The BBC came to this unusual conclusion after a walk through the annals of World Cup history. It argues that group winners stand the best chance of winning the tournament. Mexico (1986) was the only non-group winner ever to win. The broadcaster suggests that this means 24 of the 32 countries taking part can immediately be ignored. Remain: France, Germany, Brazil, Portugal, Argentina, Poland, and Russia and.... Belgium. The BBC believes Russia, as host nation, and Poland, with poor defence, will drop eliminated.
In this British game of fantasy football Argentina and Brazil stand little chance “because European teams usually win in Europe”. Only Brazil has ever won a World Cup in Europe, in Sweden in 1958. Four teams remain: France, Germany, Portugal and Belgium. Portugal, Auntie says, lacks a world class goalie, France lacks experience. Leaves Belgium and Germany. Germany is a hot favourite to clinch the title for a second time in a row, but this has only happened twice in a distant past.