The 2014 World Cup is well underway with Italy v Costa Rica, France v Switzerland, Ecuador v Honduras today as Caughtoffside.com brings you the latest World Cup free bets offers & odds from Paddy Power, Bet365, Ladbrokes and more!
After England suffered a heart breaking defeat we look to Friday’s games, featuring Italy v Costa Rica, France v Switzerland, Ecuador v Honduras.
The action is not only competitive on the pitch, but also off it, with fierce competition between the high street brands to get punters custom – which means a whole host of World Cup offers and free bets for you to take advantage of!
We have taken the trouble to list all the offers here for you! They’ll be daily updated throughout the World Cup so make sure you bookmark this page to take advantage!
So, who do we fancy for World Cup glory?
Well, as you would expect Brazil are seen as the overwhelming favourites to lift the trophy at around 3/1, but are side really that great?
Phil Scolari is definitely a shrewd manager who has already won the tournament in Brazil in 2002, but this current crop of talent looks a little short compared with Brazil sides of the post.
The pin up boy and superstar Neymar has had an indifferent season with Barcelona, bagging only nine goals in La Liga in a somewhat underwhelming first season in Spain.
First choice goalkeeper Julio Cesar has moved to Toronto on loan from QPR, and there are signs that the enormous pressure on the side, in particular Neymar could prove too much, and at 3/1 there are better betting prospects elsewhere.
Argentina, meanwhile look like a much more solid selection – headed by their attacking trio of Lionel Messi, Higuain and Sergio Aguero, manager Alejandro Sabella has plenty of ammunition at his disposal.
Livewire midfielder Angel Di Maria had a barnstorming end of season with Real Madrid and he is expected to excel in a side that has all sorts of options going forward. Fernando Gago should oversee proceedings in the centre of the pitch while Javier Mascherano will provide the defensive cover in front of the back four.
Difficult to score against, and with an arsenal of options going forward, Argentina are our bet at 4/1.
Spain are currently third favourites for the tournament at 6/1, and that price could look huge come the latter stages of the tournament. Of course the squad which won the World Cup in 2010 are four years older but there’s no doubt that the likes of Xavi, Iniesta, David Silva and Cesc Fabregas are seasoned professionals who know how to win.
Add in Diego Costa, who fired in 27 goals in 35 appearances for Atletico Madrid in La Liga, and you have the recipe for a World Cup winning side. On their day Vincente Del Bosque’s side can beat anyone – there’s little doubt they are still a formidable force.
Germany are fourth favourites at 7/1 going into the tournament as Joachim Low comes to terms with the loss of midfielder Marcos Reus in midfield, who suffered ankle ligament damage in the warm up game with Armenia.
The Germans have not won a tournament since 1996 and it looks as though they may find the going a little tough in Brazil. Miroslav Klose will once again be asked to lead the line, a difficult task at the age of 36, while their build up has not been ideal with plenty of off field problems.
Much will depend on the Bayern Munich quarter of Thomas Muller, Bastian Schweinsteiger, Toni Kroos & Mario Gotze in midfield, but even at odds of 7/1 the Germans offer little appeal this time around.
The Best of the Rest
Much has been made of Argentina and Brazil as tournament favourites, but there may be some value in backing Colombia (33/1) or Chile (50/1) to cause an upset.
Both these sides have looked very impressive in the the qualification. Colombia had the best defensive record in qualifying, and while Radamael Falcao will miss out through injury, Teofilo Gutierrez and James Rodriguez look more than a handful. Jose Pekerman’s side could cause an upset or two.
As for England? This time around there are no expectations for England, so the pressure should not be so intense for the Three Lions. With young emerging talent coming to the fore in Ross Barkley and Raheem Sterling there could be some degree of optimism.
Their odds of 28/1 speaks volumes.
Strap yourselves in and get ready for the ride..The 2014 World Cup is almost here..