They say that history is written by the victors and when it comes to the World Cup that is certainly the case.
But for those looking to make a little of their own history at the bookmakers, betting big on the last five losing World Cup finalists to pick up odds-on wins against vastly inferior opposition offers big rewards.
Featuring Italy, Brazil, Germany, France and Holland and available at odds of just over 3/1, a £10 bet on this fivefold brings a return of £43.90.
The Dutch face an uphill task to qualify from a group containing both Spain and Chile but if they are to mount anything in the way of a serious challenge for progression then a big win over Australia is essential.
Holland eased through qualifying by beating teams of a higher calibre than the Socceroos though and with Australia losing heavily to Brazil and France in past friendlies, the 2010 finalists look nailed-on for the win.
Defeated by Italy on penalties in 2006, France should fare well in the opening stages of this World Cup and look in great form going into this encounter with Honduras, having fired eight past Jamaica in their final warm-up game.
With manager Didier Deschamps desperate for Les Bleus to make a good start and set themselves up to top the group and earn a potentially straight-forward route to the quarter-finals, expect France to come out all guns blazing.
Beaten by Brazil in 2002, Die Mannschaft are an altogether different beast to the one that fared so well 12 years ago, and should be backed to overcome a Ghana team they beat in some style four years ago in South Africa.
Among the favourites for the World Cup, Germany are in fine goalscoring health themselves after hammering Armenia 6-1 in their final warm-up game. Regardless of the result against Portugal, a victory over Ghana is both essential and assured.
Losers to France in 1998, a little of the fanfare surrounding the Selecao should have died down by the time their second group game comes along, but Brazil will nevertheless be expected to pick up a win over Mexico.
Luis Felipe Scolari’s team know what it takes to beat El Tri, having won 2-0 in the recent Confederations Cup meeting and with Mexico losing their last two warm-up games, it’s hard to argue against a win for the hosts.
Roberto Baggio was the villain when Italy lost in 1994, but it won’t take a heroic effort for Italy to see off a weak Costa Rica team when the two meet in the second round of fixtures in Group D.
The North American nation have picked up just one win from their last six games and have failed to keep a clean sheet in 10 games heading into the World Cup. Even the Azzurri can’t make hard work of this one!
All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.
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