The World Cup Dark Horses: Unlikely Russia 2018 Winners

Major tournaments always have a few surprises. 2016’s European Championship proved that in abundance. Iceland shocked England, Wales thrilled against Belgium and Portugal secured one of the unlikeliest of victories.

So what can we expect this summer? Is Russia 2018 going to land at the feet of World Cup favourites Germany and Brazil, or can one of the dark horses really make their mark?

We take a look at which nations are among the dark horses for the FIFA World Cup…


Belgium betting tips

Belgium are at 12/1 to win the World Cup which is remarkable considering the plethora of superstars in their squad.

Romelu Lukaku has been in fine form in front of goal while Kevin De Bruyne continues to grow into one of the world’s best players.

They have quality right through the squad and on their day can beat anyone. They’re favourites to win Group G and will want to make amends for being knocked out of Euro 2016 by Wales. Most certainly one to watch.


Hungary vs Portugal predictions

Portugal upset the odds two years ago and will be looking to do so again. It’s the only trophy that isn’t in Cristiano Ronaldo’s trophy cabinet and the nation are 25/1 to win it.

Well worth a World Cup free bet, the country won the Euros without setting the world alight and barely winning again. They ground out the right results at the right time. Can they do that again?

Their group should see them through, even with a difficult game against Spain. It doesn’t get any easier though and they could potentially face the host’s or Uruguay in the Round of 16 and France or Argentina in the Quarter Final.


Croatia finished third in the 1998 World Cup and 20 years on could be real dark horses once again.

They face a tough group and are at 4/7 to qualify from Group D. They’ll be up against Argentina, Nigeria and Iceland. Get through that and it’d be worth a punt for the latter stages.

With the likes of Luka Modric, Ivan Rakitic and Ivan Perisic they ooze quality and can really dominate in the middle of the park.

To reach the Semi Final they’re 7/1 and a World Cup win can be had at 28/1. It’d be a brave punt but Croatia have form in being dark horses and could cause a few surprises come June.


There’s always a certain degree of pressure on a host nation and in Putin’s Russia you can imagine that’s doubled.

The Russians have a relatively winnable group and there will be plenty of home fans expecting their team to go all the way.

They’re 33/1 to do so, despite being one of the lowest ranked teams in the tournament, and will be the first host nation to win the tournament since France in 1998.

They have a bit of class in Artem Dzyuba but it’ll be the galvination of Russia that takes them anywhere. Could they do it?

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