SAO PAULO BRAZIL - July 9 2014: Lionel MESSI during Argentina National Anthem at the 2014 World Cup Semi-finals game between Argentina and Netherlands at Arena Corinthians.

With the 2018 World Cup beginning tomorrow, we know how excited everyone is for the biggest sporting competition on the planet, and we have a fair few teams that might be of interest to our customers.

Whether you’re looking to support a team whose country you have visited, or are looking to enjoy a few games while you’re away, here is our roundup for some of the teams close to our heart:


Thought of as pundits as one of the weakest Argentinian national teams in the past few decades, players will be looking to harness the incredible power of Lionel Messi, who at the age of 30, might not see another World Cup as a player.

Its manager, Jorge Sampaoli, has been experimenting with formations lately and seems to have settled on a 4-4-2 formation, but the team just doesn’t seem to be dangerous enough to take on some of the big hitters this time around.

Group: D

  • Argentina vs. Iceland – 16 June 14:00 BST
  • Argentina vs Croatia – 21 June 19:00 BST
  • Argentina vs. Nigeria – 26 June 19:00 BST


Goalkeepers: Sergio Romero, Willy Caballero, Franco Armani

Defenders: Gabriel Mercado, Javier Mascherano, Nicolas Otamendi, Federico Fazio, Marcos Rojo, Nicolas Tagliafico, Marcos Acuna, Cristian Ansaldi

Midfielders: Maximiliano Meza, Lucas Biglia, Ever Banega, Giovani Lo Celso, Angel Di Maria, Cristian Pavon, Eduardo Salvio, Enzo Perez

Forwards: Paulo Dybala, Lionel Messi, Sergio Aguero, Gonzalo Higuain.


Mostly 10/1 or 9/1 according to bookmakers.


TERESOPOLIS RJ /BRAZIL - MAY 31: Neymar during training the Brazilian selection in Granja Comary on may 31 2014 in Teresopolis.

Having crashed out of the last World Cup in spectacular fashion, after losing 7-1 to Germany, many expect an energised and spirited attacking team to take to the pitches in Russia.

Like Argentina, Brazil will be looking to make use of its star attacking player, Neymar, and many feel that the team is a “proper” Brazil side once more.

If you plan on taking the time out to watch Brazil this summer, expect an exciting team with lots to play for, bearing in mind that they lost just one of their 18 qualification matches.

Group: E

  • Brazil vs. Switzerland – 17 June 19:00 BST
  • Brazil vs. Costa Rica – 22 June 13:00 BST
  • Brazil vs. Serbia – 27 June 19:00 BST


Goalkeepers: Alisson, Ederson, Cassio

Defenders: Thiago Silva, Miranda, Marquinhos, Geromel, Fagner, Danilo, Marcelo, Filipe Luiz

Midfielders: Casemiro, Fred, Paulinho, Renato Augusto Fernandinho, Willian, Coutinho

Forwards: Neymar, Gabriel Jesus, Roberto Firmino, Douglas Costa, Taison


Between 9/2 and 4/1.


Pasadena USA - June 07 2016: Colombia national team during Copa America Centenario match Colombia vs Paraguay at the Rose Bowl Stadium.

Although it might be hard to remember now, Colombia reached the quarter-finals only four years ago, and it still has the talent to pose a threat throughout the group stages.

The team also has stars from a range of important European teams, including James Rodriguez of Bayern Munich, Davinson Sánchez of Tottenham Hotspur, and Juan Cuadrado of Juventus.

It’s worth noting however, that Los Cafeteros won only seven of their 18 qualification matches, with six draws and five defeats.

Group: H

  • Colombia vs. Japan – 19 June 13:00 BST
  • Colombia vs. Poland – 24 June 19:00 BST
  • Colombia vs. Senegal – 28 June 15:00 BST


Goalkeepers: David Ospina, Camilo Vargas, Jose Fernando Cuadrado

Defenders: Santiago Arias, Frank Fabra, Davinson Sanchez, Cristian Zapata, Yerry Mina, Johan Mojica, Oscar Murillo

Midfielders: Abel Aguilar, Wilmar Barrios, James Rodriguez, Carlos Sanchez, Jefferson Lerma, Juan Fernando Quintero, Juan Guillermo Cuadrado, Mateus Uribe

Forwards: Radamel Falcao, Carlos Bacca, Miguel Borja, Jose Izquierdo, Luis Muriel


Consistently around 40/1.

Costa Rica

BELO HORIZONTE BRAZIL - June 24 2014: Yeltsin TEJEDA of Costa Rica kicks the ball during the World Cup Group D game between Costa Rica and England at Estadio Mineirao.

Like Colombia, Costa Rica reached the quarter finals four years ago and were unlucky enough to be beaten only at penalties by the Netherlands.

Analysts expect attacking play, with Bryan Ruiz taking the lead with backing from Celso Borges. The team was decimated during the recent friendly matches however, with a 5-0 loss to Spain and a 1-0 loss against Hungary.

Group: E

  • Costa Rica vs. Serbia – 17 June 13:00 BST
  • Costa Rica vs. Brazil – 22 June 13:00 BST
  • Costa Rica vs. Switzerland – 27 June 19:00 BST


Goalkeepers: Keylor Navas, Patrick Pemberton, Leonel Moreira

Defenders: Cristian Gamboa, Ian Smith, Ronald Matarrita, Bryan Oviedo, Oscar Duarte, Giancarlo Gonzalez, Francisco Calvo, Kendall Waston, Johnny Acosta

Midfielders: David Guzman, Yeltsin Tejeda, Celso Borges, Randall Azofeifa, Rodney Wallace, Bryan Ruiz, Daniel Colindres, Christian Bolanos

Forwards: Johan Venegas, Joel Campbell, Marco Urena


Between 1000/1 and 500/1.


Having not been in a World Cup for over 36 years, the team is studded with young players using tried and tested styles and tactics.

The young side has impressed during the lead up to the competition, and are toughened with both great amounts of discipline and commitment.

The team only conceded seven goals in eight matches in 2017 and its captain, Paolo Guerrero, scored an impressive six goals during qualification.

Group: C

  • Peru vs. Denmark – 16 June 17:00 BST
  • Peru vs. France – 21 June 16:00 BST
  • Peru vs. Australia – 26 June 15:00 BST


Goalkeepers: Pedro Gallese (Veracruz), Carlos Caceda (Deportivo Municipal), Jose Carvallo (UTC)

Defenders: Aldo Corzo, Luis Advincula (Lobos Buap), Christian Ramos (Veracruz), Miguel Araujo, Alberto Rodriguez, Anderson Santamaria, Miguel Trauco , Nilson Loyola

Midfielders: Renato Tapia, Pedro Aquino, Yoshimar Yotun, Paolo Hurtado, Christian Cueva , Edison Flores, Andy Polo, Wilder Cartagena

Forwards: Andre Carrillo, Raul Ruidiaz, Jefferson Farfan, Paolo Guerrero


Around 150/1 to 200/1

Where to watch

All matches shall be split between BBC One and ITV1.

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