Chelsea stars Oscar, David Luiz, Ramires, Willian, Andre Schurrle, Gary Cahill and Frank Lampard will be seen in knockout action at the 2014 World Cup if their nations’ past record of cheating a group-stage demise is anything to go by.
Stayed tuned for the history lesson and how to profit…
Brazil to win Group A @ 1/5
More than half the Stamford Bridge delegation will be arriving at the second round courtesy of the Canarinho, who have won the last eight group stages in which they’ve taken part.
Mexico to qualify from Group A @ 6/5
Since the 1986 tournament in their own backyard, El Tri have slipped the group-stage noose at every World Cup bar the 1990 renewal, from which they were banned.
The Brazil/Mexico Group-A one-two is 17/10-second favourite in bwin’s qualification-forecast betting, a smasher of a price considering Croatia haven’t escaped their group in their last two attempts.
England to qualify from Group D @ 31/50
Ardent Three Lions drum bangers have long since learned to regard the quarter finals as the ceiling of their aspirations in the hunt for FIFA’s premier bauble.
However, perhaps the time is right to revaluate their achievements in reaching the knockout rounds at every World Cup they’ve reached since 1962.
After all, fellow past victors Italy, France and Argentina have no claim to such bragging rights.
Germany to win Group G @ 12/25
Concern for the oral hygiene of this particular gift horse shouldn’t come before biting the mitts off the bwin layers – Die Mannschaft have failed to win just one of their last 18 group games at the World Cup, topping their section at the last six tournaments.
Ghana to qualify from Group G @ 11/4
The Black Stars have extracted themselves from the vicelike grips at successive World Cups, since making the bonanza for the first time in 2006.
Fate has dealt them a despicable hand in the land of joga bonito, yet having played a part in the elimination of solid players such as Czech Republic and Serbia at the last two tournaments, an often humdrum Portugal side could easily be displaced.