To Reach Quarter Final - 11/2

Win or lose, Serbia seems likely to be one of the most entertaining sides to watch at the tournament, with the approach of Dragan Stojkovic’s side bordering on gung-ho at times. Quite how well that works out against Brazil in their opener remains to be seen. However, they do at least have a clear way of playing, plenty of attacking threat, and are fancied to have too much for both a Switzerland side in transition and an underwhelming Cameroon squad. Should Serbia grab second spot, they will likely face Portugal – whom they beat last time out – in the Last 16, before a probable clash with Germany in the Quarters. A deep run may not be quite as unlikely as the odds imply.

Top Scorer Dark Horses

Next to the outright market, one of the most popular World Cup betting options is that of who will finish as the tournament’s top scorer. England’s own Harry Kane leads the way here and would look to boast strong claims in a market where six goals may well be enough. Familiar names are stacked up behind him, but with many firms paying out each way on the first four, this looks ripe for an each-way punt at a bigger price. Here we pick out three less-heralded contenders who may make their presence felt in Qatar.

Memphis Depay – 28/1

The Netherlands’ main goal threat has rebuilt his career since that disappointing spell at Manchester United, going on to average only a shade under a goal every other game for both Lyon and Barcelona. With a total of 42 in 81 for the national side, he hit an impressive 12 in the Netherlands World Cup qualifying campaign, making him the joint top scorer (with Harry Kane) across the whole European qualifying section. Starting in a Group containing Qatar, Ecuador, and Senegal, he has every chance of being in contention when the knockout stages begin.

Lautaro Martinez – 33/1

All eyes will of course be on Messi when Argentina spring into action, and rightly so. However, at a much bigger price, Inter Milan star Martinez looks well worth an each-way punt. A certain starter as the main focal point of the attack, he matched Messi’s tally of seven goals during qualifying, bringing his national side tally to a rock solid 21 goals in 40 appearances. In form this season with seven goals for an underperforming Inter side, those 33/1 odds may be looking big by the end of the group phase.

Luis Suarez – 50/1

Despite the undoubted class of Edinson Cavani and youthful promise of Darwin Nunez, it is Luis Suarez who remains the main man for Uruguay, and that shouldn’t be expected to change in Qatar. If Uruguay are to enjoy a good tournament, it will most likely be on the back of the goals of their talisman. Heading back to Uruguay in order to secure game time, Suarez will be going all out to end his World Cup career on a high and will be hoping to fill his boots against both Ghana and South Korea, who look two of the sides most likely to struggle.

All prices quoted are from William Hill

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