Group C & D – Brazil and Spain hot favourites
The Selecao are grouped with Egypt, Belarus and New Zealand, none of whom have a reputation for a formidable football side although the African team do have players that operate at a reasonable standard, with captain Mohamed Aboutrika boasting 81 caps and 27 goals for his country.
Even so, Brazil look a banker at odds of 1/6 (bet365 £200 free bets) and there are several star names in this squad including Real Madrid’s Marcelo and Porto’s Hulk. There is also the highly-rated Neymar who has attracted the interest of several high-profile Premier League clubs.
Spain also look a cut above their Group D opponents, with Japan, Morocco and Honduras the other three teams in that particular section and they are a 1/3 chance (William Hill free bet) to qualify for the last eight as group winners.
Manchester United’s David de Gea has a chance to prove himself as a top stopper with Javi Martinez, Juan Mata and Jordi Alba other star names in the squad.
Group A – can Great Britain finish ahead of Uruguay?
Team GB didn’t look like potential gold medal winners when being outclassed by favourites Brazil in a warm-up match although they shouldn’t find Senegal and UAE in the same league during their Group A campaign, with the match against Uruguay likely to determine which side goes through as section winner.
Britain have some quality players in the squad, including the evergreen Ryan Giggs, Welsh firebrand Craig Bellamy and Chelsea’s Daniel Sturridge. However, there are also several inexperienced players and it’s open to question as to whether bet365’s 11/10 about Team GB winning Group A is value.
After all, Uruguay are the same odds and appear to have a nice mix of European and South American-based players, many of whom have turned out for the national team including the highly-rated Nicolás Lodeiro who plies his trade for Botafogo.
Luis Suarez enjoys a healthy goal-per-two games for his national side and Edinson Cavani enjoys a phenomenal time in front of goal for Napoli which suggests the south Americans will take all the beating.
Group B looks the most wide open of the lot
Gabon are clearly the outsiders of the quartet, although the Africans won’t be fazed by Switzerland, Mexico and South Korea and this section has a wide open look about it which could see things go down to the wire.
Many members of the Swiss team feature for the national side and are the 11/10 favourites to go through as group winners, although the Mexicans play an attractive brand of football and the South Koreans include Arsenal’s Park Chu-Young and Sunderland’s Ji Dong-Won.