World Cup Countdown: England to cross hosts’ path in quarters

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News that the World Cup is just one week and one day from getting underway is likely to be greeted with mixed emotions by Ladbrokes customers.

Yes, the greatest football tournament on the planet is almost close enough to touch but, at the same time, the daily stream of special prices the company offer isn’t far from ceasing.

All the more reason, then, to get involved in their latest contribution to the World Cup Countdown, which rates England’s chances of facing Brazil in the Fortaleza quarter final at 8/1.

The Fortaleza quarter final, “quarter final one” for those of you eagerly referring to your wall charts, pits the winners of Group A against the runners up in Group D.

Before that happens, though, there are clearly a few obstacles for both nations to overcome.

Firstly, in Group A, Luiz Felipe Scolari’s hosts must win their group. Given that Croatia, Mexico and Cameroon all occupy that first mini league, that is a more than plausible possibility. Ladbrokes’ 1/6 price on a Brazil group win only affirm that this is the worry-free aspect of the bet.

The hosts’ second-round match is more of a stinging nettle-lined prospect, though. They’ll face the runners up from Group B, which could be any one of Spain, Holland or Chile, however, home support should still make Brazil favourites.

England’s side of the bargain, from the outset, is harder still. They must finish second in Group D, which Ladbrokes currently make a 15/8 chance, while holding off whichever of Italy or Uruguay is in third.

The winner of Group C awaits and that’s likely to be Colombia, despite Radamel Falcao’s absence, with Japan, Greece and Ivory Coast all unthreatening to the South American side’s chances.

Should all those permutations fall into place, then and only then, can you collect your winnings.

All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.

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Matt Wiggins

No idyllic sound comes close to leather on willow for Matt, whose previous experience includes stints with Spin Magazine and Surrey County Cricket Club. It's not just cricket that interests him though, with football, golf, tennis and any American sport not played on ice all high on his list of favourites.